NHL Trade Talk: Possible Trade Scenarios for Alexander Semin
For Washington Capitals sniper Alexander Semin, it's a contract year. While he's not off to a scorching-hot start, you can expect him to record a pretty big year for the Caps, as he'll be looking to fetch top dollar come next summer.
Through 16 games in this young season, Semin has registered a mere three goals and five assists. Along with those eight points goes 24 penalty minutes, which may explain why his production is currently down—he's spending a lot of time in the sin bin.
With the Caps only having just about no cap space to work with and Semin being in the last year of his $6.7 million deal, it seems very likely the Caps will try to get some return on Semin to help make a playoff run once the trade deadline rolls around.
Now that players like Marcus Johansson and Cody Eakin are looking to blossom into full-time regulars for the Caps, Semin's departure won't come as nearly a big of a loss as it would have a couple years ago perhaps.
Washington could receive a healthy return from a number of teams for Semin's services.
Semin to the Music City
We all know the fiasco that Nashville Predators GM David Poile is dealing with right now, in having to re-sign two franchise players. With that being said, the Predators currently have the second-lowest salary in the league, with around $14 million in cap space.
If the Preds wanted to strike a deal for Semin to boost their offense, which wouldn't be a bad option, they could also solve the problem of the pending contracts to Weber and Suter.
In return for Alexander Semin, the Caps' asking price will surely be a high one if they are to trade him at the deadline. Some sort of packaged deal involving Ryan Suter or Shea Weber would surely fit that bill perfectly.
Shipped off to St. Louis
The St. Louis Blues have some decisions to make regarding contracts come the end of this season, with the likes of veterans Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner set to become unrestricted free agents after signing one-year deals.
Defenseman Barret Jackman will also be unrestricted. Restricted free agents David Perron, Chris Stewart and T.J. Oshie will likely warrant nice raises, too.
However, the Blues could use some help up front. They don't currently have a guy with the scoring touch that Alexander Semin possesses. Currently, the Blues have $9 million in cap space, so making a move for Semin might not be a bad option.
Trading away one of the three aforementioned restricted free agents may be the only option as far as cap space goes and as far as the Capitals' demands go.
To the Detroit Red Wings
Newsflash: The Detroit Red Wings aren't getting any younger.
The NHL's oldest team has been a dominant force in hockey for decades now. However, with Pavel Datsyuk at age 33, Henrik Zetterberg at 31, Johan Franzen at 31, Todd Bertuzzi at 36 and Tomas Holmstrom at 38, the Red Wings may want to begin thinking about long-term top-six options.
Alexander Semin may be a potential option there. Semin plays the type of game that the Red Wings have relied on for so many years now: skilled.
While it seems somewhat unlikely, simply because Detroit GM Ken Holland usually doesn't make these kind of deals, it wouldn't surprise me if the Wings struck a deal for the Russian sniper.
The connection with Pavel Datsyuk would likely be an attractive feature for Semin to play in the D, too. Perhaps trading a packaged deal with Jiri Hudler, Jonathan Ericsson and a higher draft pick would fit that bill, depending on a variety of factors, including the offers being made for Semin at the time.
Long Island Semin
If there's one thing I've learned about the New York Islanders, it's that wild moves should not be surprising.
Obviously, that was mostly the former management in charge, but Rick DiPietro's lifetime contract still sticks out like a sore thumb.
So with a top unrestricted free agent set to hit the market, the Islanders have plenty of trade bait available at their disposal. Nearly all their defensemen are set to become unrestricted free agents, and they have a few forwards up front who will also need new contracts.
Brian Rolston's $5 million deal will come off the books, as well, much to their relief.
Evgeni Nabokov surely has potential to be dealt, since the Isles made it pretty evident with the aforementioned contract that DiPietro is their No. 1 guy. The Caps already have Tomas Vokoun, but with Nabokov, they would have two very solid goaltenders, and who doesn't want that?
Perhaps a player like Kyle Okposo could find his way over to Washington in a packaged deal. There's no doubt the Capitals would ask for a player like the 30-goal scorer Matt Moulson, who is budding into a top-six forward for the Isles.
It may be better for Washington to wait until summer to see what happens, rather than splurge at the deadline, especially if they remain out of playoff contention.