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Posted at 12:09 PM ET, 02/22/2011

Line change: Should the Caps trade Alexander Semin?

By Washington Post Sports Editors

Despite the high level of activity around the NHL as the Feb. 28 trading deadline approaches, the Capitals have been awfully quiet.

General Manager George McPhee hasn't ruled a trade out, but he also hasn't given any clues as to whom he might go after -- be it a second-line center, a defenseman or something else.

The past few seasons for the Capitals have been about winning, and winning now. Entering the playoffs with that in mind, should McPhee consider taking a big risk and moving skilled winger Alexander Semin, who was essentially a non-factor in the last postseason and may be even more out of place now with the new defensive system?

Maybe so, writes Craig Custance of the Sporting News:

After watching the Capitals shut down the Penguins behind solid defense and strong goaltending, it's easy to wonder where sniper Alexander Semin fits into the equation.
As his rival general managers make bold moves, it may be time for McPhee to make the biggest - trade the talented Semin for the kind of impact center or defenseman who would complete the transformation in Washington.
Semin has three goals since Nov. 28, all coming in Washington's 7-6 shootout win over the Ducks. In Monday night's tightly played game against the Penguins, Semin had just one shot. He missed a month with injury, and Alex Ovechkin said that was difficult for Semin, who may still be finding his way.

What do you think about the Capitals trading Semin for the right price?

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 22, 2011; 12:09 PM ET
Categories:  Alexander Semin  
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Next: Matt Bradley helps get Capitals on track against Penguins


For the right price is the key word. I don't want to trade him just to trade him but if we can get a legit #2 center who isn't just a rental of a gritty defensman who isn't a rental then I am all for it.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 22, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure they will be able to get full value for Semin. In exchange for him, they need to get at least a strong center and scoring forward (to replace his scoring) and/or strong D, and I doubt another team is going to take on his salary and inconsistent performance. I think they will have to hope he comes around and look to put together another trade option.

Posted by: capsfan77 | February 22, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

If we could get FLA to trade us Weiss and McCabe and we can throw in MP or a late pick. That would be great.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 22, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

what the hell would we want mccabe for?? don't think he's worth what you're proposing to give up, icehammer

Posted by: hockeypunk | February 22, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 22, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Semin is signed for another full season. trading away a top winger that gives us depth on the offensive side for a Center is just movement laterally. GMGM should be looking to move MP and a prospect/pick to find a Center (someone like Weiss fro FLA) to compliment Semin.

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 22, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Yes, again.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 22, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

YES, trade him to ATL for Bogosian.

Posted by: joek443 | February 22, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

GMGM would trade Semin if the right deal came along. Hopefully OV wouldn't pout about it for too long.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 22, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

A resounding 'YES!'

Posted by: chombie13 | February 22, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Now is the time to make a trade! We don't have a game until Fri so it would give new players a couple practices and a chance to adjust.

Come on GMGM! Lets go!

Posted by: capscoach | February 22, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse


Not many teams win without C depth. You could trade Semin for a C and then a 1st round pick and a prospect for Hemsky. And you are then set.


I like Semin, think he is very talented. But the whole logic of our fan base that thinks he is irreplacable makes NO sense to me. Wingers are easy to find, C's not so much.

Posted by: ThePat | February 22, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

GMGM just keep watching while the East loads up. Keep waiting - maybe Sucky Suckerton will be left by Friday.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 22, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The question is how would this effect Ovechkin? Semin is his best friend and roommate. Granted they make enough $$ that they should understand, but they're still young guys. My guess is Ovechkin may not deal well with it, but I'm just guessing...
Anyway GMGM please do something productive! The potential Backstrom injury now makes the 2C even more important and I'm sure the prices are going up. I hope the team can deal with this, they seemingly had difficulty for a while with the Clark and Jurcina trades last year, and Flesichmann this year.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 22, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Agree that a trade for a legit 2nd line center is a must, but not a rent a player who will leave after the season. Semin has value in that he is signed beyond this year. If the Caps can get a scoring winger like Hemsky AND trade Semin for a legit 2nd line center, then it's worth it doing. If it's strictly a swap of a RW for a Center, we still have the same scoring issues with the 2nd line.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 22, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

NHL teams are afraid of Semin. Hence, the value/return on him is probably not that great. For all anyone knows he'll jump to the KHL if traded. Enigma? You bet!

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 22, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I said on the last thread Semin/Neuvirth for Stasny/Budaj & a 1st or 2nd/3rd.

Stasny is pretty much the same money for 2 additional years. Not the best contract but Budaj falls off after the season and we can get another veteran to back up varly.

