DETROIT, MICH -- With the NHL's free agency market opening less than 24 hours from now, there have been a couple of names added to the free agent list that could pose an affordable fit for the Detroit Red Wings core of forwards. One name on that list is Carolina Hurricanes' winger Alexander Semin.
The former 40 goal-scorer is 31 years old, and was getting paid $7 million AAV with the Hurricanes. Since this is a buyout of his contract, he will still be owed about $14 million over the course of six years.
Could this guy make sense for the Red Wings? He certainly could, even after having a career-worst season in 2014-2015 with just six goals and 13 assists scored in 57 games. If the Red Wings were to offer him a contract, you can assume that it would be a relatively low cap-hit, low term deal. Similar to what Brad Richards received from the Chicago Blackhawks after being bought out by the New York Rangers.
Semin is a talented guy, there is no doubt about that. He has an unteachable knack to score goals, as we have seen in years past. So what the heck happened to this guy last year?
From Yahoo's Sean Leahy:
"Some nights you didn’t even know if he was gonna come to the rink," said former Washington Capitals teammate Troy Brouwer in a 2013 radio interview. "It’s tough to play alongside guys like those because you don’t know what you’re gonna get out of ’em."
I don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of the 31-year old Semin in the NHL. A string of one-year deals with not a ton of money seem like the perfect way for him to continue his career in the league. He’s shown he can score a ton of goals in the right situation. Which GM feels his team can turn the forward’s career around?
Semin was coming off of surgery on his wrist coming into the 2014-2015 season, and there was a rumor that he had been playing through a lot of pain which had altered his production. Despite that, you can't really ignore the comments made about how he just didn't care while he was on the ice, and seemed to just "coast" most of the time.
My good friends in Section 328 (A bunch of rowdy, and awesome Canes fans) gave me some insight on what they think of the Russian forward:
Under no circumstances can you sign him to more than a one year deal.. He performs fine in those types of contracts, it seems.
Supposedly had a bad wrist and was playing thru it, but it had been like 9 months since surgery and he would skate for 40 seconds with the puck before losing it in the corner. His Fenwick is thru the roof, but the guy has the will of a god damn two-year-old.
He makes a couple of Jaw dropping plays a season, and you see the talent..
Then he goes into a shell for 10 games.. He can take over a game any time he wants, and simply refuses to
I have no doubt in my mind that Semin would love to play with Pavel Datsyuk, even if he might be out until November. The possible synergy that those two players could have might be worth it, if it can indeed return some high-octane offense in the top-six.
I agree with Section 328, if the Red Wings are to sign Semin, it should absolutely be a maximum of one year, and an affordable cap-hit.
Semin has offers from overseas, but he wants to remain in the NHL. He would likely get paid way more in, say, Russia.. But if he wants to stay in North America, he's going to have to accept that he's not going to get another monster payday. If the Red Wings can agree with him on a one-year deal ranging from $1-3 million, I think it could be a low-risk, high-reward situation.