Tag: Andrei Kostitsyn

Alexander Semin

Breaking down the Top 3 remaining UFAs


We’re well into Day 7 of the 2012 free agent market and it’s no surprise that most of the desirable players have already inked new contracts, but there’s still a few good – or at least interesting players – out there.

With that in mind, here’s a list of the three biggest names left on the UFA market. I’ll say upfront that I decided to cheat and not include Teemu Selanne, simply because right now he seems to be debating between retiring and re-signing with the Anaheim Ducks.

He’d be a great addition to any team, but for the moment at least, there hasn’t been much to suggest he’s seriously considering finishing his NHL career with any team other than Anaheim.

Shane Doan — He’s a gritty, top-six forward with leadership experience. He’ll turn 36 on Oct. 10, but he’s reach the 50-point mark in each of his last nine seasons. So why hasn’t he signed yet?

He likes playing in Glendale, but he’s tired of playing for a team that’s been stuck in limbo from an ownership perspective. He wanted to wait until July 9 to see how things go with prospective Coyotes buyer Greg Jamison before deciding if he would re-sign with Phoenix or start looking for a new home.

If he decides to leave, the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers might be among the teams looking for him.

Alexander Semin — Semin is probably the most intriguing free agent of the 2012 class. He’s surpassed the 70-point mark three times and even in a bad season he’s good for at least 20 goals and 50 points.

Really, it seems to be his reputation that’s kept him on the market for this long. As Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford recently put it:

“We would look at Semin on a short-term basis. We wouldn’t want to get locked in to anything, because we’ve all heard the stories about him. We do like his skill level. It could be that we could bring him in for a year, get to know him and go from there in terms of considering something longer term.”

Adrian Dater of the Denver Post suggested that there also appears to be a significant disconnect between what Semin wants and what teams are willing to give him.

At this point, short of going back to the KHL, it sounds like a one-year deal might be his best option. It would give him a chance to prove himself in a new market and maybe get a big deal in the summer of 2013.

Personally, I think any mediocre franchise should be interested in signing him to such a contract. If he lives up to the team’s worst fears, then they can take comfort in knowing that they probably weren’t going to be a serious Stanley Cup contender in 2012-13 anyways. If he bounces back, then he can be dealt to a contender at the trade deadline.

Peter Mueller — Eliminating Selanne from eligibility took away the obvious third choice, so I decided to go off the board. Mueller has been plagued by concussion symptoms and he only played in 32 games last season after missing the entire 2010-11 campaign.

Still, when healthy, he’s a top-six forward and those are hard to find on the open market at this point. He’s likely to get a cheap, one-year deal, so the risk will be minimal compared to the significant potential reward. On top of that, he’s only 24, so if he does bounce back, the team that took a chance on him will get the first shot of locking him up to a long-term deal.

Honorable mentions: Carlo Colaiacovo, Andrei Kostitsyn, Kyle Wellwood, Petr Sykora

Carolina GM would consider Semin on “a short-term basis”

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 2: Alexander Semin #28 of Washington Capitals skates during warmups before Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Rangers on May 2, 2012 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Carolina Hurricanes may have dropped out of the Rick Nash derby, but their search for a goal-scoring winger continues.

The list of players GM Jim Rutherford could pursue includes Bobby Ryan (trade), Shane Doan (UFA), Andrei Kostitsyn (UFA), and Petr Sykora (UFA).

Oh, and Alexander Semin. Can’t forget about Mr. Enigmatic Russian.

Would Rutherford roll the dice on the 28-year-old UFA that fell out of favor in Washington?

“We would look at Semin on a short-term basis,” Rutherford said, as per the News & Observer. “We wouldn’t want to get locked in to anything, because we’ve all heard the stories about him. We do like his skill level. It could be that we could bring him in for a year, get to know him and go from there in terms of considering something longer term.”

Whether Semin would consider a deal like that (or if he’d want to deal with a GM that clearly questions his character) is the question. It may be he’ll have to wait until the futures of Nash, Doan and Ryan are decided before he gets anything but lowballs. And even then, it’s no guarantee he’ll get anything more than that.

Remember when Semin scored 40 goals?

Related: UFA spotlight — Alexander Semin

So…what do the Devils do now?

Lou Lamoriello

In what was a gut punch day for a number of NHL clubs, none may have been hit harder than the New Jersey Devils. (OK, maybe the Predators.)

With Zach Parise bolting Newark for Minnesota — thanks in no small part to a 13-year, $98 million contract — the Devils are now without their captain and three-time leading scorer.

New Jersey was the only team Parise had known since breaking into the NHL after the lockout. Taken 17th overall by the Devils in 2003, Parise played over 500 regular-season contests and led the club to its first Stanley Cup finals appearance in nine years.

So…what happens now? Here are some things to consider.

— The Devils will need a new captain. Ilya Kovalchuk is one of New Jersey’s alternates and formerly wore the “C” in Atlanta. Patrik Elias, another alternate, is the franchise’s all-time leader in points and goals and served as captain from 2006-07. Travis Zajac and David Clarkson could also be in the mix.