Posted by: KAS2 | February 22, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I am convinced after watching Semin play last night he will never put on a Caps uniform ever again.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 22, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

rushingc. Trade with Dallas for Brad Richards and send Semins to Dallas. Will be a good trade.

Posted by: rushingc | February 22, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

if Backs is really hurt and has to miss a significant amount of games, get ready to watch this team go down the toilet.

He's the most irreplaceable guy on this team.

Posted by: joek443 | February 22, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I guess I am the only person that thinks trading Semin for a 2C is just plain dumb. The biggest reason to get a 2C is to feed Semin and get him back on track.

Posted by: Big_Pushy | February 22, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Keeping Semin for Ovie's sake suggests he's an awfully expensive support system for Ovechkin, but it does play into the equation. However, Semin has carried this team for stretches over the past couple of seasons when Ovechkin was not producing; he has that ability. Acquiring a strong 2nd line center becomes less important without Semin or someone of Semin's ability to score from the wing on the second line. Like everyone without number 8 or 19 on their jersey, he is expendable...but it must be for a very strong return.

Posted by: Blueline | February 22, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

so you trade semin for a good 2nd line center, but then he doesn't have a bonafide scorer to dish the puck too??!! doesn't make much sense to me! a line with a better center than either perrault or johanson, but with only laich and fehr on it, too me isn't a very good alternative to what we have now...

Posted by: madmax521 | February 22, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Please quit saying trade Neuvirth. He is signed for the next two years at a small price. Trade Varly before him. That being said, I dont think any of the goalies are being dealt.

Posted by: ThePat | February 22, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Semin for Jordan Stall

Posted by: ChucklesTheFox | February 22, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Craig Custance of the Sporting News

who is that guy? and since when the Sporting News became a good newspaper. just saying. Caps beat handicap Pens last night by one bullet shot. BB system can work with teams like Sabres, healthy Rangers will whole different story

Posted by: beforeitstoolate | February 22, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to hope McPhee does nothing at the deadline just so I can read the comedy that will flow here from all the whiners.

Of course, I'd prefer a good trade: not the horrible proposals I've seen bandied about by the unknowledgables here.

Posted by: GFisher1 | February 22, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

@madmax @BigPushy

Who the heck have Sid and Malkin fed the puck to?? They dont have 40 goal scorers.

How bout the Detroit C's? No 40 goal scorers there.

You need C depth to win in this league.

Posted by: ThePat | February 22, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse


Not many teams win without C depth. You could trade Semin for a C and then a 1st round pick and a prospect for Hemsky. And you are then set.
just like Semin, Hemsky has another year on his contract, so trading either of them isn't a necessity or a priority by either team!

Semin will stay. I'm hoping for Brad Boyes from STL, since they are in trading mode! lol

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 22, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@hockeypunk He would give us leadership and grit on the back end and would allow us to possibly trade 55 if there was interest.

As for trading Semin for a center being a lateral move I think centers are much more important in this league then a wing so trading a good wing for a good center is an upgrade. Guys like Alexei Kovalev can be gotten for very cheap and can replace a scoring wing who isn't physical.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 22, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

trading semin for a second line center would be a monumental blunder.

if gmgm decides to make any moves, it will hopefully be to trade the abundance of ahl-level players that are stacking up with nowhere to go. if they are too good for hershey but not good enough to crack the caps lineup with any success, then it is time to trade them for other veterans or other prospects that might fit in better.

Posted by: bcatron11 | February 22, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"...But the whole logic of our fan base that thinks he is irreplacable makes NO sense to me. Wingers are easy to find, C's not so much." - ThePat

I wouldnt say he is irreplacable (and you know I am a huge Semin fan and advocate for him), just that some on here...scratch that, a lot on here underestimate what he does for the team.

I think the impact of him not being here would hurt the team more than help it. At least when it comes to this year. If we were to move Semin for say a Center (and a D man)...and do nothing else more...10-1 we miss the playoffs. Why do I think this? Our team will go into a slump due to the locker room hit (which I am assuming will stem from a saddened Ovie), then once they shake off that locker room slump, they will not have the secondary scoring to recover and make the playoffs with only 21 games left (assuming like a 5 game skid from the locker room change). First line will be overwhelmed by other teams as they will no longer have to worry about a Semin-esk talented player on the second line. People can believe what they want, but opposing teams know how dangerous Semin is/can be and they have to plan differently when he is in the line up. The minute you dont show Semin the proper respect, he lights you up for 3 goals.

This poster just hopes GMGM can work some magic and bring in a 2nd line center without losing Semin, so he can disprove so many of the naysayers on here...especially come playoffs.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 22, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

IF the right deal is offered? Of course you make the trade.

The question is, what is the real deal for Semin?

