NHL Free Agency 2012: Could Alexander Semin Be a Fit for Philadelphia Flyers?

Dan AdamsCorrespondent IIIJuly 9, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07:  John Carlson #74 of the Washington Capitals celebrates with teammate Alexander Semin #28 after scoring a goal in the third period against Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 7, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

This offseason for the Philadelphia Flyers has been different than the last one, to say the least.

Instead of any shocking trades or big free-agent signings, the Flyers made a few small pickups. Their biggest move thus far was trading forward James van Riemsdyk to the Toronto Maple Leafs for defenseman Luke Schenn.

The biggest news out of free agency for the Flyers  is what they lost; Matt Carle and Jaromir Jagr have signed with other teams.

Both are replaceable by guys on the team stepping up and getting more ice time, but it means the Flyers have cap space to spend.

According to CapGeek, the Flyers will have $7.8 million before coming to terms with Jakub Voracek, their only restricted free agent likely to get a one-way deal.

This could make them an interesting possibility for talented winger Alexander Semin.

The former Washington Capital is arguably the most talented forward of this year's free-agency class, as his pure skill definitely rivals that of Zach Parise. 

In 469 career games, Semin has put up 408 points, a more than respectable stat.

He has a 40-goal season under his belt, and since his third year in the league he has never had a negative plus/minus.

When you look at it that way, Semin seems like a lock to land a big contract somewhere, and should have been off the market already.

But unfortunately for Semin, that's not how teams look at him. 

They might see the positives, but recently, fairly or not, Semin has become more known for the negatives in his game.

He takes shifts off, lacks effort on defense and has been labeled as lazy.

The other potential roadblock for NHL teams giving Semin a look is this report saying that he has a $10 million per year deal from the KHL. That's nowhere close to what any NHL team is going to offer him to stay.

If Semin wants to stay in the NHL, the Philadelphia Flyers do seem like a good fit for him.

He could slide right onto the top line with Claude Giroux and watch his goal numbers climb back up toward his career high.

His defensive issues can be mitigated the same way Jagr's were, the difference being that Semin has the talent to get back and play defense should he ever choose to.

The leadership in the locker room would help with that, as well as making sure he's coming to play.

Guys like Kimmo Timonen, Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell are all aware their window is closing, and they aren't going to let any player's lack of effort cost them their shot at a Stanley Cup.

Semin would help give that shot a better chance, and if he can stay focused his talent would be a very welcome addition to the Flyers lineup.