“I have no idea what I’m talking about.”
The NHL Network was super awesome today. They aired TSN’s three-hour Free Agent Frenzy special, in which there was precious little frenzying. As a result, TSN’s panel of uh, experts— Pierre McGuire, Marc Crawford, Ray Ferraro, and host James Duthie– had nothing to talk about. So they dumped on former Capital Alex Semin.
Huge thanks to @TrevorCampbell8 for the video.
James Duthie: I want to talk about two of the intriguing names still left on the board. Let’s start with the forward Alexander Semin. It is the skill that nobody on this board can question. If you actually look at his numbers compared to Zach Parise’s over the last few years, if you just go purely by goals — we’re not comparing him to Zach Parise as a player — but the numbers hold up very well between Alexander Semin and Zach Parise as far as goals scored: 31 to 38; 32 to 26; 45 to 34; and 38 to 40. Very, very similar numbers. Would you take a chance on Semin?
Marc Crawford: The difference is: one guy has a ton of character, the other guy has no character [exaggerated hand motions]. One guy scores 30 goals and doesn’t help his team and the other guy scores 25 goals, but helps [his team] in every single way. So yeah, I would sign him, but he’s going to be banished to a place like Columbus or something, and that’s what those guys do, head to the island of misfit toys [evil laugh].
Ray Ferraro: What about if he goes to a place where he respects the people around him?
Marc Crawford: I feel like a place like Detroit could bring him in and surround him with a Datsyuk. You gotta have a really, really strong group. There’s an old NHL General Manager that says,”Either take a guy that’s a complete winner or a complete loser.” And he falls in that category. Maybe they can change him. [Gets skeptical look on his face.] I don’t like… you don’t change that much. I’d be cautious.
Ray Ferraro: I guess if you’re desperate for the one shot then he can give it to you. But he doesn’t give you a whole lot else.
Pierre McGuire: This is not a great teammate. I’ll tell you that right now, not a good guy to have around your group unless you have unbelievably great leadership and rely on that. He’s the ultimate coach killer, that’s what he is.
All four guys: [Nod in agreement]
Wow. Where do we start?
This is the first time I’ve heard Alex Semin called a “coach killer.” I thought that distinction went to his other Russian (now ex-) teammate Alex Ovechkin. And how precisely does one decide that “this guy has no character” — and everyone on the board casually agrees — without knowing the guy? Instead of developing some kind of insight, it seems like Crawford just ran this equation:
Not Canadian + doesn’t talk much + Russian = Soulless.
The whole thing stinks. No more than 10 minutes later, Pierre McGuire called Canadian defensive prospect Justin Schultz — who has never played a game in the NHL before — a superhero. Meanwhile Semin, about whom not a single kind word was said all brodcast, somehow still was ranked 7th in TSN’s free agent pool.
TSN purports itself to be the authority for hockey on television, but instead of enlightening their audience they just rehashed the same tired clichés about a player who has always been cordial to his fans and beloved by his teammates.
So who is the lazy one here?