Would You Rather: Ales Hemsky or Alex Semin

Jonathan Willis
July 15 2012 02:55PM

Alexander Semin, the Washington Capitals winger who has averaged 31 goals per season since the NHL lockout, is still on the market two weeks into free agency. His demands aren’t crazy, either – according to Capitals’ beat reporter Chuck Gormley, he’s seeking a two-year deal in the $10 million range (h/t Spector). Given that Ales Hemsky re-upped with the Oilers on exactly that deal, it made me wonder: which player would be a better fit in Edmonton?

Now we are, of course, dealing in hypotheticals. Alex Semin is the kind of player the Oilers typically avoid like the plague: there are some unverified rumours that he’s not blessed with excessive work ethic, and that’s generally when it seems the Oilers stop being interested. Toss in Pierre McGuire huffing and puffing and blowing Semin’s reputation down, and that’s probably all she wrote.

But Semin does score. Not just in the regular season, but in the playoffs, too – despite reputation. Since the lockout, Semin’s been a more productive playoff performer on a per-game basis than Ryane Clowe, Ryan Smyth, Tomas Plekanec, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Ray Whitney, Chris Kunitz, Valtteri Filppula, Milan Lucic, Thomas Vanek, Jeff Carter, Marian Gaborik, Jiri Hudler, Dustin Penner, Travis Zajac, Jordan Staal, Jason Arnott, Ryan Callahan, Dan Cleary, Tomas Fleischmann and a bunch of others (there’s a nice, detailed teardown of the idea that Semin doesn’t produce in the post-season here).

There’s another interesting thing worth noting about Semin: his plus/minus. Now, plus/minus is not a perfect indicator, by any stretch – it includes power play goals against and shorthanded goals for, as well as empty net goals, meaning that there’s an inherent bias against players who are out trying to score goals on the power play or with 1:00 left and the goalie pulled, and an inherent bias for the defensive guys who man the PK and defend a lead with one minute left. Even without that, on a year-to-year basis plus/minus bounces around thanks to shooting and save percentage – items which are often erratic. Over the long-term, though, plus/minus generally does tell us which guys are outscoring the other team.

Over the last four seasons, Alexander Semin is plus-92. That sounds impressive, but what does it mean? It means that there are only three forwards (just one line actually) in the league with a better plus/minus over that span: Sedin, Sedin and Burrows. Semin’s plus-92 is 19 goals better than the next-best Capitals forward, Nicklas Backstrom, and 23 goals better than Alex Ovechkin. Even on a good team, it’s a remarkable number.

I’m confident that Semin’s plus/minus is meaningful because all of the fancy underlying numbers tell us the same thing: that whatever his defensive shortcomings (which I’m more than happy to acknowledge exist) he makes up for them with offense. And that’s the thing about the NHL: offense doesn’t matter in and of itself, and defense doesn’t matter in and of itself: the only thing that matters is scoring more than the opposition. Semin brings that, and he does it in spades.

Semin vs. Hemsky

Why this video? Because it is and likely always will be one of my favourite Hemsky memories, right up with his two goals in Game 6 against Detroit.

These are different players: Hemsky’s a play-making right-wing, Semin a goal-scorer who can play on either side. Hemsky typically plays tough minutes and has more defensive responsibility than a typical scoring winger in the NHL; Semin generally plays against lower-tier opposition (having Ovechkin on the other scoring line does that) and has been allowed to just go out and create offense.

Since the lockout, though, the two players are awfully similar in total point production. Hemsky has played 429 games over seven seasons, recording 367 points. Semin has played 417 games over six seasons, recording 386 points. The key difference between the two offensively is that Semin has 187 goals to Hemsky’s 106.

There are a bunch of other things in Semin’s favour. For one, he has played frequently on left wing since the lockout; Hemsky got a brief cameo in the position last year but hasn’t done it for any length of time. Semin is listed at 6’2”, 208lbs; Hemsky at 6’, 192lbs. More importantly, Semin hasn’t had the same health issues that Hemsky has – he’s averaged 72 games per season over the last three years; Hemsky has averaged just 46.

