NHL Trade Rumors: Alexander Semin for Jiri Hudler Is a Perfect Deal for WSH/DET

Robert TheodorsonSenior Analyst IJune 28, 2012

MONTREAL, CANADA - FEBRUARY 4:  Alexander Semin #28 of the Washington Capitals stick handles the puck past Tomas Kaberle #22 of the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on February 4, 2012 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Capitals defeated the Canadiens 3-0.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Yesterday's trade action saw general mangers George McPhee and Jay Feaster agree on a deal that needed to be done.

The Flames acquired offensive defenseman and impending unrestricted free agent Dennis Wideman for a low-level prospect named Jordan Henry and a fifth-round pick (via USA Today).

Not a bad pickup for the Capitals, considering they will have to spend at least $5.2 million on Mike Green and re-sign up-and-coming star blueliner John Carlson to a new deal, not to mention Carlson's defensive partner Karl Alzner, next year.

Focus now turns to another Washington star who might have finally overstayed his welcome.

Alexander Semin has been less than a good soldier for the Capitals, refusing to sign a long-term deal in hopes of achieving the maximum amount of money Washington is willing to dish out for the past couple of years. Due to this fact and a consensus that Semin no longer fits into the Capitals' future plans, it's time to get a return on Semin.

While he is obviously not the best winger available on the open market—that honor belongs to Zach Parise—Semin is without a doubt the best shooter that's been available since Marian Gaborik.

Over in the Western Conference sits Detroit's Jiri Hudler, another impending unrestricted free agent.

One thing Detroit has done successfully on a continual basis is to instill a defensive mindset into all of its players. Hudler is no different, and he fits into the new kind of system that Washington is trying to build—great offense paired with above-average defensive play.

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 23:  Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates a win over the St.Louis Blues with Jiri Hudler #26 of the Detroit Red Wings during their NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on January 23, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Dave
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

The great thing about Hudler is that he's one of those rare forwards who can take the faceoff circle or will match up on either side. If you compare these skill sets to a current Capitals player, think Brooks Laich. While not as physical as Laich, Hudler is the better scorer, but both are willing to play on any line or any position.

Who will replace Hudler? Enter Alexander Semin.

The high-scoring winger will be paired with a no-nonsense coaching staff and organization to instill in him the defensive discipline that the forward has so desperately lacked during his entire tenure in Washington. The Red Wings will also not baby Semin as the Capitals did for so many years if there's even the hint that the Russian isn't giving 100 percent night in and night out.

Detroit needs Semin, but more importantly Semin needs Detroit—not only for his own personal development, but to further improve upon his career.

Today and tomorrow are the only days left before all impending unrestricted free agents are set loose to talk and sign with whomever they so choose.

So for both Washington and Detroit, why not take a gamble?

A one-for-one player swap is a completely fair deal and has the potential to have long-lasting future benefits for each organization. If one or both players decide not to sign with their new suitor, then nothing of value was lost—a player who was going to leave anyways leaves.

However, this deal might just make too much sense to actually happen.