Immediately after the best offensive player was signed off the free agent market, you’d think the second best offensive player would become a hot commodity. But since Zach Parise was signed by the Minnesota Wild, the calls haven’t exactly come rolling in for Alexander Semin.
Though there are a few teams interested, no one is pursuing Semin nearly as aggressively as Parise and it’s gotten nowhere near the media attention. Much of the reason teams are shying away from his is based off of a perception.
As skilled as he is (and the numbers speak for themselves), Semin has built up a reputation of being a bad guy to have in the locker room. That’s a reputation that has stretched from players to analysts to fans.
With his reputation in mind, you can understand, to some degree, why teams aren’t lining up to sign him. They don’t want to risk the potential chemistry issues and an uprorar from fans that would accompany signing him, especially if they end up signing him to a long term deal.
But when you look at some of the clubs out there that are more stable, like the Detroit Red Wings or Pittsburgh Penguins, that have interest in Semin and have veteran leadership capable of handling a reported personality like Semin, you have to wonder why a guy capable of producing 80-plus points doesn’t have a home yet.
Eventually, Semin is going to have a new contract somewhere. And I have to imagine it’ll be in the NHL. If not, he likely would have already bolted for Russia on the $10 million/year offer he reportedly has to play in the KHL.
Character issues or not, it’s difficult to understand how teams are willing to line up and sell half of their club for a guy like Rick Nash, who will continue to be greatly overpaid for the next decade, but not take a chance on a guy capable of putting up bigger point totals at a lower cost and a shorter term.
Someone is going to take a chance on Alexander Semin. And if his point totals so far in his career are any indication, he could end up a steal at this point and make a lot of teams regret not taking a longer look at trying to sign him this summer.