So it's come to this, folks. We've missed out on the Suter/Parise sweepstakes. We lost Wideman to Calgary (though with the contract, this should be considered a relief), Garrison to Vancouver, and Carle to the greatest man to ever lace up as a member of the Winged Wheel. Ken Holland, it would seem, is running out of options. However, the man is a wizard, and I present this little blog only as the channelings of the anxiety fans of Detroit seem to be experiencing. I'm sure Kenny has an ace somewhere up his sleeve, even if that ace is standing pat. After all, he knows more about the industry than anybody who writes for this site, or any other site or publication (much less myself, an underage first-time blogger), and has kept the team as one of the best in the league for more than a decade.
Anyway. What the hell are the Red Wings going to do with the remainder of the offseason??
First, I would like to express my utmost desire that everyone who reads this post also reads this article: http://thehockeywriters.c...rcent/?buffer_share=5f56e
. Applause goes to the writers who had the patience and dedication to research that I didn't.
Let's face it, folks: the Wings need scoring. Desperately. The series against Nashville saw them unable to generate more than a handful of quality scoring chances per game. Some may argue that against other goalies, that handful would have been enough, but Pekka Rinne isn't the Sidney Crosby of his position. Lundqvist, Miller, Fleury, Kiprusoff, Luongo (the regular season version, at least), Lehtonen, and Quick have all established themselves as elite goaltenders in the league, and names like Backstrom, Halak, and Ward aren't far behind. Up-and-comers such as Rask, Schneider, and Mike Smith are also poised to take the league by storm in the coming decade. It's becoming a goaltender's league, and while the Winged Wheel possesses two of the league's premier playmakers in Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, the closest thing we've had to a bona fide sniper in the past five years was Marian Hossa. Johan Franzen has proven that his most definable quality is inconsistency, and, while he may have had 50-goal potential at some point in his career, at this point 35 is barely realistic. We. Need. A. Scorer. And so, without further ado, I present my case for the infamous Alexander Semin.
First of all, the guy can score. His career goals per game average is a 0.42 - that's an average of 34 goals in a full 82 game season. No single player on the Wings has those kind of credentials. The more amazing thing is that Semin, especially in recent years, hasn't been paired with an elite playmaking center. Read the article I linked to above for more details, but in simple terms, Semin's linemates stunk, offensively at least. Jason Chimera and Matthieu Perrault aren't exactly the type of player you look to for scoring.
Second of all, the aspects of Semin's game that he receives criticism for (whether founded or not - again, please see the article) could easily be tempered, if not completely fixed, by a stint with Detroit. He has great role models and leadership - something the Capitals haven't had in awhile - in Datsyuk and Zetterberg to push his work ethic, and his lack of defensive prowess isn't as much of a concern when you look at the two-way skill of the rest of our forward corps. Semin wouldn't detract from the defense any more than Franzen does, anyway. The argument that his heart is elsewhere, for example in Russia, is moot anyway, as he would've been back in the KHL by this point if that were true, but even if it were, the addition of a countryman in Datsyuk would be a solution to this problem. And yes, I know Semin has Ovechkin in Washington, but again, Pavs would be more of a role model and beacon of leadership to Semin than Ovi ever will be.
Finally, Semin showed GREAT chemistry with Dats at the Worlds this year, putting up two goals and three assists for five points in only three games. Wow. Having a fellow Russian as a playmaking center, one who can literally create space out of nothing and a goal-scoring play out of an opponent's rush could finally bring out Semin's full potential.
For some reason, people seem to be very excited over the possibility of Shane Doan coming to the Wings. I, for one, am not very keen to overpay a 35 year old capable of scoring twenty goals and fifty points in a -good- offensive year. I know he brings intangibles like leadership and desire, but the Red Wings aren't exactly lacking in these areas. I am, however, willing to overpay on a short term deal for top talent in the league that could possibly turn Detroit's offense around on his own. And hey, if it works out, we keep him on long term. If not, well, we have around twenty million of cap space and Mike Illitch is rolling in it, so I think we'll be okay.
Look to the future for my next blogs, which will deal with adding size, more scoring, and a temporary replacement for the great number five.
Thanks for reading