By: Joe Veroni
NHL Free Agency has been underway for nearly two weeks and Alexander Semin is still available. He’s the biggest fish left in a very small pond of Unrestricted Free Agents. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter were the consensus top FA prizes on July 1, but Semin is no slouch. Just compare Parise’s career stats to Semin’s and it might be surprising that Semin wasn’t being as highly touted as Parise.
As per Hockey-Reference.com:
Zach Parise – 502 games played, 194 goals (.38 GPG), 410 points (.82 PPG)
Alexander Semin – 469 games played, 197 goals (.42 GPG), 408 points (.87 PPG)
The players are the same age, and Semin has scored more goals and averaged more points than Parise has in their respective careers. So why was Semin not swarmed with the same offers as Parise? The quick answer is Semin’s likeness to the Tin Man – you know, no heart – as he’s prone to disappearing acts when big games are on the line. However, with so few scorers available on the open market it’s hard to believe that a lack of hustle could keep a ridiculous contract offer away from the enigmatic star.
Take into consideration that Parise’s whopping contract puts the Minnesota Wild on the hook for $98M over 13 years (not including $25M in bonuses), a handcuff contract to say the least, and suddenly a 3-to-6 year contract for Semin looks pretty tempting.
The NHL rumour-mill is abuzz with news of Semin receiving a 3-year, $30M offer to play in the KHL. Are there NHL teams willing to match this amount? According to Capgeek.com, the Detroit Red Wings have nearly $17M in cap space available. The Wings have both the space and means to give Semin a strong offer that could keep the winger in North America. And playing alongside countryman Pavel Datsyuk might just make Semin all the more dangerous.
Other teams who are reportedly in on the Semin sweepstakes include the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks.