2011-12 Year-End Review: Alex Semin

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There is no defining Alex Semin. Many men have tried and gone mad in the attempt.

This season, though, Matt Bradley helped us out by distilling the thousands of questions about Semin into only one: Does Sasha care? We spent the rest of the season trying to find the answer, helped by scientific bar graphs, endearing drawings, and caps-locked hashtags. Yet here we are in what could be the last few days of Semin’s career with the Capitals, and we still don’t have the answer. Does Sasha really care? Perhaps we’ll never know.

Cap Hit: $6.7 M. Alex Semin is UFA on July 1st.

Milestones: Semin won his second World Championships gold medal this year and promptly injured himself with it.  He also did his first interview with RMNB! 

Best Moment: Scoring both the first goal of the season and the goal to clinch the Caps a spot in the playoffs.

Things We Said About Alex Semin: “#SASHACARES”; ”Oh look, an offensive-zone stick penalty.”

Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

First Irrelevant Google Images Result:

Media Consensus: Everyone else: “ENIGMATIC.” Mike Milbury: “It’s because he’s Russian.”

Spirit Animal: Alex Semin.

Sasha is his own spirit animal.

Alternate Universe Superhero Identity: The Enigma

Notable Invasions of Personal Space: This year, Semin didn’t sit on as many people, but he did get close with Ovechkin in a goal celebration, play around at practice,  and express his affection for Mike Green.

Team Role: Elite scorer, dynamic top-six player.

Execution of that Role: Alex Semin’s news cycle got started way ahead of the season, when former Cap Matt Bradley gave a frank interview about his effort level that quickly created an all-out media discussion of the same. Semin did an rare English interview that counteracted some of that, but it was another up and down season for #28. He started very, very slowly, with five goals in his first 27 games, but then finally began scoring steadily in the second half of the season. The good moments were dazzling, as always, and Semin was able to show some real defensive commitment as well. He once again failed to reach the heights we have seen in previous seasons, though he was not playing in a system that made it easy for him to do so.

Postseason Performance: Semin had a good first round, tallying three goals against the Bruins in a tight, low-scoring series. Then, in the second round, he had just one assist. We’re almost glad the Caps didn’t make it into the third round, he might have vanished from sight altogether.

Beard Rating:

Semin chose to go with the controversial “don’t grow a beard at all” strategy. N/A.

Likeliness to Return: Three out of ten. Alex Semin is an elite UFA this offseason, and there are mixed messages as to whether or not he’ll consider an offer from the Caps. Do we want him to? Tough call. Semin is one of those guys who makes you think that if you could just harness that pure offensive talent, you could win Stanley Cups until the end of time. So tempting — and besides, we’ve gotten used to having that guy around, we’d miss him.

Usefulness in a Post-Apocalyptic Setting: You know, it’s…hard to say. Perhaps the fear of being eaten by zombies will motivate Sasha like nothing else has ever been able to. ???? out of ten.

Other: Semin was much more talkative in Russian, speaking to us and other reporters about the Canes breaking his chain, not understanding NHL rules, Hunter hockey, and space exploration.

Greatest Semin Interview of the Season: This chat with Jill Sorensen, wherein vital questions were answered, such as whether Sasha’s shoes were comfortable, and whether or not he was going to smile.

Other: His facial expressions have got to be worth $1 M alone.

Overall Year-End Rating: ??????

For statistical analysis of Semin’s season, see Japers’ Rink or Peerless Prognosticator.

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  • MarkkuFromFinland

    hahaha this is the best one. By FAR!

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    NYR blog Blueshirt Banter has a post that cites Neil’s old post on Semin’s perceived inconsistency. They conclude that Semin is very desirable (I agree) and that he’d be a good fit in New York (I do not agree).

    http://www.blueshirtbanter.com/2012/6/19/3095815/2012-nhl-offseason-making-the-case-for-alexander-semin

  • http://twitter.com/kat326 Rachel Cohen

    Oh my god Artnott in the rating. Hahahahaha my sides.

  • Hale

    What is so tiresome in some of the banter I’ve seen from Rangers fans, as well as those of other teams, is the “he doesn’t play defense at all” narrative. This repeating something as if it’s true without really watching or looking for empirical evidence is maddening. I think some people use the PIM stat as a proxy for no defense, which it isn’t.

