Tag: NHL Trade Rumors

Alex Semin

Alex Semin is working hard but lacking results


Washington Capitals forward Alex Semin had plenty to prove coming into the new season. Much of it to former teammate Matt Bradley.

Bradley, now with Florida, ripped into the 27-year-old Russian over the summer, saying Semin is “one guy who has so much talent, he could easily be the best player in the league, and just for whatever reason, just doesn’t care.”

Bradley has since apologized for his comments, but let’s face it, he meant what he said. It’s not like he’s the only one who’s voiced that opinion. He just did it in public.

Semin’s slow start to 2011-12 isn’t helping his case. In 12 games, he has just two goals and five assists.

Caps coach Bruce Boudreau, however, is sticking up for his much-maligned player.

“He’s working harder,” Boudreau said, as reported by CSNWashington.com. “He’s more committed to doing what he’s supposed to be doing. You don’t see the real big lapses where he’s staying out on the ice for long periods of time.”

Semin’s lack of production has flown somewhat under the radar in DC with other stories like the Caps’ seven-game winning streak to kick off the season and Alex Ovechkin blatantly swearing at his coach receiving most of the attention.

But it’s no secret that Semin is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. And with the Capitals no longer struggling to score like they did in 2010-11 when they were learning how to play defense, you have to wonder if they’ll really need a player of Semin’s ilk come playoff time. A trade isn’t likely to happen at this point in the year, but it’s a situation worth monitoring leading up to the trade deadline.

I suppose the answer to the question of whether the Caps should consider dealing Semin is…depends if anyone would want him. Also, how badly they’d want him. A $6.7-million cap hit isn’t the easiest thing to move, but it’s not impossible, particularly late in the season when most of the actual salary has been paid out. Detroit and Boston are among the teams that could make room if they had to, assuming they don’t do anything else. If Dallas has a new owner in place and the Stars are still in a playoff position by late February, maybe that’s a destination.

Semin’s talent is undeniable. He had 28 goals last season in 65 games. There would be a market for his services.

Chicago decides their goaltending is just good enough to be ok

Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada relays that Scotty Bowman has told FAN that the Chicago Blackhawks are not in the market for a goaltender.

It’s going to be both fun and insanely scary to see Blackhawks fans’ reaction when Chicago starts falling apart in the postseason because of goaltending. While the Blackhawks have been one of the best in the NHL all season long in teams goals-against, you have to wonder how much of that is due to the high level of defense playing in front of the goaltenders.

Antti Niemi is certainly solid and Cristobal Huet has been…ok. People will point to Huet’s 2.31 GAA and say “See!!!! He’s doing good! He’ll be fine!”

But Huet has just a .902 save percentage and Niemi has a .910. Not exactly elite level and is a much better example of the level of goaltending Chicago is hoping to get to the Stanley Cup with. While there aren’t exactly world beaters available on the market, you’ve still got some good options: Jaroslav Halak, Tomas Vokoun, maybe even Dwayne Roloson.

All have to be better options than Niemi or Huet, right? Surely this is just a case of the GM blowing some smoke on deadline day, not wanting to seem desperate.

Penguins on the verge of landing Alexei Ponikarovsky

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Poni.jpgView imageTSN’s Bob McKenzie just reported that the Pittsburgh Penguins have won the Alexei Ponikarovsky sweepstakes, though Pittsburgh still needs to cross the ts and dot the lower case j’s. That didn’t take long, did it?

“Sources tell TSN a deal is in place for forward Alexei Ponikarovsky to be traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for prospect Luca Caputi but at this point, Pittsburgh has to move a contract for salary cap reasons first.

Sources say the deal may be completed tonight.”
As I wrote in the last post, Ponikarovsky brings a solid mix of size, skill and two-way play at a reasonable cap hit. My guess is that he could be a decent fit alongside Evgeni Malkin, who is struggling a bit this season (if you call 65 points in 55 games “struggling” that is).
Toronto Maple Leafs fans might want a little more insight on prospect Luca Caputi. Since my analysis basically begins and ends with “funny name” I’ll leave it to the guys at Hockey’s Future.
“Caputi has all of the physical tools to develop into a power forward at the NHL level. At 6-2, 184 pounds, Caputi’s game is based upon paying a price physically. He scores a lot of his goals from in front of the net, and is more than willing to muck it up in the corners. One area where Caputi must improve is his skating, where his initial stride is not as quick as it needs to be.”

[Update at 11:10 pm EST] – The deal is official. The updated trade is Ponikarovsky for Caputi and Martin Skoula. As many have said, Skoula was traded mainly to clear salary cap space.