The Washington Times - July 14, 2012, 05:32PM

Since the season ended, Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee has had countless opportunities to close the door on Alexander Semin potentially returning next season.

All along it has looked like Semin would not be back. His agent, Mark Gandler, said in an email earlier this month “there’s always a chance, but unlikely.”


Asked about the Russian winger again Saturday, McPhee didn’t rule anything out.

“I’ve never really discussed that sort of thing, whether we’re going to sign someone or not or where we are in negotiations. I’d rather not start now,” he said. “I know it’s not a great answer for you guys, but I’ll just stay neutral.”

Semin remains unsigned almost two full weeks into free agency. Rumors swirled about the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings, but so far nothing has gotten done. Now 28 years old, he made $6.7 million on a one-year contract last season.

Asked if he was surprised Semin had not signed yet, McPhee said: “Not necessarily. It would have to be the right fit for him.”

It’s still not probable that Semin’s “right fit” for 2012-13 is in Washington. The value signing of Wojtek Wolski (one year, $600,000) gives the Caps another top-six forward and another player to add to the scoring-by-committee approach in replacing Semin.