The Other Stuff

At some point, the good that Semin does on the ice needs to outweigh his reputation off it, doesn’t it? Particularly given that the off-ice reputation is pretty vague, beyond Pierre McGuire’s contention that he kills coaches? Teams all over the league are crying out for offense, and Semin’s a high-end talent.

In the case of the Oilers, they could upgrade their size, health, replace a playmaker with a goal-scorer, and then (probably) deal away the playmaker for a pretty good defenseman. In that respect, the question is less, ‘Would you rather have Semin or Hemsky’ than it is ‘Would you rather have Semin and a top-four defender or Hemsky?’

All of this is hypothetical, of course – everything this front office has said over the years has indicated that character and reputation are important factors in their decision-making process. But given the choice laid out above, I’m curious what our readers would do if they were in a position to make the decision.

THIS WEEK BY JONATHAN WILLIS

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Wax Man Riley
July 15 2012, 04:20PM
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Eddie Edmonton wrote:

I would hold on to the puck as well if my passing options had a habit of whiffing on shots.

It is easy to be an armchair quarterback or yell from the stands, its another to have to dodge Regehr while looking for a teammate to catch up the ice, put his head up and get open: especially when your linemates are bottom 6 forwards or career AHLers

Hahaaahaha....

I can just see what's going through Hemsky's head:

"Ok, I'm going through the neutral zone. OH! deke around that guy, sucker! Woop! Around another pilon, and over the blue line.

"Ok, now to set up a play. I'll pass it back to the D. Peckham, crap....ok, maybe I'll skate a little more, and pass to that guy in front! Horcoff....crap, maybe if he turns around I can put it off his butt....

"Ok, who else I got? I'll just take it around the net and pass to the point.... BELANGER??!!? WTF, Renney?!!??

"Maybe if I get it to the wing... MILAN KYTNAR?!?! that's it, I'm outta here! Just take it Mr. Regehr."

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#2 Calvin
July 15 2012, 02:58PM
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FIST?

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#3 John Chambers
July 15 2012, 03:03PM
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He must've given half the team gonorrhea or have a posse of cocaine dealers or Russian mafia following him around or something.

Seriously. There must be some untold story of why this guy can't get a contract despite his talents if Leino gets the deal he does and Semin stays unsigned.

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#4 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 15 2012, 03:27PM
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Sign him, have them both.

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#5 etownman
July 15 2012, 03:46PM
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Score goals yes, but have you seen how this guy throws punches? Embarrassingly funny actually!!

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#6 Eddie Edmonton
July 15 2012, 03:53PM
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Hemsky.

Semin has put up numbers playing on a team with elite players, Hemsky did it with Horcoff and Jacques.

Hemsky before the last two years has been the only player that the opposition had to and wanted to hit on the Oilers, he will heal.

Being on a bad Oilers team has ruined Hemskys point numbers and games played, but it all comes with a price. Hemsky is a good person and has never complained about any circumstances and put up with the Oilers-that some people as fans couldn't stomach.

Once again, Hemsky. Not taking anything away from Semin, but, Semin couldn't last a season in Hemskys skates. If Semin was an Oilers in 07-08, he would have been something else in 08-09. IMO, if I was a GM: you would have to give me Semin and than some in order for me to even consider giving you Hemsky.

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#7 edmafg
July 15 2012, 04:02PM
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I would like the oilers to sign alex semin, and trade ales hemsky+ for a good defenseman.

Hall-RNH-Eberle Semin-Gagner-Yakupov

thats two fist lines right there. and hello oilers nation, i am new on here, nice meeting you all;)

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#8 OilLeak
July 15 2012, 04:15PM
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Forget the "or". Sign Semin and keep Hemsky too, can't have too many good players. The top 3 lines would be dynamite!

