The New York Rangers currently have a very well-documented problem which they are currently in the market to fix. It's scoring help, and as of right now the most likely solution to that issue seems to be Rick Nash -- who the Rangers would need to acquire via trade.
But there is another option on the table who might be able to fix the problem along with the added bonus of not costing the team any assets. Alexander Semin.
According to a report by Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington, Semin is holding out for a two-year, $10-million deal. That's a far cry from the $7-million per year he was reportedly looking for in the beginning of the offseason. But if Semin is actually looking for a simple two-year, $5-million deal should the Rangers make a play.
Join me after the jump for more.
Currently, the free agent market is pretty barren. Aside from Semin and Shane Doan, there's really no talent left that would even remotely help the Rangers' current need for offense. And between the two, Semin is the easy choice.
For starters his contract wouldn't be a 35+ deal, Doan's would. And since Doan is currently mulling over options of four years -- and reportedly a four-year, $30-million deal -- that might play a major factor. Semin, like most Washington Capitals of late, has seen a decrease in production, but how much of that was because of the coaching and system change he was forced to go through? Maybe a change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered for the former 40-goal scorer?
And, if we're looking at what the doctor ordered, the Rangers absolutely need more offensive talent up front. I don't buy the "coach killing" mentality for Semin. If you want to blame anyone in Washington for Bruce Bordreau being fired and Dale Hunter not returning it would be Alexander Ovechkin, not Semin.
Let's take a look at some of the raw numbers. In the past four years (starting with 2008-2009) Semin has scored 34, 40, 28 and 21 goals. On the surface it looks like a steady decline. What the raw numbers don't tell you is that in 2008-2009 Semin scored 34 goals in 62 games. Two years ago he scored 28 in 65 games.
Sure, his 21 goals last year was his lowest total since his rookie season, but everyone has an off year. And for what the Rangers need -- top line scoring till Marian Gaborik returns and then secondary scoring -- Semin fits the bill. And if he is only looking for a two-year, $10-million deal, then even better. Nash might be a better fit for this team if we're comparing apples to apples, but because of the fact that Glen Sather would have to give up valuable youth to get Nash, it simply makes more sense to just add Semin for "free."
People will question his determination, his defense and pretty much everything else about his game. Many of the accusations surrounding Semin are absurd. But, regardless of how much Semin wants to win (a lot), there is no denying he isn't exactly the "Example A" type of player the Rangers have targeted of late.
There's no denying his skill. And there is no denying that he would be a better solution to the Rangers' two biggest problems -- power play scoring and even strength scoring -- than Doan would.
On a two-year deal, the risk is highly outweighed by the reward.
So what are your thoughts guys? Does the news that Semin might only want two years make you think the Rangers should make a play for him?