According to recent reports, the Ottawa Senators have pursued Rick Nash, only to find out that he didn’t want to play there. They then turned their attention to Bobby Ryan, but they aren’t the only ones that want the Ducks’ winger.
Could Plan C be Alexander Semin? The Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan thinks it should be.
As things stand right now, the Ottawa Senators are one of several teams that are below the salary cap floor, so one way or another, they need to fix that. Adding Semin would solve that issue while providing them with a player who is good for 20 goals and 50 points even in a bad season.
As mentioned earlier, the knock on Semin seems to be related more to his reputation than his than his statistics. There’s also likely a disconnect between the kind of money he thinks he’s worth and what NHL teams are willing to give him.
Still, the Ottawa Senators are the type of team that are in a good position to roll the dice on Semin. Brennan argues that they have the players in place to show Semin the ropes and impart some wisdom on him if the common sentiments about him prove to be accurate.
In particular, fellow countryman Sergei Gonchar might be a positive influence on Semin in the same way that he was for Evgeni Malkin. During his Hart Trophy acceptance speech, Malkin took the time to thank Gonchar for his help when they were playing together in Pittsburgh.
If Semin is willing to accept a one-to-two year contract, then the Senators will also mitigate their risks in the event that things don’t work out. For a team that’s moving in the right direction, but is still going through a transitional phase, it might make sense for the Senators to be the ones to roll the dice on him.