The New Jersey Devils Should Sign Alexander Semin: A Fan's Opinion

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It has been more than three weeks since free agency began in the NHL and Alexander Semin, one of the top free agents in this year's group, has yet to sign anywhere. In fact, everything surrounding the Russian winger has been kept pretty much hush-hush since the start of free agency (other than TSN blasting him on their July 1st free agent frenzy coverage, that is). One thing that we do know is that it seems like the Washington Capitals have moved on from the talented goal scorer.

So, how come Semin has not signed anywhere? There could be a few answers for that: maybe he is waiting for fellow free agent forward Shane Doan to sign somewhere so teams that lose out on Doan gain more interest in him, maybe he is asking for too much money or maybe teams are just not interested. The last one seems implausible, though. While there are obvious question marks surrounding his overall game, there is no denying the talent that Alexander Semin possesses. Outside of his rookie season, he has scored at least 20 goals every year and has a combined +92 rating over the last four seasons. While +/- cannot always be a trusted stat, those numbers are hard to just discard. There are contending teams (such as the Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins) that have a hole in their top-six forward group that Semin could fill.

The Atlantic Division has gotten stiffer over the last week with the Philadelphia Flyers possibly getting Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber after signing him to an offer sheet and the New York Rangers trading for star winger Rick Nash, formerly of the Columbus Blue Jackets. After losing captain Zach Parise to his hometown Minnesota Wild earlier in the offseason, the New Jersey Devils have a need for a top-six forward. The Devils should sign Alexander Semin to fill that void. As previously mentioned, there have been question marks about Semin's game throughout his career but there were also similar things said about current Devils superstar Ilya Kovalchuk, as well.

The Devils answering the Flyers and Rangers respective moves by signing Semin would not be a panic move as they have a need for someone of his ilk. Who knows? Maybe Semin would be willing to take a short term deal with a contending club like the Devils to erase those questions about his game and prove that he is among the NHL's best forwards. Ideally, those very things would happen.

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl

Michael Pellegrini has been a fan of the New Jersey Devils since the mid to late 1990s when they had players like Doug Gilmour and Dave Andreychuk in the later stages of their career.

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