The Pittsburgh Penguins would be insane to sign Alex Semin.
With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the fold, the Pens are just a piece or two away from contending for the Stanley Cup Finals again. Semin isn’t that piece, and signing him would be a grave mistake.
Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that the Russian left wing is interested in signing with the Penguins. He tweeted:
Alex Semin's agent, Mark Gandler: "No question, playing in Pittsburgh would be great. Alex would love to play with either Malkin or Crosby."— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) July 6, 2012
Pittsburgh should say, “No thank you,” and move on.
Semin is a talented player, but Crosby and Malkin are too valuable to sign such a loose cannon. They just finished the 2011-2012 campaign with 51 wins. If you don’t need to roll the dice on Semin, you shouldn’t—and the Penguins don’t.
You gotta have a really, really strong group. There's an old NHL General Manager that says, “Either take a guy that's a complete winner or a complete loser.” And he falls in that category. Maybe they can change him. I don't like it…you don't change that much. I'd be cautious.
Remember, this is the same player who dissed Crosby a few years back. He asked Dmitry Chesnokov of Sovetsky Sport (via Yahoo! Sports):
“What's so special about [Crosby]? I don't see anything special there. Yes, he does skate well, has a good head, good pass. But there's nothing else.”
Semin wasn’t done, though. He continued his roast (via Yahoo! Sports):
"I think that if you take any player, even if he is 'dead wood,' and start promoting him, you'll get a star. Especially if he scores 100 points. No one is going to care about anyone else. No one is going to care whether he possesses great skill. Let's say you put someone in front of the net and let him deflect pucks in, and he scored 50 goals; everyone will say 'Wow!' and then hand him a $10 million per year contract. That's what they like here."
Again, Pittsburgh can't sign Semin.
They must think things through before they make a major signing. Sure, they missed out on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Because of that, the Pens may be tempted to pull the trigger on a bold move to make up for the misses, but they must resist.
If they sign Semin, they’ll regret it. His attitude will tear them apart.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.