While there has not been much reported about the Rangers’ interest in Washington Capitals forward Alexander Semin, the New York Post, as well as many other sources, are speculative after New York Rangers GM Glen Sather spoke about the Rangers' aggressive approach to this year’s free agency.
“The closer to the top you are, you have to be a little more aggressive if you want to get better,” said Sather to the New York Post. “I think we’re going to try to be as aggressive as possible in the free-agent market.”
Much like Nash, Semin’s laser of a shot and his potential for 60-point seasons is appealing. However, he has slumped a bit as of late, putting up a good past season (21 G, 33 A, 54 PTS) but far from the 70-point seasons he is capable of.
In Semin’s defense, tensions and attitudes within his team have surfaced.
The Capitals saw their coach of four years, Bruce Boudreau, get fired and replaced with Dale Hunter at the start of the season. Hunter then also resigned after a strong playoff run to the quarterfinals to spend more time with his family.
The Russian sniper has made it clear he wants out of Washington, a good sign for New York. Unfortunately the Rangers are competing with most of the league to get him.
Semin, like Nash, could provide a great deal of support to the Rangers’ offense.
However, unlike Nash, Semin might not be able to produce on his own.
Semin’s production seems to be relative to that of his teammates. Semin’s slump in the past season was likely a result of fellow sniper Niklas Backstrom’s absence for 40 games with an injury as well as Russian superstar Alexander Ovechkin’s drop in numbers.
There is a heightened risk factor with Semin over Nash, but the rewards could be big for New York.
Semin may not be able to raise Nash’s numbers on his own, but his time in Washington has shown that his production is high when paired with the right teammates.
There is no doubt that, with forwards like Richards and Gaborik at New York’s disposal, the Rangers could find a combination to maximize Semin’s performance.