Tag: Petr Sykora

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

PHT Morning Skate: Where the Wild are sort of looking better than their expansion brothers, the Blue Jackets

Al Montoya

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Here’s a compilation of reactions following the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter signings. (Detroit Free Press)

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild entered the NHL at the same time. They’re followed very different paths since… (Ottawa Citizen)

Have a problem with the massively front-loaded nature of Parise and Suter’s contracts? They’ve hardly the first of their kind, but with a new CBA on the horizon, they could be among the last. (Buffalo News)

After making his NHL debut last season, prospect Torey Krug is hungry for more. (Boston Globe)

Newly signed Jets backup goaltender Al Montoya says how much ice time he gets doesn’t matter. (Winnipeg Free Press)

The Devils have lost out on Parise, but at least they still have an opportunity to re-sign Petr Sykora. So…that’s something. (The Bergen Record)

While we’re at it, now that the unrestricted free agent market has thinned out, maybe Jesse Winchester will be able to find an employer (Ottawa Sun)

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.

Petr Sykora hopes to re-sign with New Jersey

Petr Sykora

After a successful comeback season, Petr Sykora wants to stay in the NHL. He had to fight for a roster spot in the Devils’ 2011 training camp, but he might not have quite as hard a time getting a contract this summer.

“You never know what’s going to happen, but I think I had a good enough season to come back here next year,” said Sykora. “I’m going to do my best. I felt that I did my best during the regular season. I don’t know. Twenty goals, Stanley Cup Finals, I hope it’s going to work out.”

Sykora understands that with the CBA set to expire on Sept. 15, GMs will have quite a few unanswered questions when the free agent market opens on July 1. With that kind of uncertainty, it might take longer than it otherwise would have for Sykora to get a contract. All the same, he’s willing to be patient.

His top priority is to play in the NHL, but if he had a choice, he’d like to stay in New Jersey.

“I love playing here, I love the area, I love New Jersey, so, for sure, my priority is to play in New Jersey, but in this business, you just never know,” Sykora said.