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#9 nuge2nail
July 16 2012, 12:50AM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

Why cant we have them both. Like ive suggested in the past -Two years 12 million should get it done. We were 29th place last year no? Im thinking we can use at least one upgrade in the top 6 that isnt a rookie. Just in case... I dont know something unpredicatable happens like some Injuries occur? Hemskys value will be highest after 40 games as long as he doesnt get hurt - no point trading him sooner. For half a decade he was the only reason I watched Oiler games. Always repeating to myself, if Hemsky played with a finisher and a Center not named Horcoff he would be a 100 point player. I am hoping Hemsky plays the way he has shown me he can in the last decade - with Hemsky heart and Hemsky skill. He is one of my favourite Oilers all-time and his skill will help this team make the playoffs. I would like to see this roster, with Yakupov starting on the third line and moving up when an injury happen, or if any line struggle due to missing some good ol hockey chemistry:

Hall Hopkins Hemsky| Semin Gagner Eberle| Smyth Horcoff Yakupov| Eager Belanger Petrell| Call-ups:Paajarvi, Hartkainen

Injuries will occur and having depth players who can fill in without losing a step is the difference between a making the playoffs and having lottery picks every year. The coaches can always rotate Hemsky and Yakupov depending how the team is playing.

We should sign Roszival or Kuba, let them mentor Schultz on the 5/6 pairing, match them up against 3/4 liners and hopefully watch them dominate. Kuba was paired with Karlsson - and was a great mentor - a two year deal would be the perfect time frame to let our D prospects develop unrushed and in the AHL.

Petry.Smid.Shultz.Whitney.Kuba.Schultz.Sutton

I like the D, with Dubnyk and the depth up front and on the back end this team can finally play meaningful games after the All-Star Break.

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#10 AutoOiler
July 15 2012, 03:14PM
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How bad could he be. I say sign him and play him with Hemsky and gagner. Hall Nuge Ebs Semin Gags Hemsky Smyth Horc Yak Eager belanger Jones/ Hordichuk.

Semin puts pucks in the net. Hemsky and gags could feed the pucks to him. We could actually run three scoring lines. With Horcs and Smytty helping make up for The Yaks weaknesses.

With those lines we could have balance in the force.

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#11 toprightcorner
July 15 2012, 03:23PM
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I would guess the reason that Semin is not signed is the fear of the "Russian Factor". I do not see that being an issue if he can get a contract in the $5 mill range.

If Hemsky could be traded for a top 4 dman, I would sign Semin in a heartbeat, although I would shoot for a 1 year $5.75 mill contract. After that, we could see if was a good fit or not. I would fear a 2 year contract because if he was an issue in the room or didn't fit with the team, we wouldn't be stuck with him.

Trading a quality player like Hemsky may be the only way to procure a top 4 d-man, so if you can, do it.

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#12 Sliderule
July 15 2012, 03:31PM
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It's hard to believe Semin hasn't got some sort of offer.

Is he limiting his options to teams in east ?

If they could trade Hemmer plus A player for a top four D and sign Semin they should do it.

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#13 Leo
July 15 2012, 03:32PM
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Maybe, if he is THE top dog, he can change his rep. If he did, he could mentor yak AND put the puck in the net. I'm not saying, I'm just saying. And 5m is where I would have slotted him. Just saying...

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#14 Toro
July 15 2012, 03:39PM
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Is this even a possibility? Are the oilers talking about being interested in Semin or is this just something your throwing out there JW?

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#15 zoltan
July 15 2012, 03:42PM
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Hemsky has heart and shows up in big games..takes hits, and has played his nuts off for 5 seasons of nothing. All while his shoulders were falling off. Now that he has them reattached, I think we should keep him. Would sure look bad on management to trade a guy who just made a two year commitment to your team. Hemsky wants to be here. He was the one who suggested his first long term (6yr) deal. Semin recently started blocking shots. While that is a start, I would take Hemsky and his proven intangibles any day of the week.

