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December 30, 2009, 09:11 PM ET

More on Backstrom, Semin

by Timo Seppa

For more details on the ESPN Insider rumor More on Backstrom, Semin, click here.

Hockey is a young man’s game, so there’s a big difference between signing a 21 year old Nicklas Backstrom and signing a 25 year old Alexander Semin. Take the top 20 skaters thus far this season by Goals Versus Threshold: their average age is only 25 years old while the oldest is Pavel Datsyuk at merely 30 years old. Signing Nicklas Backstrom (10.8 GVT, 12th in NHL) for multiple years during his peak makes more sense than signing injury-prone Alexander Semin (8.0 GVT, 29th in NHL) for multiple years at slightly past his peak. The Caps are set up for significant cap flexibility after next season: currently Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green are the only significant contracts on the books for 2011-12.

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