Certainly NOTHING that has been floated so far in this thread.

Posted by: CapsNut | February 22, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse


... but you also need Wingers ...

... and that is the reason why the Pens acquired Neal ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 22, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I am convinced after watching Semin play last night he will never put on a Caps uniform ever again.

Posted by: underpants2

You've been saying this for 2 years.

Posted by: ablake70 | February 22, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

We absolutely need to shore up a strong #2 Center. This may be even more important if, Backie really does have a broken thumb.

Posted by: darren.eggerman | February 22, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse


Amen. I dont think people are grasping how important the C position is.

Posted by: ThePat | February 22, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Semin is a special player...just the wrong kind of special player for the playoffs. I have no problem trading him for a great return.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 22, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

The Caps need a 2nd line center and perhaps a top winger or D-man (If they are not going to go after a goalie). Semin represents a piece that could go a long way towards securing one of these. On top of that, he is inconsistent, sloppy in taking penalties, weak when backchecking, will want a huge contract and is a headcase. DEAL THE GUY!!!

Posted by: doughless | February 22, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse


I know you do but you dont need Semin. A winger that can score 18-25 goals is fine if you have a good 2C. And there are plenty of wingers that can do that in this league.

Posted by: ThePat | February 22, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but Ovie's feelings should not be a concern if Semin is traded. Yes, I know they're friends and it always sucks when buddies get separated in the league via trade. But Ovie is a professional, and will play with whomever they bring in. Semin is also a big boy and can make new friends if he goes.
Having said all that, I really hope it is someone ELSE that gets traded, and they get a 2C that is worthy to be on a line with 28. It would be fun to watch.

Posted by: Bmorecaps | February 22, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

It should be pointed out that a "GOOD" 2c would also provide better defense---not just feed Semin who seems to freelance more then looking to play with his line mates.

Posted by: sidehillman | February 22, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse


I know how you view Semin. And if it hits the locker room hard thats fine with me. In fact I think that will wake people up.

Im not saying trade him just to trade him. If there is a 2C available that is a quality player you make the move. And then fill the void on a W with another move of a guy that can score 20-25 goals.

Do you not think our team would be better with that? Versus just having Semin?

Posted by: ThePat | February 22, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Rhino40 | February 22, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Keep Semin, trade somebody/something for Saku Koivu - good, cheap and signed through 2012.

Posted by: sjshanno | February 22, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

you're all nuts

Posted by: hockeypunk | February 22, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps are making a run for the Cup, Semin is not replaceable. The Caps are not a deep as some think and they need his playmaking and scoring to make a run. He's also one of 2 guys on the team that can make the tape-to-tape passes that are so common for other teams. Hmmmm?

Unless the Caps are getting Joe Thorton, the new 2C is not going to turn Laich and Fehr into scoring machines against top 4 Dmen. Also, BB usually moves those two to the 3rd line in the playoffs, so who will play wing on the 2nd line?

If the Caps aren't planning to make a run, of course trade Semin for picks and prospects. And make sure to trade GMGM .

Posted by: ablake70 | February 22, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

LOL some people on here just crack me up. It's so obvious who "sees" hockey and who "watches" it (think White Men Can't Jump reference to listen/hearing Jimi). Im glad their are fans of hockey, fans of the Caps, and some that fall into both categories on here. But really, it'd be nice if some people would LEARN on here, rather than just regurgitate nonsense blindly.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 22, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ThePat | February 22, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

What wingers will score 20-25 goals for the Caps? are you talking about Fehr that did 20 once in his life, and I am not sure will able to do it ever again

Posted by: beforeitstoolate | February 22, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse


Oh, I think it would wake up the locker room for sure. But I still think it would cause an initial funk that we wouldnt be able to recover from.

I also agree, that IF a quality 2C is landed for him, we would HAVE to do another trade for another wing. Because I dont think we have the 25 goal scorer replacement on our current roster (although Fehr may or may not some day). But I also dont think we will get the quality center for Semin that some may think we would. People are comparing us to the Pens in the center department, and there is no way Semin brings in a Malkin or Crosby.

Quality wings are crucial though...lest we forget, the Pens rumors in the off season were would they trade Malkin to bring in a high scoring wing for Crosby. A typical center is more valuable than your typcial wing...but Semin isnt a typical wing, just like Crosby isnt a typical center.

It all comes down to value to the team really. IMO.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | February 22, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I think people forget that the Caps will get Eric Fehr back from injury in a few weeks. He can pick up some of the scoring that would be lost should they trade Semin.

Posted by: rodbestboy | February 22, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

LMAO can you name me a SC winning team led by a winger similar to Semin??

I rest my case. He should have been traded in November when he was scoring all those goals against Tampa.

