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While it would appear unlikely that deadline acquisition Matt Cooke will return, Sergei Fedorov’s return still is a possibility. The 38-year-old Fedorov was rejuvenated in the latter stages last season, and he showed flashes of the guy who was once the best player in the sport.

Fedorov made $6.08 million last year but is willing to take less to stay in the NHL. He also could choose to play in the new Continental Hockey League in his native Russia if the pay cut is deemed to be too drastic.

“The Russian option is still there until he signs with an NHL club,” said Pat Brisson, who is Fedorov’s agent. “They are very interested in him. Whether he were to make that jump this year or next year or two years, I think he first wants to pursue an NHL contract.”

McPhee declined to comment for this story.