Semin, Capitals agree on one-year extension

By Tarik El-Bashir
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Washington Capitals reclaimed first place in the NHL Saturday. But the really good news came after their 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils: Alexander Semin, the team's second-most dangerous goal scorer behind Alex Ovechkin, will be sticking around for another season.

Semin, who has 14 goals and 18 assists in only 29 games and on Friday was named to Russia's Olympic team, agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension that will keep him in Washington through the 2010-11 season.

When the extension expires, the winger will become an unrestricted free agent.

"It's what the player preferred," McPhee said of the one-year deal. "We discussed a number of options, but this is the way he wanted to go for now. Which is fine with us because it gives us flexibility going forward."

Semin, 25, will earn $6 million next season, up from the $5 million he is earning this season. He already ranks 26th in team history with 248 points and has scored 122 goals.

"I am extremely happy to sign here," he said through an interpreter. "I like this team; I like everything here. It's native to me here now."

With Semin under contract, the Capitals can now focus on re-signing Nicklas Backstrom, another core member of the team who is not under contract for next season.

"This is a player we drafted and developed," McPhee said of Semin. "Hopefully this makes him even better and doesn't serve as a distraction anymore. He can just commit to our club and be really good going forward."

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