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#16 KleptoKlown
July 15 2012, 03:42PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

Congradulations on not even reading the title.

Semin OR Hemsky

As Willis said, this is all hypothetical. I highly doubt Semin to the Oilers is realistic.

As for the question, Hemsky vs Semin (On identical contracts) I would take Semin in a heart beat. I think the stats explain themselves.

As far as Semin being a coach killer or lazy...maybe all he needs is a change of scenery, a change of influence. With his numbers, and if a team could get him for 2 years 10 million, it would be a steal.

I do doubt that is all Semin is looking for though. I have read that the KHL has a significantly higher offer for him. 2 years is all he should get in the NHL. Gives him 2 years to show these off ice antics of his are media exaggerations and that he is a team player.

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#17 Will
July 15 2012, 03:45PM
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I was harping on this exact point on the Signing Samwise message boards. It's crazy this guy hasn't signed yet.

My dream (which could be a reality) is to sign Semin, and if at the deadline the Jets are sellers, get Antripov (who is an unrestricted free agent next year on a team with a ton of centers), trade Gags for the D everyone and their dog all knows we need, and create the Russian Dynamo line: Antirpov - Semin - Nail. This way we get bigger at second line center, we fill that ? mark in our top two LW position (currently being held by any combination of Hall, Smyth, Paajarvi, or Hartikinen), we upgrade on defense, and we stop trying to break-in / rely on all our rookie players for once (potentially this year we will have our fingers crossed for Hall, Ebs, Nuge, Nail, Schutlz, Klefbomb, Dubnyk, Paajarvi, or Harti to all make significant contributions to the team. We will not be a better team if that's the plan.

What do you think of my plan? I would also hope if we get Anttripov, we get him under the condition he agrees to sign an extension for less money than he gets now, since he is 32. Plus, his best year he got 67 points playing with... you guessed it ... a high scoring Russian winger, of which in this scenario he would be between two. OH that line combination gives me chills.

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#18 Wax Man Riley
July 15 2012, 03:58PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

I would guess the reason that Semin is not signed is the fear of the "Russian Factor". I do not see that being an issue if he can get a contract in the $5 mill range.

If Hemsky could be traded for a top 4 dman, I would sign Semin in a heartbeat, although I would shoot for a 1 year $5.75 mill contract. After that, we could see if was a good fit or not. I would fear a 2 year contract because if he was an issue in the room or didn't fit with the team, we wouldn't be stuck with him.

Trading a quality player like Hemsky may be the only way to procure a top 4 d-man, so if you can, do it.

What does being Russian have to do with it?

Why not just say that there is a problem with Georges Laraque because he is French, lol.

I keed, I keed. But Semin has played his entire career in North America, I don't see him ditching a contract to go to the KHL.

My guess is that he is limiting his teams.

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#19 TeddyTurnbuckle
July 15 2012, 03:58PM
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After watching Semin this spring in the playoffs I wasn't impressed at all. He turned the puck over a lot coming over the opponents blue line and it seemed as the games became more important he became less effective. He refused to dump the puck in for the better of the team and they paid the price. It got to the point where Dale Hunter couldn't put him on the ice in the third period. The oilers don't need a guy like that in their dressing room around the kids who doesn't lead with good work habits.

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#20 Wax Man Riley
July 15 2012, 04:00PM
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Leo wrote:

Maybe, if he is THE top dog, he can change his rep. If he did, he could mentor yak AND put the puck in the net. I'm not saying, I'm just saying. And 5m is where I would have slotted him. Just saying...

I like what you're saying.

Just saying.

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#21 Wax Man Riley
July 15 2012, 04:01PM
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I've always like Semin and have thought of him as a pretty close comparison to Hemsky. Both are slick and skilled, both were 13th overall picks too.

