Eklund has been heralding a possible move of Alexander Semin the last few days with the Detroit Red Wings being one of the top contenders. A few thoughts…
Semin hasn’t been in his top form since 2009-2010 where he posted 28 goals and 26 assists. He’s been decent enough this season, with 5 and 5. I haven’t been paying too close attention to the Capitals but obviously, they have been expecting more from him. I don’t know if he’s unhappy in Washington or if he’s dealing with some nagging injury, but either way, the Caps seem to want to move some potentially dead weight and free up a LOT of cap space doing it.
The first thing I think of is the Caps will want a decent, scoring forward in return to replace the Top Six winger, but who could/would the Wings part with? I’ve grown to like just about all the current Detroit roster (which is why I could never be a GM) but the two names I can think of are Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula. Now I highly doubt that Filppula would be moved since he’s got the hot hand in Detroit right now, and he’s carved himself a niche. Hudler would be a better choice. He’s in the exact same situation right now, coming off a very poor season last year, and he’s just not producing as much as he should (although the improved effort has been there this season). Hudler’s in a contract year and Ken Holland is going to have to decide to keep him or let him go anyway. Another possibility is Patrick Eaves, who is currently out 2 months with a broken jaw, and has only been replaced by the unproven Fabian Brunnstrom. I also have had a particular dislike of Jonathan Ericsson lately, but the Caps don’t need defensemen, and Detroit does.
The other problem is his salary. I doubt very much that Semin would garner his current salary of $6.7 million in Detroit, which would put him equal with Pavel Datsyuk, but above both Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg. If he were, moving Hudler would open up the cap space this season, and also probably send Brunnstrom down to Grand Rapids for good (unless he were moved too, to sweeten the deal. Hell, let ‘em have Mike Commodore too!).
The drawback to that is, what if Semin ends up being a lemon in Detroit too? We end up trading a least one forward who’s not scoring for a more expensive forward who’s not scoring. And if he didn’t score in Washington, and didn’t score in Detroit, it might be tough to unload him come the trade deadline. He may only be traded for a few second- or third-liners and draft considerations.
Do the Wings even need him at all? They’re near the top of the standings on a six-game win streak. The best benefit that Semin could bring is to further increase the depth of Detroit’s forwards, and also give Datsyuk someone to talk to. Personally, I agree that the Wings should invest in another top six forward, but I don’t think it should be Semin.
The floor is now open. What say you?