Regardless of how this season ends for the Washington Capitals, this offseason is going to be a very interesting one. For the first time in several years, the Caps have a large number of their key, big name players becoming free agents of both the restricted and unrestricted variety.Among those is winger Alexander Semin, who has spent his entire NHL career with the Capitals and will, barring a contract extension, become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Semin is a player who has faced a lot of criticism over the last three seasons, some of it undeserved, some of it not. He doesn’t score enough. He doesn’t play defense. He’s not versatile or consistent. He “doesn’t care.”
But the bottom line is that Semin is a player who does make the Capitals better. He has been steady, if unspectacular, for the last 40 games he has played this season in terms of point production. He has the second highest even-strength Corsi rating among Capitals forwards who have played more than 40 games at 5.73, and he is one of only three Capitals forwards that has played 40 or more games to have a Corsi rating above zero at even strength. In other words, he helps to possess the puck for the Capitals even when he’s not scoring.
Nevertheless, this is not, sadly, a post that is going to rattle off Semin’s valuable contributions to this Capitals team. For that, read this piece by Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post.
In that post, Greenberg suggests that he would sign Semin this offseason for two years at $6 million per season. As I noted above, I agree fully that Semin is a valuable player, and his contributions on both sides of the puck cannot be ignored. However, for a salary capped team with a lot of its space tied up in one player, Alex Ovechkin, is Semin really worth $6 million per year, especially because the Capitals have such a desperate and apparent need for a second premier center?
I don’t believe he is.
Read the rest of this post here.
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