You don't win with a player who only shows up when he feels like it.

Posted by: joek443 | February 22, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm with all those who think a 2nd-line center is more valuable than Semin, especially in the playoffs.

So, would you trade Semin for...

a) Brad Richards (assuming he's healthy)?

b) Jason Spezza (3 years left on contract at about $7m/yr)

c) and Neuvirth for Stastny and Budaj?

Posted by: SiberianTiger1 | February 22, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Is Scott Stevens available?

Posted by: us11231 | February 22, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think

a) we could lose Richards after this year and be left with just cap space. Got time before we need that. I'm not sure Richards is healthy and he could need more time to adjust to the Caps' system.

b) I don't think Ottawa would deal Spezza, but this is the one that interests me the most. Spezza's the type of playmaker who could really ignite Laich and especially Fehr. Have to look into whether the cap space works in the outyears (i.e. before you have to pay Green, Carlson, others big $).

c) Interesting deal as I love Stastny, but giving away your two biggest trade chips and getting one player back isn't ideal. Don't know that Colorado will give him up since they're out of it and Semin has only one year left.

To me, in order, I'd do b (Spezza), keep Semin, a (Richards, if healthy), and c Stastny.

I think we're more likely to see something like 3 years ago though (Federov, Huet). Something we haven't thought or heard about...

At a minimum, would be nice to get Arnott to shore up second line C. And depth Dman to replace Sloan/Poti as 7th D (or move Erskine there).

Don't need to give up Semin or a goalie for either of those though.

Posted by: SiberianTiger1 | February 22, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

No way. Semin is only one of four players on the team who can create offense by himself (8, 19, and 52 are the others). If the Caps are going to emphasize defense, they have got to send Schultz packing and find a real top 4 defenseman to take his place.

Semin is not playing with players equal to him and it shows. Does anyone honestly believe that Semin would be more productive if he had a top-flight center feeding him?

Hannan has been terrific the last two months and so has Calzner. Erskine has played as well as anyone could have hoped. Partner Green with a real top 4 defenseman and you have a solid core in the back.

Posted by: professorhockey | February 22, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't think trading Semin for a 2nd line center is the answer. Trading Semin creates a problem at wing. It is not wise to fill a hole and then create a hole. Trade picks for the 2nd line center.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | February 22, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

MP and Schultz for Stamkos

Posted by: digster1013 | February 22, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

No, do not trade Semin!

Posted by: summitwalker | February 22, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The question itself shows a little of where Ms. Carrera's sympathies lie.

It's a question of philosophy, really. Is there only ONE way to play in the NHL and succeed? Is that style defined by North Americans? Can the Caps forge their own identity?

When you have a player like Semin, the question shouldn't be "Why doesn't he play more like a Canadian" but "How can we put this highly intelligent and capable player to use?" Semin doesn't like to hit. Neither did Lemieux, Gretzky, Bossy, or Larionov. We cannot get a fair return on Semin so there's no point in trading him, actually. What's the point in acquiring a 2C if there is no winger to feed? Besides Majo has had a full year and is a vastly improved player from the one who began the season. He's already better than Morrison was last year...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | February 22, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

It seems that every time there is some 'tinkering' with the Caps roster - the result is not what is expected. The team doesn't improve - if anything, it goes the opposite direction. Semin is probably one of the most gifted players in the NHL - but because of this "win now" mentality - let's march him off the trading plank next! Of course, if that doesn't produce "instant Stanley" - then what? Oh yes, fire BB - the guy with a .670 winning percentage. Tell me where you're going to find anyone with a better average than that around - you won't. Let the team mature and develop - the Cup will come - maybe not as fast as some would like - but it will happen. Just give it time.

Posted by: hersheybearfan | February 22, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"The question itself shows a little of where Ms. Carrera's sympathies lie."

Interesting comment except that Katie didn't write this article.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | February 22, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Trading Semin would be nuts. And if there are people here who think he is not worth holding onto, what do you think other GMs around the league are going to give up for him? It has to be a 'hockey trade', not a trade for picks and prospects, or forget a cup run, which is the whole reason the team has changed its style of play this be successful in the playoffs! IMO the team has stopped listening to the coach and guys like Semin I think stop listening first. The dude has awesome potential, and unless you're getting a healthy Richards or maybe a Spezza, he is not worth trading! Having said that, since I am a Kings fan as well as a Caps fan, I guess I wouldn't mind if he went to LA. But I dirgess!

Posted by: summitwalker | February 22, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about trading Semin. For starters it doesn't bode well for negotiating with players in the future when negotiating deals that don't tie up cap space for a prolonged period of time, like the annual contracts Semin has received over the past two years.

