Capitals’ offseason uncertainty begins with Dale Hunter, Alexander Semin
Hunter did not publicly criticize Ovechkin’s freelancing on the defensive side of the puck. And Ovechkin did not protest too loudly about his dip in ice time. But the question remains: Can the two coexist? Or better yet, does Hunter have any interest in coexisting? Hunter, of course, can resume coaching and operating the lucrative and successful London Knights junior hockey team if he so chooses. Last week, the Knights claimed the Ontario Hockey League championship.
Among the other items on General Manager George McPhee’s lengthy to-do list●Semin’s $6.7 million-per-season contract expires and he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. In each of the past two seasons, he already had signed a one-year contract extension long before now.This time figures to be more complex. The 28-year-old scored 21 goals, his lowest total since his rookie season in 2003-04, and had a typically uneven postseason performance, notching three goals against Boston and none against New York. But, for the first time, Semin can dictate where he plays and there’s no guarantee that it will be Washington.●McPhee also must make decisions on pending unrestricted free agents Mike Knuble, Tomas Vokoun, Jeff Halpern, Keith Aucoin and Wideman.