An update on Alexander Semin, plus the latest Flyers speculation.
Deal coming soon for Semin?
NBC SPORTS: Citing a report in Sovsport.ru, James O’Brien reports agent Mark Gandler, who represents free-agent winger Alexander Semin, claims his client will soon reach a decision as to where he’ll be playing next season. Gandler blames Semin’s decline last season on Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters, claiming Peters didn’t understand Semin’s game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report doesn’t indicate if Semin will be signing with an NHL or KHL team, though Gandler has previously made it known his client prefers playing in the NHL. Several of last season’s lowest-scoring clubs (Arizona, Buffalo, New Jersey, Toronto) could use some affordable scoring depth at right wing, but it remains to be see if they’re willing to take a short-term gamble on Semin.
**UPDATE** The Montreal Canadiens signed Semin today to a one-year, $1.1 million contract. Read my take here.
Flyers to shop a blueliner?
COURIER-POST: Responding to reader questions, Dave Isaac notes the Philadelphia Flyers have eight defensemen under one-way contracts for next season. If push comes to shove, GM Ron Hextall could demote Brandon Manning to the minors, which would also clear his full $625K from his cap payroll.
If Hextall decides to trade a defenseman to free up both cap space and a roster spot for one of his promising young blueliners, Luke Schenn seems the realistic option, though he’s among the Flyers few right-handed shots from the point. Isaac believes the 37-year-old Mark Streit could still fetch a decent return but feels the Flyers don’t want to lose his leadership.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Hextall makes a move regarding his blueline it probably won’t happen until before the start of the season. He’ll evaluate his young defensemen to determine those who are ready for prime time and which of his current veteran rearguards are easiest to move. I think there will be more interest in Luke Schenn, as right-handed defensemen are a valuable commodity in recent years.