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When the Caps say they aren’t trading Semin, does anyone listen?

Jul 21, 2011, 2:48 AM EDT

Alexander Semin AP

Yet again Alexander Semin’s name has popped up in the rumor mill as trade bait for the Washington Capitals. And yet again, Caps GM George McPhee has done his best to shoot down any rumors by reiterating that Semin won’t be moved over the offseason. Hopefully, fans and prognosticators will remember this categorical denial for more than a few weeks.

This time GM George McPhee (GMGM to the cool kids) used a little humor when explaining his rationale for keeping Semin around for another season. Apparently scoring goals is a good thing. From EJ Hradek on NHL.com:

“We like Semin because he can score goals,” McPhee said Monday, squashing the latest round of Semin trade tales. “Those guys aren’t easy to find.”

“We’ve made our moves,” he continued. “I don’t anticipate us making any other changes. If I go into the season with this group, I’m fine with that.”

At least he tried to change up his rebuff this time. But hidden in the humor is a very serious point—goal scorers are hard to find. Just look at Columbus: the Blue Jackets are still basking in the afterglow of landing a 40-goal scorer a month after they acquired Jeff Carter. Semin is the same type of dynamic offensive talent who is capable of dropping 40 goals and a point-per-game scoring average in any given season. At 27-years-old, he should just be entering his prime as a legitimate NHL scorer.

If Washington was to trade Alexander Semin, the ideal trading partner would be a young team that is looking to win right now—but also has an eye towards the future. You know, a team like the Capitals. There’s also the problem of proper compensation for a serious producer like Semin. The Caps would most likely make a trade with a team that’s in the “win now” mode; but no trading partner would be eager to surrender a player who can replace Semin’s productivity in Washington. Are the Caps willing to settle for draft picks and prospects for a guy who’s proven that he can score 80+ points in a season?

This offseason as seen McPhee and the Capitals actively seek two-way forwards who can add a little grit to the team. The team went out and traded their first round pick at the draft for Stanley Cup champion Troy Brouwer. Fan favorite and overall underrated forward Brooks Laich was given a big-time contract to come back next season. To cap things off up front, Washington lured playoff performer Joel Ward from Nashville to add even more size and grit to their group of forwards.

All three players should help the Capitals next season—but none of them are going to yield the same kind of offensive production as Semin. In fact, last season the one of the worst of Semin’s career—yet he still scored more goals than any of the three signings have ever had in a single season. Like GMGM said, guys who can score 176 goals in less than 400 career games aren’t that easy to find.

They all bring other things to the table, but at some point goals are important to win games. McPhee has made the Capitals a much more well-rounded team with the moves he’s made this offseason. Look at the team is built and Semin is as important as he’s ever been.

  1. andyreidisfat - Jul 21, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    They should trade him to Florida. That way the Caps will be less likely to finish a head of my Flyers !

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 21, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      hahaha well said my friend. He won’t make-or-break the team’s success. And when I mean success, I mean winning the Stanley Cup. Semin is sooo streaky that he isn’t reliable come playoff time. I’m sure they are listening to all offers: he will command alot in return.

  2. sknut - Jul 21, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    He will be a trade candiate untill he stops being so inconsistent. I doubt the Caps will trade him though, they won’t get back enough in return since he is on a 1-yr deal and any team that deals for him will think he wants his free agency status.

  3. jpelle82 - Jul 21, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    i said it yesterday, caps wont win anything until this cancer is gone. problem is no one else wants him either.

    • bcjim - Jul 21, 2011 at 12:23 PM

      No idea what happened to all the original comments on this story, but, your’re still a trolling dope. No one else wants him, lmao!

  4. capsrockva - Jul 21, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    As a Caps fan I would love to see this inconsistent player to be traded, but the problem is I think the price would be too steep. He commits too many stupid ass penalties during the post-season

  5. watermelon1 - Jul 21, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Alexander Semin is not the cancer on the Capitals. The title belongs to Mike Green. Green is the player that the Capitals need to trade.

    He doesn’t have nearly as much trade value as he did 2 years ago, but getting him out of DC is more important right now than what you get in return.

    With the pieces the Capitals have added, Semin should never be on the same line as Ovechkin. He’ll lead the 2nd line.

    Still can’t believe the Caps let Matt Bradley go though… he was so underrated.

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