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Backstrom, Semin updates

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Sure, the Caps could use a top-six forward or two and even another defenseman either via trade or free agency, but in the long-term planning department, working out contract extensions for Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin are the biggest priority this summer.

Chatted up Backstrom’s agent, Marc Levine, and Semin’s agent, Mark Gandler, earlier today and both said they’ve had preliminary discussions with the Caps’ brass about an extension. Neither made it sound like a deal was imminent, and a semi-eduacated guess here is that Backstrom gets done before Semin.

A couple of key tidbits:

* Gandler said the Caps have told him they definitely want ink Semin to an extension. That doesn’t put to rest any rumors/thoughts that he might be traded between now and the start of the 2010-11 season, but it is somewhat significant.

* Levine is also Henrik Zetterberg’s agent, but don’t expect a similar contract for Backstrom. The two players are at different stages of their careers — if Backstrom signs a super deal (think 8-12 years), there won’t be years at the end at $1 million to circumvent the salary cap.

* Levine is also Marcus Johansson’s agent.

More from both of them in tomorrow’s paper.

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