I'll be the first to tell you that I didn't necessarily go out and buy a Semin jersey when Marc Bergevin gave him a 1 year deal with Le Bleu Blanc et Rouge. Actually, I probably have the worst luck when buying Habs jerseys/T-shirts. After I purchase them, the player of choice for my new gear typically gets traded, sign elsewhere, or bought out (Prust, Komisarek, Laraque). So depending on how the season goes, maybe I'll get a Semin shirt if he's struggling, for the greater good of the team.
It definitely feels like it's a no risk signing. fourth liner money for first liner potential. By no means do I expect him to have another 40 goal season, but do we think he can crack 20?
After the lockout, Semin has been with both the Caps and Hurricanes. He has never played a full 82 game season, but has also cracked the 40 point mark in every season, with the exception of last year where he amassed a total of 19 points, and eventually was given the boot from Carolina.
Last year is what has a lot of us worried. And why shouldn't it? Montreal is bringing in a bonafide scorer, but seems to have lost the bonafide scoring touch. Additionally, he is supposed to help Montreal's scoring needs, which there is a big hole in. I like to think we are all optimistic enough to say, maybe Semin can be of value, and maybe not hit the 30 goal mark, but at least make a bit of an impact on the power play. But, then again, I know we can turn into a a bit of a mob if Semin has potted in 8 goals by game 40, with Therrien still playing him on the second line, or moving him up and down each an every game (See Dale Weiss). Sadly this team is built on character, and I don't know how exactly Semin would react to the scrutiny he would surely face if things don't go well. If the critics got to him in Carolina, then the Montreal fan base and media will eat him up. I haven't seen Semin as much as the Habs so I can't make a judgement or comment on what think is character is like, but he better have a ton of it if things don't go well.
Looking back at Semin in his prime on Washington, he would consistently put up pretty successful years when we think about Goals and Assists, but we have to take into consideration that he was on a highly offensive team that harnessed an offensive system. Then he made the move to Carolina for the shortened lock out season where he impressed the team, hauling in a point a game through 44 games played, which led to a lucrative contract, which ultimately buried him.
Now we have to think that Semin is coming to a team that has a "Defense First" mentality and grinds out games. Something that is completely different from the past 2 teams he's played on. Carolina less so than Washington, but Montreal's success is based on Carey Price and the team structure that we pray Semin can become accustom to.
So the question is, do you think Semin will hit the 20 goal mark? If put in the right opportunities and given some time on the top lines, the Semin of Old can make some appearances. I personally think if he has a good start and Therrien doesn't lose his patience with him, Semin will surpass 20 goals. In the end, he's making $100,000 less that Torrey Mitchell, so the only thing to worry about is if there are some other players that may be better suited for his place on a top line. I'm going to throw an optimistic guess out there and say he hits 25 Goals and 20 assists, and for $1,100,000, you can't complain.
I'm sure this will be something we as Habs fans will discuss all year with typical passionate thoughts ranging from Bum to Saviour.
Thanks for reading.