  • oceanbreeze

    Off topic question:

    We’re considering switching from DirecTV to Dish Network…does anybody happen to know the availability/channel for the Caps games on Dish Network? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Megan

    I have Dish with maybe one step up from the basic package and I get CSN, the NHL network (not that they show any of our games), but not NBCSN.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Some of this is guessing.

    You will probably get CSN, but you are less likely to get CSN+. When the Wizards and Caps are against each other, you’ll miss that game. That happened maybe 15 times two seasons ago (not counting last season ’cause of NBA lockout).

    I have no idea if you’ll get NBCSN. I know they’re reaching out big time to get more coverage for the network, but it’s a work in progress. They’ll cover maybe 10-15 games I’d guess.

    Hope that helps.

  • Sara Bae

    HAHAHAHAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! omg this killed me! hahaha

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1005713165 Pat Magee

    I have Dish, and they do NOT have CSN+, but you can get CSNMA and NBCSN no probs.

  • Rhino40

    O Ana U have done it again…kudos. He must stay, because if he doesn’t, what “index” will we use to rate the players next season?

  • scott

    The Rangers may not have the 7 mill plus its going to cost to sign semin once the resign guys like Peust, Del Zotto, Biron and a few more defesemen right now they only have 4 under contract for next year.

    I think for Semin he wants to go someplace where he will first get paid 7-8 mill be the first line face of the offense and that comes down to 4 times I think Avs, Jets, Yotes, Blues. They all have money to burn in free agency this year and are 1 really good offensive player from fighting for the cup yearly. End of the day I think he ends up in Colorado, he has a familiar face in Varly, Foresburg and Foote gone they need that franchise face, need for a top line left winger. And the most cap space available out of the entire NHL.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I think 7-8 is unlikely unless there’s a serious bidding war. I put him at or around 6, but I’m just pulling that out of my heinie.

  • Hale

    I think 6 might even be high, but who knows? I feel the Wings would be a good place for him if he isn’t going to be here, much to my sadness. I think he could flourish there with Dats. Of course my secret desire for 3 years was for GMGM to somehow pry Dats away from Det for Sasha to play with. Dreams . . .

    I just want him to have success and play to his talent. That is what I like to see, wherever it may be.

  • Dark Stranger

    I also think 7-8 Million is unlikely. More like 5-6. Still, he’d be targeting teams who have cap space, preferable good teams who have cap space but who need help in offense. Teams in that category would be Blues, Yotes, and Predators. With the Predators possibly losing Suter and with the whole Radulov sitatution, I doubt Semin would go there (or that they’d want him). Phoenix — we’ll see how their ownership situation resolves but getting closer. If it were me in his shoes, I would target the St. Louis Blues. They have plenty of cap space, are a rising good team, AND, even during a bad year, Semin’s stats would have been tied for their team lead, so here’s a team who needs offense. (Plus, David Backes has the “face of the franchise” role already.)

    I could understand the appeal of the Avalanche as well. They have Cap space, with other folks being their franchise face. And Stastny and Sasha could click on the same line. Only drawback — how good (or bad) is Colorado expected to be.

  • Liongirl92

    That is as close to defining an enigma as anyone may ever get. Brava.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Those two together scare me.

    I would have expected 28 to get a little over 5M per year if he re-signed with the Caps for a multi-year.

  • Melle

    “Semin chose to go with the controversial “don’t grow a beard at all” strategy. N/A.”Hey now, he grew like….four or five little stubs, that counts for something. And that something is laughter.

    And it’s nice to see that his torrid affair with everyone on the team is still going strong. This is going to be one of the weirdest phrases I’ve ever typed or even thought, but let’s hope there’s more of that in the future.

    srsly sasha come back. you can blame it all on green.

  • Hale

    Could it still happen? As always, the question is what does he want? At least from his position, the coach & team direction matter. Can’t blame him for not wanting to have a repeat of this season in terms of his usage. He was misused, horribly. Also, everyone talking about needing 2 top 6 forwards, but where are they? Who are they? We’re letting one walk whose stats are pretty damn good in his career so far. I understand the new scenery argument, but maybe that happens in place. I think he’s loath to moving. Hate waiting.

  • Savvy

    Best.