NHL Free Agency: Alexander Semin and Other Top Players Still Available
NHL free agency is in full swing, and most of the big names have been signed. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter went to Minnesota. It would appear that Shea Weber is going to Philadelphia.
Still, there are some big names, like Alexander Semin, that have yet to be signed for whatever reason. With some of the other top players being signed, it would seem that these guys would have been the next to go, and have gone quickly.
There are any number of teams that could still make a play for these players. It will be interesting to see where they end up, and what kind of money they get. Here are the top three free agents still available.
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Alexander Semin is one of the big names that has been living in Washington recently. The 26-year-old is now heading into his eighth season in the league, and is a free agent for the first time.
Semin's goal numbers dropped a little last season, but he still had the same number of points as the year before. He had 21 goals and 33 assists to go along with a plus/minus of +9. His 21 goals is 19 fewer than he had two seasons ago.
In the beginning of the year, Semin was one of the players taking heat for his play. After the Capitals fired coach Bruce Boudreau and brought in Dale Hunter, he took more heat for not buying into Hunter's system.
In the playoffs however, Semin stepped it up and played well, blocking shots and playing great team hockey. Still, the issues earlier in the year as well as the lower numbers are keeping him from getting picked up. Look for him to be picked up by someone in the next couple of weeks, but for a lower price than you would have expected him to get.
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Shane Doan had a great year as the veteran leader and captain for the Phoenix Coyotes last season. Despite having a plus/minus of -8, he had 22 goals and 28 assists.
The 35-year-old was also a key part of their playoff run, scoring five goals and having four assists.
Doan has spent all of his 16-year career with the Coyotes, and would probably like to finish out his career as a member of the team. The ownership questions and whether or not the team is going to be moved are holding him back from re-signing.
Look for Doan to take as much time as he wants before signing, and for him to try and sign with the Coyotes, possibly for a small hometown discount. Still, he should get decent money for the next couple of years.
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The New Jersey Devils are still suffering from their loss in the Stanley Cup Finals and the loss of star Zach Parise. Now they may lose Petr Sykora.
Sykora is another 35-year-old veteran who could be a big asset to a team. The 12-year player scored six game winning goals last season. He had a total of 21 goals and 23 assists during the year.
He is not considered to be on the same level as Semin or Doan, but he can play a big role on a team both on and off the ice. Teams will most likely try and sign him to just one or two years for not a lot of money.
Look for teams with a lot of young talent to try and get him to be the leader for their club. Also look for New Jersey to try and keep him after already losing Parise.