PENS TO MAKE SURPRISE PLAY FOR ALEX SEMIN?
Is GM Ray Shero not ruiling out the possibility of taking a big gamble on former Washington Capitals sniper Alex Semin?
TSN’s Darren Dreger on NHL live yesterday told the hosts “not to hold him to it” but that he’s heard some rumblings of the Penguins and Red Wings having “interest” in Semin.
Here’s what I’ve been able to gather:
Two sources confirmed to me that management has discussed Semin internally who is the best pure goal scorer available in free agency. Word is several members of the Pens brass are against the possibility of bringing Semin on board but two key members of the organization are said to be at least intrigued about Semin.
One of them is GM Ray Shero who is doing his homework on Semin and regardless of the input from others, would obviously make the final call on whether to go after Semin who last season made $6.7 million.
Whispers out of the organization is that head coach Dan Bylsma is also intrigued about the possibility and feels that Semin’s two-way game is much better than the credit he gets. Semin last season had 21 goals, 54 points and a plus-9 rating. A former 40-goal scorer, Semin’s numbers have been in decline since a career high 40 goal, 84 point season in 2009-2010. However, the Capitals moved to a more defensive team in Bruce Boudreau’s last season and a quarter, and transformed totally to a dump and chase defensive team under Dale Hunter last season.
The chances of Shero to aggressively pursue Semin are considered slim and Pittsburgh would only be open to a one or two year deal I’m told. NHL sources believe Semin might not have offers matching his current $6.7 million but he should still command $5+ million per season.
Notes: Former Penguin defenseman Hal Gill has agreed to a 2 year, $4 million deal with the Nashville Predators. Gill was not expected to be a target of the Penguins if he were to have went to July 1.