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Posted by Ryan Porth Labels: 2011 Off-season, Alexander Semin, Saturday Faceoff, Washington Capitals
With the free agents all picked over, some teams are still looking for some offensive punch. One name that a lot of people have turned to is Alexander Semin as possible/likely trade bait. If you one of the other 29 general managers in the NHL, would you trade for Semin? Erika and I debate…
No, Semin is not worth it
By Ryan Porth
I don’t know if there’s another player than Alexander Semin that has a lot of things to like and dislike about him. There’s no doubting his scoring ability. I’ll even go on the record as to saying he has the most dangerous wrist shot I’ve ever seen with my two eyes. On the flip side, there are a handful of negatives that would make me pass on him if I were a GM in this league.
One is his playoffs disappearance in recent springs. In the last two postseasons, the Russian sniper has four goals and eight points in 16 games. The first-round collapse was especially eye-opening, as he registered zero goals and two points in their seven-game defeat at the hands of eighth-seeded Montreal.
Another issue is his injury history. Semin has missed 70 games over the last five years, most notably with a wonky back. He has yet to play a full season and only has two 70-plus-game seasons under his belt.
Finally, how would he perform outside of Alex Ovechkin’s shadow? What about, hypothetically speaking, as the go-to-guy in a big market like New York? Would he buckle under the pressure, like he has in recent postseasons? If he gets dealt, it would obviously depend on where he goes to determine how much he can succeed. But I’m skeptical as to whether he’d work out in a place where he doesn’t have a supporting cast like the one he has with the Capitals.
He may be 27 years old and a solid 30-40 goal-scorer; however, if I’m a GM in the NHL, I pass up on a chance to trade for Semin. He’s entering the final year of his contract and it could take a big piece of either your current roster and/or future to acquire him. With a bevy of question marks, it’s just not worth it.
Yes, he can provide lots of offense
By Erika Schnure
Alexander Semin is a player that is labeled as inconsistent, but he is consistent in at least one respect: scoring. He’s a player that has contributed offensively in each of his seasons in the NHL. He generally scores about 30 goals a year, with his career-high 40-goal year coming during the 2009-2010 season.
While he did have a drop-off in scoring this year, he also missed some games with an injury. Shortly after he returned, the Capitals acquired Jason Arnott during the trade deadline. Arnott was brought in expecting to be the second line center to Semin’s wing. Arnott, a Stanley Cup-winning veteran, was largely responsible for Semin’s late scoring frenzy, particularly in the playoffs.
For teams that are low on scoring forwards, Semin is a good bet. He has some problems with authority, but as Arnott showed, he can be tamed by a veteran with a firm hand.
Semin ranked second on the Capitals last year in game winning goals, scored six powerplay goals, and had the most accurate shot percentage among the full-time roster to support the Capitals scoring. He added to that a +22, and 62 takeaways.
If a team is looking for skillful hands and scoring ability, Semin is a risk GM’s could be willing to take.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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