— Parise’s a big loss, no doubt, but New Jersey has survived a number of big free agency losses since the lockout. Scott Niedermayer (Anaheim), Brian Rafalski (Detroit), Scott Gomez (New York Rangers) and Brian Gionta (Montreal) all flew the coop and, like Parise, Niedermayer was New Jersey’s captain before signing with his new team.

— It’ll be interesting to see how, or if, GM Lou Lamoriello responds. Regardless, it won’t be easy. Parise had five 30-goal seasons with the Devils, including a career-best 45 in 2008-09. And New Jersey wasn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut last year, finishing 15th in goals per game (2.63).

— As far as goalscoring wingers go, the best left on the UFA market are Alex Semin, Shane Doan and Andrei Kostitsyn.

— Speaking of spending, the Devils currently have 20 players under contract for 2012-13 and are $16 million under the cap.

— Also speaking of spending, there’s the matter of the team’s finances. It’s not known whether they came close to offering what the Wild offered or if Lamoriello just backed up the guilt truck.


So…what do the Red Wings do now?

So…what do the Predators do now?

Ottawa inks noted draft bust Hugh Jessiman

Hugh Jessiman

The Ottawa Senators have agreed on a one-year, two-way deal with 28-year-old journeyman Hugh Jessiman.

Jessiman — a 6-foot-6, 231-pound forward nicknamed “Huge Specimen” (get it?) — split last season between the American Hockey League’s Lake Erie Monsters and the Abbotsford Heat, recording 27 goals and 17 assists for 44 points in 67 games.

He’s appeared in two NHL contests, both with Florida.

Wondering why PHT is profiling the two-way contract of a career minor-leaguer? Well, it’s because Jessiman is not your typical career minor-leaguer.

He was taken 12th overall at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft — a draft widely regarded as one of the best in league history.

Here’s what I wrote about the ’03 draft back in December, updated to reflect this year’s Cup finals:

The first round was loaded with stars. It boasts Stanley Cup winners (Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, Nathan Horton, Brent Seabrook, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Dustin Brown), guys that lost in the Cup Finals (Zach Parise, Braydon Coburn, Ryan Kesler, Steve Bernier, Jeff Tambellini) and a bunch of good-to-solid players: Thomas Vanek, Brent Burns, Milan Michalek, Ryan Suter, Dion Phaneuf, Andrei Kostitsyn, Brian Boyle and Eric Fehr*.

But what sets the 2003 Draft apart is its depth. Let’s go round by round.

Round 2: Shea Weber, Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, Loui Eriksson, Matt Carle, Corey Crawford, Jimmy Howard, Maxim Lapierre, Kevin Klein, BJ Crombeen.

Round 3: Clarke MacArthur, Dan Carcillo, Ryan O’Byrne, Colin Fraser.

Round 4: Paul Bissonnette, Jan Hejda, Kyle Quincey, Corey Potter, Philippe Dupuis.

Round 5: Lee Stempniak, Brad Richardson.

Round 6: Marc Methot, Mark Flood, Drew Miller, Bruno Gervais.

Round 7 : Joe Pavelski, Kyle Brodziak.

Round 8: Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom, Shane O’Brien.

Round 9 (and this is kinda nuts): Matt Moulson, Jaroslav Halak, Brian Elliott, David Jones, Tanner Glass, Chris Porter.

In conclusion, pretty solid draft.

Jessiman was part of the small first-round bust group that included Nik Zherdev (No. 5 overall), Robert Nilsson (15), Marc-Antoine Pouliot (22), Tambellini (27) and Shawn Belle (30).

* — As pointed out in the comments section, Fehr could be considered a bust.

List: 10 remaining UFAs that aren’t named Ryan or Zach

Kyle Wellwood

As we wait for the two biggest free agents, Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, to make up their minds, here are 10 UFAs that have yet to sign.

Jaromir Jagr – Apparently the Habs don’t want him. But the Dallas Stars? Could happen.

Alexander Semin – Plan C for teams that don’t get Parise or Nash? A media darling!

Matt Carle – Plan B for teams that don’t get Suter? Wants to stay in Philly, but could feasibly get himself a bigger deal on the open market.

Kyle Wellwood – Coming off a career-high 47 points in Winnipeg, the nifty 29-year-old center is small but knows how to make plays.

Steve Sullivan – Similar in stature to Wellwood, except a winger and older. Had 17 goals last season in Pittsburgh. Also has seven 20-goal seasons under his belt, though his last was in 2006-07.

Petr Sykora – Scored 21 times for the Devils in 2011-12. It’s believed the 35-year-old wants to stay in New Jersey, but he’s likely in a holding pattern until Parise signs.

Shane Doan – Reportedly waiting until July 9 to see if the Coyotes’ lease agreement with Greg Jamison will be heading to a November referendum.

Andrei Kostitsyn – Anyone want a 20-goal scorer that enjoys late Scottsdale nights? A KHL team might.

Scott Hannan – Veteran defenseman that helped the Flames to the No. 9 penalty kill last season. If he were a car, he wouldn’t be much to look at, but he’d get you from A to B.