On top of that I don't know why a team would want to trade for him unless they had a couple of Russians on the team. All indications seem to be that he's still learning English and putting him on a non Russian team seems like a great way for him to feel isolated. He also seems like a prime candidate to bolt for KHL.

Then theres the possibility that trading Semin might affect the Caps ability to acquire talented Russian Players that most teams don't have access to. They'll still have Ovechkin to recruit but seeing Semin get moved around after signing a contract that was a favor to the team could possibly work against them.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid but I just don't think you trade a guy thats signed one year contracts to help the team when he could easily ask and receive a long term deal.

Posted by: Dirtbag359 | February 22, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: hersheybearfan | February 22, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Bruce Cassidy also had high winning percentage with Jagr, Lang and others, but that doesn't mean he was a good coach. Real coach can win in Play-offs, Cassidy and BB just can't. 3 times loosing game 7 and all of them at Verizon Center.

Posted by: beforeitstoolate | February 22, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Sasha - WE KEEP HIM!

These guys can be traded in any combination along with a future pick for what we need: MP85 (lack of size/stregnth), BL21 (lack of scoring), EF16 (lack of toughness) TS89 (not enough skills), TP3(injury prone).

Let's go CAPS!!!

Posted by: DCSportsfanatic1 | February 22, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

i would happily trade semin for a top defenseman and a serviceable forward IF the other team was also forced to take Poti in the bargain. McPhee should be fired for re-signing Poti alone...there isn't a team in the NHL that would have offered TP a two year deal this why the rush to lock him down?? Worst move McPhee has made since Cassidy. As for Semin? I'm bored with this act. He can see how a real coach deals with his off again-on again attitude.

Posted by: dingram3 | February 22, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse


Great post!

Posted by: CapsBaby | February 22, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: prestoj | February 22, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"Bruce Cassidy also had high winning percentage with Jagr, Lang and others, but that doesn't mean he was a good coach. Real coach can win in Play-offs, Cassidy and BB just can't. 3 times loosing game 7 and all of them at Verizon Center."

Don't forget BB's four seasons coaching Manchester in the AHL. ALL of those teams were well over .500 in the regular season and ALL lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Posted by: BartCrashley | February 22, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm! Hard to tell without seeing what we would get for the trade. What I am concerned about is Semin's inconsistency. He can be a non factor on the team for very long stretches of time (and this has included playoffs). Ovie, even in his worst slumps, contributes to the team in a million ways. Semin is completely absent when he does not play well. In fact he takes many penalties so I would say his contribution is in the negative if he is not on. I see Semin contribute to the team in specific situations (mainly when he scores). Ovie has an impact on the team beyond specific situations and scoring.

Unless Semin could be developed into more of a team player and a consistent presence, I would trade him for a consistent, experienced, high impact player.

Posted by: caraveli | February 22, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

".....As for Semin? I'm bored with this act. He can see how a real coach deals with his off again-on again attitude."

Imagine Mark Messier as the captain of the Caps (in his prime or not). I've heard the stories of him confronting players privately (sometimes physically) who weren't giving consistent effort. Do you really think he would have put up with someone like Semin??

Posted by: BartCrashley | February 22, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

For the right price, ANYONE is up for trade, so of course the answer is yes. Problem is, nobody is going to give value for an elite talent who also is moody and wildly inconsistent. Is there anyone out there offering up a young Rod Langway or Dale Hunter (we should be so lucky)? Don't think so.

Posted by: DC2Dallas | February 22, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

You all know what's going to go down, IF he's traded.
He'll go somewhere and magically perform like a star-just like Fleishmann did after his trade.
Otherwise, maybe if we shuffle the lines....

Posted by: jim73 | February 22, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Trading Semin - well only if what we got in exchange was more than sufficient. What's the point in trading him away for a 2C if not to give Semin a 2C to work with? If GMGM could find a deal that would return both a center and a wing that could play on one of the top 2 lines - that would be a minimum, and then you're basically talking about trying to trade for nearly the entire 2nd line. Who would have that to give up to us?

Semin would be too valuable to trade for what may turn out to be a short term need. If MJ90 really turns out to be the 2C he seems on course to becoming, that need will solve itself, probably next year. For this season I'd still look to get a 2C but Semin would not be my first choice to give up. May be an impossible task at this point since everyone in the league would know the monster they would be creating by giving us a 2C to unleash him.

Posted by: dcunitedfan3 | February 22, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

But we will be w/o the Semin Hat-trick:
A goal
A penalty
And him falling down on his own with the puck

Posted by: Shiba-fussa | February 22, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

i totally agree with ablake70.

the Caps are not as deep as people think offensively, and i don't think we can score in the playoffs enough to make a deep run.

i'm not sure i get all of the criticism of semin. do you think the same bad habits would exist if mike babcock was his coach??? he's been coddled and catered to, which doesn't lend itself to great things.

last year in the playoffs, he got a lot of shots and just didnt score. it's not like he logged a ton of ice time and being invisible.

if he's gone....who scores for us???