I love watching Hemsky dangle, but I think with his injury history, and his penchant for holding onto the puck too long, it makes Semin the safer bet.

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#22 Will
July 15 2012, 04:03PM
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Also for any Semin Haters out there, here's a good article further breaking down his numbers which show his 'poor play' as kind of a media generated myth.

http://www.lighthousehockey.com/2012/7/7/3143770/alexander-semin-nhl-free-agent-reasons

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#23 Wax Man Riley
July 15 2012, 04:07PM
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edmafg wrote:

I would like the oilers to sign alex semin, and trade ales hemsky+ for a good defenseman.

Hall-RNH-Eberle Semin-Gagner-Yakupov

thats two fist lines right there. and hello oilers nation, i am new on here, nice meeting you all;)

Hello and welcome

Please read the Oilers Nation Handbook for Dummies before proceeding to the next comment.

↑ required reading

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#24 Eddie Edmonton
July 15 2012, 04:10PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

I've always like Semin and have thought of him as a pretty close comparison to Hemsky. Both are slick and skilled, both were 13th overall picks too.

I love watching Hemsky dangle, but I think with his injury history, and his penchant for holding onto the puck too long, it makes Semin the safer bet.

I would hold on to the puck as well if my passing options had a habit of whiffing on shots.

It is easy to be an armchair quarterback or yell from the stands, its another to have to dodge Regehr while looking for a teammate to catch up the ice, put his head up and get open: especially when your linemates are bottom 6 forwards or career AHLers

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#25 Eddie Edmonton
July 15 2012, 04:32PM
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@Wax Man Riley

Its like being Ales Malkovic, you went in there and got a full report for us. Thank you. You got your self a well deserved prop.

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#26 Walter Sobchak
July 15 2012, 05:01PM
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edmafg wrote:

I would like the oilers to sign alex semin, and trade ales hemsky+ for a good defenseman.

Hall-RNH-Eberle Semin-Gagner-Yakupov

thats two fist lines right there. and hello oilers nation, i am new on here, nice meeting you all;)

Welcome to the Nation.

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#27 BlacqueJacque
July 15 2012, 05:07PM
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If the Oilers have no plans of putting Yakupov on the left wing, Semin wouldn't be a bad signing. Especially if he ends up as trade bait for a defender at the deadline.

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#28 Walter Sobchak
July 15 2012, 05:25PM
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As for Semin, I'll defer to Wax Man "the insider" for complete up to date information on the status of UFA known as Semin.

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#29 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 15 2012, 05:44PM
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When I hear Semin's name, I can only picture him doing the five-year old temper tantrum fist-pound on Staal's exposed neck and back.

I'm sure glad he was okay, Semin unleashes a veritable assault in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHwPx95i39Y

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#30 Dan the Man
July 15 2012, 05:49PM
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Semin seems like the kind of player that Detroit will sign and get 80 points per year out of for the next 5 years and everyone else will be saying "why didn't our stupid GM sign him?"

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#31 Cheap Shot Charlie
July 15 2012, 06:56PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

When I hear Semin's name, I can only picture him doing the five-year old temper tantrum fist-pound on Staal's exposed neck and back.

I'm sure glad he was okay, Semin unleashes a veritable assault in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHwPx95i39Y

If we could have Semin fighting and scoring goals it would fill a couple of roles! lol

I heard rumors that the year the Caps won the president trophy that Ovie, Semin & Green partied like rock stars. I'm not saying that Hall and Ebs don't party hard but I wouldn't want to add another guy like that to the dressing room. It just seems like a recipe for disaster (if the rumor is true) for the new kids.

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#32 Jamie B.
July 15 2012, 07:23PM
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Semin's good would have to outweigh his bad AND Ales Hemsky being a home-grown Oiler who has declined free agency and re-signed twice because he likes being in Edmonton.

I'm pretty convinced Semin's not that guy.

