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NHL Trade Rumors: Would Alex Semin Be a Good Fit for the Vancouver Canucks?

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29:  Alexander Semin #28 of the Washington Capitals against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Verizon Center on March 29, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Alexander Semin #28 of the Washington Capitals against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Verizon Center on March 29, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Andrew EideCorrespondent IAugust 20, 2011

According to hockey rumor-monger Eklund, the Vancouver Canucks have an interest in trying to acquire Alexander Semin from the Washington Capitals. If this rumor were true, would it be a good fit for the Vancouver Canucks?

Now, before we go too far down this road, it should be noted that Eklund seems to have heard from "sources" some sort of crazy rumor every day. Some come true; most do not. There may not be much juice to this Canucks-Semin story.

But, since we are in the dog days of summer and the 2011-2012 NHL season is still over a month away, let's look at whether this deal would make sense on the ice.

Vancouver is in desperate need for a top six forward, and specifically, one who could play on Ryan Kesler's wing.

Would Semin fill that need?

From a talent standpoint, yes.

Semin is one of the more talented players in the league. Since 2006, he has averaged just over 33 goals a season. That alone makes him an interesting match for the Kesler line.

Those are sniper numbers.

If you look deeper, however, Semin is not a very good match for the Canucks.

For starters, last year, he saw a dramatic decline in his production. He dropped from a 40-goal, 84-point player in 2009-2010 to a 28-goal and 54-point player last season. 

That is a pretty steep drop in production.

The Capitals as a whole saw a decline in their offensive numbers; even Alex Ovechkin saw his numbers go down. The prevailing wisdom is that this had to do with Washington deciding to focus on the play in their own end more instead of the free-wheeling circus they were in prior years.

Would Semin be able to get back over 30 goals with the Canucks? Possibly, but what happened last year raises some doubts.

Then there is the recent comments by former Capitals winger Matt Bradley. Bradley called out Alex Semin in a radio interview last week, claiming the Russian "just doesn't care."

Those are pretty damning words, and who knows if they are true or if Bradley is just lashing out at the team that failed to re-sign him. Chances are, it is a little of both.

For a team that already is fighting an image of being soft or lacking heart, you have to wonder if a guy whose ex-teammates claim doesn't care about winning is the type of player the Canucks need.

The simple answer is that he isn't. 

Whether Bradley's comments are accurate or not, Semin is a player who relies on finesse and high level of skill. In many ways, he is similar to Henrik and Daniel Sedin.

That's not what Vancouver needs more of. What they need is more grit, more sandpaper and more guys who will stand up for themselves and the team.

Alex Semin is not that player.

Even after all that, you have to wonder what Vancouver would have to give up to get Semin in the first place.

It seems unlikely that Washington would be interested in goaltender Corey Schneider after they brought in Tomas Vokun this offseason. The Canucks would be looking at trading a package of other players.

This doesn't seem to add up well.

With all that said, it seems very unrealistic that Vancouver is interested in Alex Semin and that this rumor is just that, a rumor.

It appears as though the search for Vancouver's new sniper will have to continue.

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