Is Sasha's Time Finally Up?
Sasha's almost gone!
Alex Semin is the big question mark this off season in the NHL. His agent, Mark Gandler, has recently come out to ESPN saying that Semin is not interested in coming back to the Washington Capitals: “It was good while it lasted. With the lack of playoff success, with the direction they are going. They decided to change directions. That’s within their rights. Alex doesn’t fit into that system obviously,” Gandler told ESPN the Magazine. “It just doesn’t make any sense to him. He plays, he did the best he could under the circumstances and he earned his right to be a free agent.”
It was good, wasn't it Alex? You're lackluster play and unspirited commitment will surely be missed. If Semin wants to be a role player then he's going to have to start acting like one. Playing a solid two weeks and racking up points only to disappear for two months and not score any isn't going to cut anymore. It's time to grow up. Now don't get me wrong, Semin was very good at times. He is the kind of player that can take over a game and score at will. In the final half of the season, he led the team in scoring and helped the Caps into the playoffs where he played a very good first round. Then he disappeared. Again.
As much as fans would love to see him go, he would be hard to replace. The Caps were all set to have Evgeni Kutznetsov (2010 first round draft pick) come over, but he's decided to sign on with the KHL for two years - and who would blame him with that kind of money. With Kutz gone and Semin potentially dipping his toe in the free agency pool, the Caps would have no secondary scoring behind the slumping Ovechkin. Semin told Russian reporter Pavel Lysenkov that his agent spoke prematurely, and that he doesn't want to think about signing anywhere at the moment while he plays in the World Championships in Sweden: "This is all just talk. Words can get twisted. There was no talk at all that I am not going to sign with the Capitals for sure. I have not talked to them [the Capitals] about leaving. And please don't ask me questions about the next season anymore."
Semin's agent is no doubt trying to create controversy to build up his clients stock. But $6.5m a year isn't very feasable when you're scoring less than 30 goals and playing a lazy game. Rumor has it GMGM was trying to unload Semin at the trade deadline, but no one wanted him. The NHL knows what kind of player he is and I'd be surprised if someone jumped on his asking price - including the Caps. Which leaves the KHL a very desireable option for Semin if/when it comes down to the wire. They certainly have no problem dishing out monstous contracts to lure former NHL stars and prospects.
It's too early to say anything right now. The Caps are not even a week into the off-season and the rumors are flying. With the draft coming up at the end of June and free agency on July 1st, the Caps will have to decide which direction to go, and with no coach and a slew of UFA's on the roster, GMGM is going to have a very busy summer.