Posted by: capitalsfan47802 | February 22, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Why are we having this discussion?

If the right deal comes along Semin as well as anyone can be traded, after all Gretzky was traded. Having said that I think it is highly unlikely that the Caps would be able to get an acceptable return value. The KHL issue may make GMs reluctant to make a deal for him or lessen his value. So, I think it's highly unlikely Semin will be traded.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | February 22, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The time to trade Semin is the offseason.

Right now the teams that would take Semin are ones we are competing against.

Out West the only potential deal I can see is for Brad Richards from Dallas.

He is 30 and still a very productive player who will need a new contract.

He has the type of postseason experience the Caps are looking for and he is really a #1 center so with Backstrom the team could have centers #1A and #1B.

That would help in competing with the likes of the Flyers and Bruins.

There is always the risk though that the Caps aren't able to work out a long-term deal for Richards and he walks.

But then again it is almost a surety that Semin will depart after next season.

At some point the 26 year old will want a multi-year deal and at that point it will be after another 40 goal season where his value is high.

So, if the Caps can't afford to resign Richards they won't be able to resign Semin after 2011 either.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | February 22, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Sure, how about for Scott Walker and Corvo?

On 2nd thought, NO !!

Semin, with whatever frustration he might bring, is an exceptional talent that is not easy to find. You really can't replace him straight up.

A trade would haunt the Caps for years.

Posted by: orson72 | February 22, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse


You are absolutely right.

You are also absolutely right.

I kinda wonder if Caps fans are a little fragile sometimes. There consistently seems to be very little patience.

Posted by: orson72 | February 22, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Seems like all this time some of you have been crunching your family jewels, itching to find a time to voice your distaste for Alexander Semin. Nice. Otherwise, when he's scoring goals (did you forget about that recent hat trick?) while Ovi's not, somehow we don't hear from you. We applaud your bravado. Now, go back to crunching your jewels. As always, you contributed nothing to the discussion. Yeah, I'm looking at you shiba-fussa.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 22, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Y'all are just plain dumb. DO NOT TRADE SEMIN. He's only been playing poorly lately because he's been injured. He'll preform when he's healthy in the playoffs.

When healthy, the guy is a top-20 scorer in the NHL consistently. It would be stupid to trade him.

Posted by: GoUnited | February 22, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I like Semin, and I think that he adds more to the team than most of you are admitting to. I think he has definite room for improvement in the more heavily back-check-minded system that has been implimented since he left and came back, but his threat level on the ice forces other teams to match up the d pairings differently which tilts the ice more in the caps favor; especially important with the caps not producing offensively with any consistency. Trading AHL prospect players will garner more value to a team trying to rebuild. That would be a win-win.

Posted by: caps_hawks | February 22, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Ach - apologies Katie! Yes, article not written by her...

Why is trading Semin a bad idea? For one thing, where would he be useful? He can be useful here, but since he probably can't be elsewhere, what would another team give us for him?

The real question is this: are there any two trades this team can make will give us a better chance of winning the cup this year? Getting Brad Richards would definitely do it. Reghere, yes. Not sure there's anyone else. No one else I've seen can make that difference.

Dallas traded Neal to Pittsburgh. To make a similar move, the Caps would've had to part with Carlson. Smart? The trades we didn't make in these last few years have gotten us Carlson, Johannson, Orlov, and Kuznetsov. I'm thinking we're doing well keeping the picks, myself...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | February 22, 2011 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see him traded but not sure there is a good enough deal out there. He just doesn't fit into our new scheme. He is to streaky and unpredictable, takes lousy penalties, hasn't really meshed with any of our centers and was very is questionable as a post season player.

If you trade him though, you really have to get two players, a second line center and a new right winger so you would have to give up draft picks most likely.

Posted by: congero | February 22, 2011 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Folks keep talking about Gretzky being traded. For those who were too young to remember the owner of The Oilers was in big trouble financially and needed capital. Learn the facts. He did not want to trade Gretzky. He had to trade him. Look it up. In a normal circumstances he would never have done that.

Posted by: pkme | February 22, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

No one on this blog seems to notice that Semin has been playing hurt since early-December and he carried the team the first two months of the season. Other teams scout too and am sure they realize Semin won't be much help this year and has an extra year on his contract. Not to mention he's been forced to play with two rookie centers most of the season. His early season scoring was done when playing on the Ovechkin and Backstrom line where he could be set up.

