Cam Ward Ales Hemsky

Report: Hemsky, Sens break off contract talks


Things are apparently not going well between the Ottawa Senators and impending free agent forward Ales Hemsky.

According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, Hemsky and the Sens have broken off contract talks and may be headed for free agency on July 1.

Hemsky is reportedly seeking a contract that will pay him $5.5 million per season and the cash-mindful Senators aren’t willing to go that high.

From Garrioch:

Sources say the Senators were not prepared to make that kind of offer and there was also concerns he’s determined to test the market.”‹

The Sens acquired Hemsky at the trade deadline from the Oilers in exchange for a third-round and a fifth-round pick. Hemsky is coming off a two-year contract that paid him $10 million.

Hemsky had 13 goals and 40 points in 75 games with Ottawa and Edmonton this past season and had 17 points in 20 games with the Senators. If he was auditioning for a new deal with Ottawa he did a pretty good job showing what he can do, but if that contract demand is accurate, you can somewhat understand why Sens GM Bryan Murray may have an issue with it.

Then again, if Hemsky hits free agency, he’ll be one of the top offensive talents available this summer, along with Thomas Vanek, and could command a big deal. It’s not easy being a general manager.

As it is, the Senators could be looking at a drastic situation this summer if Hemsky signs elsewhere. The Senators have also been rumored to be looking to deal captain Jason Spezza. That’d be a lot of offense departing a team that lacked top-end talent at forward.

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?