If the Detroit Red Wings are about to pounce on free-agent forward Alexander Semin, then GM Ken Holland is showing off a pretty strong poker face. MLive’s Ansar Khan reported Monday that “it doesn’t sound like the Red Wings have any interest” in the former Capitals forward, and backed that statement up with a quote from Holland:
“I talked to his agent once but right now we’re doing nothing,” said general manager Ken Holland in regards to Semin.
There have been rumblings that the Wings are one of just a handful of teams interested in Semin, despite Semin’s 197 career goals. A quick glance at the Red Wings’ roster shows that his scoring prowess might be a nice fit alongside countryman Pavel Datsyuk on Detroit’s top line.
However, concerns about Semin’s work ethic — especially within Mike Babcock’s system, which puts a premium on two-way forwards — continue to pop up. Semin seemed lethargic last year for Washington, despite scoring 21 goals and tallying 54 points; teams are understandably worried how much effort Semin will expend if he lands a lucrative long-term deal.
The Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan on Friday, in a piece imploring the Senators to make a run at Semin, wrote that “only the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings have expressed any real interest” in Semin. That’s despite rumors that the Penguins and Semin have had in-depth conversations, with a strong possibility of Pittsburgh extending Semin an offer.
However, both in that case and others, it’s possible Semin may only receive a short-term deal — which would minimize the risk for the team that signs him, in case he flops outside of Washington, while also keeping a fire lit under Semin. But the KHL remains a real possibility for Semin, and it was reported this weekend (a report that was later shot down) that Semin had a three-year, $30 million offer on the table from a KHL team.
Even if those numbers are off the mark, Semin might find a better financial situation for himself back in Russia.
The Wings may still get involved in the Semin sweepstakes — especially if Shane Doan re-signs in Phoenix or lands elsewhere — but all is quiet for now.