I saw both of this hat tricks against TB and all but an empty net goal were off of setups from Backstrom or Ovechkin. Wonder what he would do with a topflight 2nd line center to set him up. Not to mention that Laich is not a real scorer and would be playing on the 3rd line if we had a better left wing.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 22, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

here is one version of the gretzky trade. Of course Pockington does not have the best reputation recently.

Gretzky tradeOn August 9, 1988, Pocklington shocked hockey fans by trading Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, $15 million cash, and the Kings' first-round draft picks in 1989, 1991 and 1993. One member of the Canadian House of Commons demanded the government block the trade, another man burned Pocklington in effigy, and Gretzky's bride, actress Janet Jones, was branded hockey's Yoko Ono.

There is debate as to whether Gretzky "jumped" or was "pushed." A book by former Kings owner Bruce McNall quotes Pocklington as saying Gretzky had become impossible to deal with since he began dating Jones, who let it be known that she was not going to live in Edmonton after they got married. Pocklington claims he has had only nice things to say about the couple, yet he has repeatedly defended the trade as being a sound business decision that he would not hesitate to make again. However, he would later admit the trade to be a difficult decision, but necessary to keep the team financially afloat. [4]

Posted by: pkme | February 22, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I get what everyone is saying as Semin has had these knocks against him since day one it seems. That said, I think we would be nuts to let him go as in addition to the other "elements" everyone seems concerned about, star scoring depth is key, and Semin is a star. He is also not near the defensive liability many seem to have pigeon holed him as- in fact, to the contrary, his maturation on penalties and defense has been strong. Personally, I think trading his is nuts. Rent Arnott and a D man for MP, Beagle, Holtby, some picks, etc. So quick we are to criticize- and we can't plan on playing 1-0 games forever. Keep him with the core.

Posted by: cleahy1 | February 22, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse


Really thoughtful and intelligent post. Well said. I agree. Is there anywhere in The NHL where Semin would not be on the first line. With The Capitals he is 2nd line. I think it would be more interesting to put MJ as a center to OVI with Knuble on the side. Put Backstrom with Semin and rotate those combos around. I know there has been some of that but I think it should maybe be more permeanant.

Posted by: pkme | February 22, 2011 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Caps can't trade Semin. A 30-40 goal scorer is gold in this league, whether he produces in the playoffs or not. If McPhee does deal him, he has to get back a lot (i.e., huge multi-year contract) in return. That player coming back to Washington would have to be a real difference maker.

Without stat checking, the number of guys who have scored 30 or more goals in three seasons with the same team is probably fewer than the number of teams in the league. Meaning if you have two, it's a big deal.

Frankly, the Caps can't win with Mike Green as their #1 D. I hate to say this but McPhee will trade anyone to make his team better, outside of AO, Green or Backstrom.

Posted by: pga6 | February 22, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Semin is a really decent special teams players also. Some folks ride him for everything single mistake he makes. I think some people really go after him for the sake it is popular to bash him.. Kind of like people always going after Larry Murphy. I always thought it was off the mark and somewhat insincere and misinformed in that case also. All those naysayers may regret Semin not being a part of this team if he is gone. He is still playing hurt and in my opinion is at about 60%.

Posted by: pkme | February 22, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Green not the issue with this team either. They are a really young team and they will evolve. This team will be scary good next year.

Posted by: pkme | February 22, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Mark my words the Caps will win The Cup next year. They should keep Semin through next year. He just needs to heal. And 30-40 goal scorers are a rare in the NHL anymore. How many will there be this year?

Posted by: pkme | February 22, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse


jeeeeezuz i hope your right!!!!!!!

Posted by: capitalsfan47802 | February 22, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Despite the issues this year I really believe The Caps will get to the conference finals this year (They would lose). They are moving in the right direction. They are playing with ten times more discipline than last year. Tighter, better team hockey and they are moving up. Yes it has been really painful to watch them this year. Other than a couple of games even when they lose it is a one goal game. Still have questions about BB at the helm like many others.

Posted by: pkme | February 22, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

FOr the record, Im in the crowd that DOESNT want to trade Semin.. But I do have to wonder.. Given his poor play last year in the playoffs, as well as this year, and his anual 20 game injury, is there really a GM out there who would give away one or 2 of their top players to get Semin and his 6.7m salary?? Im not sure there are.. (Cause we certainly dont trade him for picks and pospects..It has to be for high caliber, established player(s))

Posted by: mickstix | February 22, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: pkme | February 23, 2011 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Trade MP and/or Nuevy? Some of you are smoking something. Def trade Varly before Neuvy and there is no way I would trade MP.