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#33 Reg Dunlop
July 15 2012, 07:55PM
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@Wax Man Riley

It takes a very self-assured waxman to admit he likes semen. Is he an upgrade over Hemmer? Questionable considering his potential to pout when he is about 4th in line for gravy time. A move for Clowe or equivalent is a far better idea, leave Semin for the flames.

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#34 Wax Man Riley
July 15 2012, 08:46PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

@Wax Man Riley

It takes a very self-assured waxman to admit he likes semen. Is he an upgrade over Hemmer? Questionable considering his potential to pout when he is about 4th in line for gravy time. A move for Clowe or equivalent is a far better idea, leave Semin for the flames.

Ohhhhh..... I see what you did there. ;-p

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#35 Team Hall
July 15 2012, 08:49PM
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Ya, good article JW. I thought the same thing myself. Why not sign Semin, and then you're free to deal Hemmer or MP for a dman. Basically you get a good dman for free that way without losing a good forward.

I'm for it. Especially since it seems the only way we can get a good dman is in trade.

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#36 loosemoose
July 15 2012, 08:58PM
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I think Hemsky would love to have someone like Semin to pass the puck too.....

I guess Nail will have to do:)

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#37 Reg Dunlop
July 15 2012, 09:01PM
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Ok, here's the scoop on Semin. First, he is not comming here. 2nd, when asked about playing in the KHL he said 'Everything will depend on the offers I receive'. When asked about Sid the kid he said 'I think that if you take any player, even if he is dead wood, and start promoting him you'll get a star. Especially if he gets a hundred points'. Note to Alex; dead wood doesn't get 100 pts and Crosby IS a star.

All in all, a bad egg to avoid, not that he would ever sign here.

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#38 SinceTheWHADays
July 15 2012, 09:04PM
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I'd keep Hemmer, simply cause I want to see what he can do healthy with some help.

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#39 G Money
July 15 2012, 09:28PM
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Sign him.

Run Hall-RNH-Ebs, Semin-Gags-Yak (ha ha ha), and Smyth-Horc-Hemsky as your 1-2-3 lines. Buy Gagner the Rosetta Stone Russian series.

Add Hannan as a third-pairing guy, and otherwise screw the defense. Lets see flat out run and gun all year long (assuming there is a year). Doesn't matter if you let in three every night if you score eight.

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#40 Randaman
July 15 2012, 09:31PM
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I think anyone that Pierre McGuire doesn't like is OK in my book. He is plain and simply trying to become the next Blowhard in line behind Cherry or is that Glenn Healy.

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#41 OttawaOil
July 15 2012, 09:45PM
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If a team is interested in Hemmer and would give up a top 4 D man to get him, why wouldn't they just sign Semin and keep their top 4 D man?

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#42 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 15 2012, 10:28PM
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KleptoKlown wrote:

Congradulations on not even reading the title.

Semin OR Hemsky

As Willis said, this is all hypothetical. I highly doubt Semin to the Oilers is realistic.

As for the question, Hemsky vs Semin (On identical contracts) I would take Semin in a heart beat. I think the stats explain themselves.

As far as Semin being a coach killer or lazy...maybe all he needs is a change of scenery, a change of influence. With his numbers, and if a team could get him for 2 years 10 million, it would be a steal.

I do doubt that is all Semin is looking for though. I have read that the KHL has a significantly higher offer for him. 2 years is all he should get in the NHL. Gives him 2 years to show these off ice antics of his are media exaggerations and that he is a team player.

Thanks for your input, the tittle of the article is irrelevant, if it was up to me id have both on my team.

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#43 westcoastoil
July 15 2012, 10:48PM
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I'll happily take Hemmer thank you very much. Give me the guy who plays his guts out, commits to his team on the ice and at contract time and has blown his shoulders out waiting for some help to arrive. My god the man must have the patience of Job. He deserves loyalty back.

I can't wait to watch him play with talent while he's healthy.. If one of them can switch wings Yak might hit 30 playing with Hemsky. Please let him stay healthy - he's worth the price of admission.

