I loathe the way he wears his helmet.

When the curtain lifts on the 2012-2013 season, there could be a few interesting roster moves to watch play out. The Predators have said they’re cutting ties with Alexander Radulov, and willing to trade him if someone wants him. Alexander Semin has expressed a certain amount of discontent over his playing time with the Capitals (rightfully so). And the Capitals have also told 40 year-old Mike Knuble they won’t be having him back.

Those are some pretty good names you’d like to see fill out your team’s roster. The only problem is…two of ‘em may not be playing on this continent.

Peter Adler of the Edmonton Journal wrote “Fedorov and filthy rich CSKA team are after Radulov, Semin” today. The KHL beckons.

The math kind of adds up. Filthy rich team, disgruntled, talented Russians, Russian team (with GM Sergei Fedorov) trying to make a push to contend for the title. I bet they’d make forklifts of money to go give it a shot, and playing close to home is always an added bonus.

If I’ve learned anything over the past few off-seasons though, it’s that figuring out which players are serious about playing in Russia and which ones are using it as a bargaining chip is near impossible.

In trying to guess with these two talents, Adler is bang on:

Semin will be a free agent as of July 1. His agent, Mark Gandler, has repeatedly shot down news of Semin’s return to Russia but I wouldn’t take that to the bank if I were an NHL team.

The issue is simple: most European players employ different agents to handle their European affairs. More often than not, they choose not to share the details of the European dealings with their North American representatives.

I was working on a contract in Europe before I shattered my face, and I can attest to this point – you always have a second agent for that stuff, so getting confirmation from a North American agent isn’t all that valuable.

If Fedorov offers them them the moon, which I suspect he will (how scary would their offense be, immediately?) it’s possible that this could happen.

Still, my prediction: both guys play in the NHL next year, neither for their current team.

I feel like once you get used to the NHL lifestyle you get spoiled. Also, Radulov came over to burn the remainder of his contract to keep his options open, so you know he’d consider staying in North America. And, in a way, Semin leaving for the KHL after all this time would kind of make him look like a quitter, and nobody wants that rep.

Anything is possible, but I doubt we’ve seen the last of these two snipers.

Comments (10)

  1. I think we can agree that Semin isn’t getting a contract offer in the same neighbourhood as what he stole from Ted Leonsis.

    What’s Semin worth and who takes him? The guy has proven he can snipe just not consistently. Does Detroit make sense here? You go to a team that has the best active Russian player on the roster and is an organization that preaches team. Does he get maybe $3 million to play?

    Or how about Boston? They still haven’t used their LTIR exception from Savard. Do they target Semin if they can’t get Nash, Suter, or Parise?

    As for Radulov, this guy really f-ed up. Acting this way when he’s going to try and test the waters is silly. I don’t understand why he returns this year, to burn the contract year, and not stay in the NHL. Obviously he won’t fit in Philly because Dry Island doesn’t have a rehab program, they just ship the problems to Stanley Cup contenders.

    Radulov strikes me as a guy who wants to be close to parties. Why not Florida? Beaches, parties, no state tax. Does Tallon take a chance? I know Yzerman won’t/shouldn’t.

    On the note I mentioned earlier, is there a lack of Russian-born or Russian-raised role models in the NHL right now? Is this an issue worth researching? Are my pants falling down?

    • Semin is definitely getting more than $3 million. Especially since David Jones just got $4×4 and his production goes well below Semin’s worst. I’d be shocked if he gets less than $5 million, and I imagine he’ll get $6 million for 1-2 years if he stays in the NHL. I feel like Radulov will get the same.

      As for Boston, remember they have Horton coming back. I expect they’ll want Ray Whitney or Shane Doan to be a Recchi-type in their top six.

      As for role models, I expect there are lots of players who do things we don’t hear about. As far as I can remember, we’ve heard about this sort of behavior from a Canadian (Carter), another Canadian (Richards), a Belarussian (A. Kostitsyn), and a Russian (Radulov). There’s a mix there. As it is, Radulov still played really well for not exactly having two great linemates and having very little time to readjust to the NA game.