Posted by: C-A-P-Scapscapscaps | February 23, 2011 5:55 AM | Report abuse

Dustin Bufyglien from Atlanta would be sweet. U get big guy and big time scoring

Posted by: raimolaiti | February 23, 2011 8:13 AM | Report abuse

2C + scoring RW for Semin is a good deal.

But unless Caps make a long run in PO, nobody will want this deal.

And to make a long run a 2C is required. Well, it's a good puzzle

Posted by: Michael01a | February 23, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Why would this even be a question? You aren't gong to get anyone close to as good as Semin in a trade. We all saw how terrible the team was after we traded Flash, imagine what the offense would look like after losing its #2 scorer. Also, Semin wasn't nearly as bad in the playoffs as people are saying - he got a ton of shots off and most of them were good shots, but we never had anyone in front of the net for deflections or rebounds. I blame the coaches for the playoff loss more than Semin or the other players.
While we're at it, then, we should probably trade 52 as well since he was 10x worse than Semin in the playoffs. Funny, I don't hear many people calling for him to be traded.
Who would score besides the 1st line and an occasional goal from EF/MJ/MP/BL? We need more than one line that can score or there is no hope for the playoffs.

Posted by: landocalrissian | February 23, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Trading Semin is madness. If you trade him, we might as well not get a 2LC, because who the hell is he going to feed if Semin isnt around? Some scrub that we get as a throw in on the Semin trade?

Posted by: oldcharon | February 23, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Semin played 46 games this season - scored 21 goals 12 of thous came in 4 games ,and if you subtract 12 goals from his total of 21 you will find out that he scored only 9 goals in 42 games he played this year !!! THIS is NOT a good average for player of his CALIBER . Just get rid of him ! He is the most talented player on Caps team - no joke , bat very selfish , lazy , and inconsistent he can`t understand -- main goal for this team is Stanley Cup , Semin regularly non factor in playoffs ! Very hard to believe his approach will change this year . The time is now for GM to make good changes !!!!

Posted by: knopka | February 23, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Right now, I think the trade with Colorado seems like the best bet. Stastny is their leading scorer, although he's down from last year. I feel like his numbers will go up in D.C., especially if we can somehow get Holtby and Matty P involved in the trade. Maybe we can give them Poti too. I don't think GMGM is going to give up Neuvy too easily, especially with his stellar performances against the Penguins the past two outings, since it's looking like we're going to be playing them in the first round of the playoffs. That, and Varly is in a constant battle with injuries.

Trading Semin would be a SERIOUS hit to our already floundering power play. It's going to take a wake up call to the PP first shift to realize that our successes on the man advantage earlier in the season was due to the triangle set ups from Semin, Ovie, and Backs.

If there was some way we could get Jokinen from the Canes for cheap, he could help us on the second shift, because as far as I'm concerned, the second shift is way too "grinder", we need finesse to score on the PP right now. Stastny, Knubs, and Jokinen could potentially be a very decent second shift, especially with Ovie and Green on the blue line.

But then again, we have to worry about Green in the playoffs, as well as Semin (if we keep him). Poti should've been let go, and Corvo would've been a better fit. Right now, we could probably deal Schultz and throw in Sloan, and get a real defenseman like Willie Mitchell from the Kings, who GMGM was seriously considering getting this past offseason. If we could dump off some salary space, we always have a chance.

Then again, we could just continue developing our AHL studs, and make more runs for the Stanley Cup after this year. We don't want to end up like the Blackhawks who stacked up their roster with talent and had to deal Byfuglien, Niemi, etc. after their SC run. Johannson could develop into a stud 2C, just give him a few years. He's a speedy skater, and he can score, and deal. He's not bad on the PP either.

Posted by: md23terps11 | February 23, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The Flyers just put Zherdev on waivers. Make the deal for Stastny now, and pick up Zherdev off waivers.

Posted by: md23terps11 | February 23, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps were going to trade Semin it should have happened a couple of months ago. It's too close to playoff time and will effect the team internally. Look at the effects of previous trade deadline moves. Both goalies need to stay, neither are whinning about not being #1 and seem to like the 50/50 split in the net.

My money is on GMGM doing nothing and riding this team as far as it will go. They get knocked out early, he'll claim is was a building year considering the youth (goalies, defense and centers) in the lineup.

The cup will not reside in DC this year. Maybe 2011-12.

Posted by: ttenner | February 23, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we can trade Ovechkin, Backstrom and Green since they are all also not having their greatest season. What a stupid article to even bring this up. He's now the 2nd goal scorer, with Ovi just breaking past him because he's been out due to injury. I don't get Caps fans or the press. They will sell you out in an instant if they can.

Posted by: gr8gozo | February 23, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse

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