Semin Extended Through 2009-10

By Tarik El-Bashir
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 28, 2007

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 27 -- The Washington Capitals locked up Alexander Semin through the 2009-10 season, signing the high-scoring winger to a two-year, $9.2 million contract extension.

After earning $2.6 million on his current two-year deal, the 23-year-old's salary will spike to $4.2 million next season and $5 million in 2009-10, for an annual cap hit of $4.6 million over the length of the extension. Semin still will be a restricted free agent for one year after the expiration of his new deal.

"We're happy because he's making a commitment to us," Capitals Coach Glen Hanlon said before Saturday's game. "On all teams, when you're making a substantial amount of money, with that comes some responsibilities. We don't want him to look around and say it's up to Viktor Kozlov or up to Alex Ovechkin. No, it's up to him, too."

The Capitals' second-best offensive player behind Ovechkin, Semin scored a 38 goals and 73 points last season, his first full NHL campaign. His 17 power-play goals were tied for fourth in the league. Semin has gotten off to a slow start this season because of a sprained right ankle he suffered in the preseason. It caused him to miss six of the Capitals' first seven games, and he had only one point, an assist, after Friday's 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

Clark Remains Home

Chris Clark remained in the Washington area on Saturday, recovering from being struck on the ear by an Ovechkin slap shot with less than a minute remaining in Friday's game. The impact tore the upper part of his ear, which required several dozen stitches to repair.

Clark, however, didn't suffer a concussion, and he could join the Capitals for Monday's game in Toronto, Hanlon said.

Last November, Clark lost two front teeth and suffered a crushed palate bone when he was struck by a deflected puck.

"I would have to say not great," said Hanlon, when asked how Clark was doing. "When Chris Clark says something that's not 100 percent positive, that's not a good sign. But that's to be expected. He'll probably be in a lot of pain today and feel a heck of a lot better. He said it doesn't look very good, between all the stitches and the swelling."

© 2007 The Washington Post Company