The implications of Semin's short-term deal
This week Alex Semin signed a one-year, $6.7 million contract to stay with the Caps through next season. On a Capitals Insider poll, 50 percent of readers are saying they’re happy with the deal because Semin’s offensive skills are an asset to the team. But what do we know about this deal, and is there significance to it being short-term?
We know that the February 28th trade deadline supposedly was not a factor in this contract extension, but that the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement at the end of the 2011-12 season may have been. We know that a long-term discussion was on the table as far as the Caps were concerned, but that Semin opted for a short-term deal, though his agent insists we shouldn’t read into that. Finally, we know that the contract doesn’t include any no-move or no-trade clause, also something I’m sure the team would encourage us not to read into.
The truth is that this post’s title is misleading, because I don’t believe there are many implications in this deal. We Caps fans have been spoiled by Ovechkin and Backstrom’s long-term contracts, so we’re attached to the idea of knowing what our team will look like far into the future. Outside of those examples, though, long-term contracts aren’t really the norm, especially as teams continue to adjust to the salary cap. Sure, most players at Semin’s level will earn a blockbuster contract of some kind eventually, but often at their own insistence.
So why didn’t he demand a large contract? Semin is, I imagine, gambling that his value will increase over the next year, which I think is a reasonable bet. League wide, Semin is underappreciated, largely because he’s so streaky. An unproductive streak and a groin injury in recent weeks combined to leave him not exactly at the top of his game going into these contract negotiations.
Caps fans seem to agree that this was the right move, both for Semin and for the team. Only 12 percent of fans who answered the Insider poll felt that a long-term contract would have been preferable. He is a source of much contention in fan discussions, but I think “I like him, but I wouldn’t go to the mat to keep him here forever,” is a feeling a lot of fans can relate to. A one-year contract that leaves all the options on the table fits that sentiment perfectly.
Do you agree that you like Semin, but you don’t think he’s crucial to the team? How do you think this story ends for Semin? In a trade? A long-term contract here? Free agency at the end of next year?
| January 28, 2011; 2:36 PM ET
Categories: Capitals, Nicole Weissman | Tags: Capitals, Nicole Weissman
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