May 15, 2012
NHL notes: Semin seemingly done with Caps
By QMI AGENCY
It's looking more and more like Alex Semin has played his last game with the Washington Capitals.
A day after suggesting that Semin, a pending unrestricted free agent, doesn't fit the Caps' system and wouldn't re-sign with them, his agent, Mark Gandler, softened his stance ever so slightly Tuesday.
"The team has to change the direction, the organization," Gandler told the Washington Times. "And if they choose how they're going to do business, that's fine. But Alex is not prepared to continue in this role."
Gandler's comments suggest Semin couldn't adapt to the defence-first philosophy of coach Dale Hunter, who stepped down Monday to return to his home in southern Ontario.
Semin had just 21 goals and 54 points in 77 games with Hunter, and before him Bruce Boudreau, running the show. Gandler said things got "a little worse" for Semin after Hunter took over the team.
"If they continue the same path, they'll choose a coach that subscribes to that philosophy," Gandler said. "Whoever the coach is going to be is not as important as what the management decides on the direction of the team for the next number of years."
Long-time NHLer Sergei Fedorov has ended his playing days and will move to the front office of a KHL team in Moscow.
Fedorov, who played more than 1,200 NHL games with Detroit, Anaheim, Columbus and Washington and won the Stanley Cup three times, retired over the weekend to become the general manager of CSKA Moscow. According to Sovetsky Sport in Russia, Fedorov will play one last game for CSKA Moscow next season before moving into his GM role full-time.
The 42-year-old Russian played the last three seasons with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL. In 2011-12 he had six goals and 16 assists in 43 games.
Fedorov, a potential Hockey Hall of Famer somewhere down the road, finished his NHL career with 483 goals and 686 assists in 1,248 games. His best season was 1993-94 when he had 56 goals and 64 assists in 82 games with the Red Wings.
CLOUSTON DUMPED AGAIN
Former Ottawa Senators coach Cory Clouston is out of work again.
The Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL fired Clouston Tuesday after one year behind the bench. Clouston signed a two-year contract with the team last August but barely made it halfway through.
"I do not want uncertainty with this important position and as a result have decided we will not have Cory return next season," Wheat Kings general manager Kelly McCrimmon said in a statement. "He will perhaps have opportunities to coach professionally, failing that, we will honor the second year of his contract."
The Wheat Kings finished sixth in the WHL's Eastern Conference with a 39-28-1-4 record but were swept by the eventual-champion Edmonton Oil Kings in the second round of the playoffs.
Clouston went 95083-20 in parts of three seasons with the Senators from 2008-2011.
ROBINSON BLASTS RUMOUR
New Jersey Devils assistant coach Larry Robinson has ripped a report suggesting he is interested in a similar job with the Montreal Canadiens.
Robinson told the New York Post that comments that surfaced last week about his alleged interest in a position with the Canadiens came from a friend, not his agent, and were five years old.
New Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is believed to have begun searching for a new coaching staff.
NEELY CHIMES IN
Add Cam Neely's name to the growing list of ex-NHLers who want the league to look at the equipment players are now wearing.
Having seen Nathan Horton and Adam McQuaid miss time due to concussions -- to say nothing of Marc Savard's potentially career-ending brain trauma -- the Boston Bruins president wants the NHL to review the relationship between equipment and player safety.
"Personally, I'd rather have a player with a separated shoulder than someone with a concussion," Neely told the Boston Globe. "I don't know why it's that difficult to look at the equipment and say, 'We really need to do something with the shoulder pads and elbow pads.'"
Many believe the body-armour type equipment players now wear is contributing to the increase in concussions in the NHL.
The San Jose Sharks appear to have decided not to get rid of coach Todd McLellan. According to CSNBayArea.com, it's a "virtual certainty" that McLellan will be back next season. But there could be a change in the makeup of his assistant coaching staff ... Colorado Avalanche captain Milan Hejduk might not go on the free-agent market. The Denver Post is reporting the Avs are working on a contract extension with the 36-year-old Hejduk, which would prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent on July 1 ... St. Louis Blues 2010 first-round pick Vladimir Tarasenko still hasn't decided if he wants to play in the NHL next season. The Blues would like to have Tarasenko in camp next fall but he could return to the KHL for another season.