Report: KHL club “ready to open talks” with Semin

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According to Russian news outlet Sports.ru, SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL is set to begin contract talks with Washington Capitals forward Alex Semin.

The former 40-goal scorer is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and has indicated his time in Washington is over. While reports have suggested Semin’s desire is to remain in the NHL, a recent interview with Sport-Express suggested playing in the KHL is also a viable option:

Question: “Is there any clarity on where your career will resume in the next season?”

Semin: “I can’t say anything concrete at this time. I’m waiting for July 1st, until the negotiations in the NHL open, for now I am unemployed.”

Question: “Are your priorities in Russia or North America?”

Semin: “I can’t answer. I don’t know.”

SKA general manager Alexei Kasatonov — who played nearly 400 games in the NHL with New Jersey, Anaheim, St. Louis and Boston — had previously told Sports-Express that his club plans to pursue Semin when the free agency window opens.

It’ll be interesting to see how negotiations play out. Recent days have seen a flurry of NHLers depart for the KHL — Erik Christensen, Sami Lepisto, Curtis Sanford — though none with the star power and talent level of Semin, who has averaged 31 goals per season since the lockout.

Of note, SKA is home to a number of ex-NHLers including Maxim Afinogenov, Vitaly Vishnevski, Dmitri Kalinin, Denis Grebeshkov and Petr Prucha.