Yesterday, the Carolina Hurricanes had announced that they had signed star forward Alexander Semin to a 1-year contract. The deal was worth a total of $7,000,000, which many people just laughed at.
Many people of course, were bashing the signing saying how Semin lacks consistency, saying how he’s “very lazy”, how he’s “too cocky with the puck”, etc… Most people just didn’t have any positive reaction to the signing when they heard it. The only thoughts about the acquisition were negative thoughts, not positive.
What I have to say to this is that yea, you are all right about how he needs to work on his flaws. The problem though, is that every player in the NHL has a few flaws. Semin is just another one of those 690 NHL roster players who needs to work on his few flaws and improve his game every day.
Even the best players in the world such as Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos have their own flaws, they just make it seem like they don’t from constantly racking up points and making headlines around the league. There is simply no athlete in the world who is perfect at why they do. There just isn’t.
Semin, no undoubtedly, is one of the most gifted players in the game, the reason for his play being criticized so much. He has one of the best, and if not, the best, releases in the game. He can dangle defenders like it was nothing, he can make plays from absolutely nothing, so why criticize so much?
Over his last 4 seasons, Semin has racked up an outstanding +92 rating, ranking him 5th in the NHL over that course. The others… Zdeno Chara, Henrik & Daniel Sedin, plus their line-mate Alex Burrows. In fact, read these two following tweets from Mike Sundheim!
Mike Sundheim @MikeSundheim
Two more: Semin’s Plus Minus/60 Minutes percentiles last four seasons, corrected for team strength: 96, 99, 98, 91Mike Sundheim @MikeSundheim
Semin’s Plus Minus/60 Minutes percentiles last four seasons vs. top forwards on opposing team: 92, 99, 83, 92
That sounds pretty darn good to me!
Semin is only one of 16 NHL players who have averaged 30+ goals per season the last 6 years. That includes is 40 goal campaign in 2009-10, the best season of his career.
Starting a new chapter with a different team could be exactly what Semin needs to become a motivated player. Carolina could easily be that place to get Semin back on top of his game and become the “goal every other game” player he is easily capable of being.
Who wouldn’t take a 1-year gamble on a player who is heading into his prime, who has one of the best ratings in the league the last 4 seasons, who perhaps has the best release in the game, who can dangle defenders ever so easily? I could go on and on and on about why Semin is so totally worth the gamble, but that’s just my own opinion.
Many won’t agree with me, many will. But nobody knows the real answer. That’s why we’ll have to wait and see how this season plays out.
Follow me on Twitter, @AustinTHH_NHL.