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#44 Muji
July 16 2012, 12:42AM
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Semin's very good. It's crazy how he's still not signed. It's even crazier if he's willing to sign for a reasonable rate.

I don't think he's a good fit for the Oilers at all, but some team is going to probably make the 29 others look foolish for not signing him. Seriously, he's arguably better than Rick Nash imo.

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#45 Reg Dunlop
July 16 2012, 02:00AM
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@nuge2nail

I like your approach but I really think oil mgmt has learned it's lesson about chasing the white whale. Looks like Semin might be bound for Pitt if a new CBA is ratified, so it is moot.

Kuba for 2 years on the bottom pairing, allowing development time for derKlefbom and MartinX2... a very interesting idea. All in all, well said. Props.

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#46 mumbai max
July 16 2012, 03:52AM
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I would make the trade if it was Semin and a top 4 D. In other words, sign Semin for 2x5 and trade AH for a D. The problem is, I am not sure AH gets you a top 4 D right now. He may have to rehabilitate his rep in the first half before he becomes tradable.

In general, I think we trade Eager, Belanger, Hemsky, Peckham, Omark and ? at the deadline. Players are always at peak value then. Let them sit in the press box or OKC until then. Right now teams have a glut of options. This will also allow us to evaluate progress, particularly with J Shultz and Klefbom.

The young guys can stew in the minors for awhile. At the deadline, trade the deadwood and bring up Harti, Lander, and whoever else is doing well.

I would follow this strategy even if we are in sight of the playoffs.

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#47 The Beaker
July 16 2012, 06:45AM
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@mumbai max

Players have the most value when sitting in the PB or the Minors at deadline time? Who knew?

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#48 Oilcruzer
July 16 2012, 06:57AM
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Thanks for the clip Willis. Love that goal, was at that game.

This is an interesting question. If you could have one or the other for two yrs at 5M per, I'm not sure who is better. The oft injured get you out of your seat playmaker, or the consistent point producer? Either would fit well on 5 on 5 lines, but maybe Hemsky does more for the PP.

(I realize you could have both, but signing Semin would probably be a precursor to a trade of a forward or two).

Murphy's Law. You need a great D man and forwards are available.

A little off topic... The fact he (and Doan) is available smells like teams are taking a wait and see approach on the labour negotiations.

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#49 michael
July 16 2012, 08:29AM
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Apples and Apples. If you sign Semin and trade Hemsky its a wash. Sign Semin and put him with Gagner and Yak. Now that would be improving your team. Hemsky with Horc andd Smyth makes better sense to me. I think that using Hemsky against lower opposition will go along way to the Oilers winning. Putting him with Gagner and Yak just puts more pressure on a guy who would rather shun the limelight. At 5 million its not big dough and 2 years is great.

Semin needs a change of scenery. Would Edmonton be that needed change? I think that we are going to an attack first offence. That should be right up Semins alley. I am not concerned about his attituse and such. Those are other people's opinions. The hard numbers and arrows show that Semin can perform on the ice given the right situations.

Moving Hemsky down the depth chart would pay dividend. Semin as our 2cd line LW would do that also. Sign and live the high life.

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#50 madjam
July 16 2012, 08:38AM
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Advantage Hemsky, who has already shown committment . Not sure Semin fits the mold we are trying to form here , despite being an elite offensive talent . Semin needs protection and our club is as yet not exactly set up well to protect him . Besides i believe we have enough offensive talent already at forward position . Semin long term , and his value escallates to Hemsky level or slightly above . Semin 's game is more suited to international softer league for now at least .

B.Ryan a good fit ? Might he be overrated and be a dissappointment like Penner was the first couple of years . Ryan also the making of linemates Perry and Getzlaf - a bit of deja-vue perhaps .

Neither player a needed defenceman or center ,and thus Oilers probably not serious about either .

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