      • I don’t doubt that there are poor role models of every ethnicity. Party boys can do what they want so long as the team is fine with it. Reports that I heard/read were that Hartnell, Richards, and Carter would go out and rip it up quite often, but I never bought the reasoning that Holmgren got rid of the latter two guys because of partying problems. My opinion is that Holmgren’s decision was based purely on one player: Chris Pronger. He thought Pronger was going to be the captain and that there was probably some problems in the room based on the power struggle. We’ve learned that Carter and Richards are good buddies so changing the culture in the dressing room means those two guys need to go.

        I agree that Semin is worth north of $5 million per year but I don’t see a GM paying that for him. The cap isn’t going up significantly in the next couple of years so a GM would need a fair bit of space worked into their team right now. That’s why I suggested Detroit or Boston.

        Semin nor Radulov are not going to a team that isn’t a potential contender. As Kevin Smith says in his last sentence: “Who would want to go to Columbus?” The same rings true for many places and then there are the GM’s who are building teams based on work ethic and culture who would pass on those two guys because the potential offensive threat they bring to the table is negated by their ability to work in a team system.

        Teams like St. Louis, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Tampa Bay, etc are not taking chances on these guys because the team is building a certain way.

        So that leaves very few teams to have the cap space for $5 million plus and the desire to take on a project/chemistry liability like Semin or Radulov. That’s why I said Semin might only get $3 to $3.5 next year.

        If they create the cap space, maybe Buffalo would pay either guy north of $5 million but otherwise I just don’t see a team paying that kind of money. I think if a GM does pay more than $5 million per year for either guy, they will be disappointed.

        If New Jersey doesn’t get Parise re-signed I could see Lou going after one of those two and telling them he will beat them with a sack of door knobs if they misbehave. Mind you, in New Jersey, the coolest hangout is in Wyshynski’s basement with the Star Wars-themed bathroom.

  2. I’m surprised Caps fans aren’t accusing Justin of being biased against the “enigmatic Russians”. Give it time. I’m sure they’ll be along.

    If these guys want to play in their homeland for good money, in comfortable surroundings within their own culture, and play a style of hockey that suits their talents more than today’s clutch & grab-regressed NHL……..then good for them. Nothing wrong with that. Way too many NHL fans simply cannot grasp that the vast majority of hockey players not from this continent don’t grow up dreaming of a North American sports trophy.

  3. Columbus should go after one/both. If they trade Nash they will need star power, which both Radulov and Semin can provide. They’re also both skilled players, even if they take a few nights off, so might provide the push Columbus badly needs to make the playoffs. Add in whatever they get for Nash (maybe a better goalie?) and they could actually win a playoff game!

    Not that I see this happening, of course. Who would want to go to Columbus?

    • Columbus hasn’t exactly had the best experiences with high-prestige, high-priced Russians.

      Besides, they already have Huselius to make spectacular plays whenever he damn well feels like it.

  4. Goodbye, so long, have fun, don’t come back again.

    Who cares, maybe Rad can go twirl his stick in USSR a little more, pull his ugly ass green gloves out of the bag and Semin could maybe win a fight in the KHL by slapping someone on the back.

    Take Ovie, Malkin, Bryz with you, (leave Dats, maybe Kovy, looks like he has learned to play)

    The NHL will move on, see you in Sochi, look forward to another dismantling of the Red Army.

    • Now that is what they call a xenophobic post.

      • I wouldn’t say unreasonable, they get overpaid, they wine, they give mild effort, sometimes quit on plays/team, back check like its shinny, try to make the fancy plays that often fail, but every so often it works and their stars? Even Geno, who I generally like, racks up points, however I feel is a terribel team guy because he takes to long of shifts and gets into puck hogging moments that stifle the team.
        It doesn’t apply to all Ruskies, if I was drafting a team, Dats would be in the top 5.

        • So what you’re saying is the NHL has no need of Evgeni Malkin because he tries too hard…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *