Where is Alex Semin?
George McPhee has been with the Washington Capitals since 1997. He’s had a great run since becoming the GM, but I think it’s time to call out George McPhee. It might be past time. Here in this blog we talk about Ernie Grunfeld a lot and the bonehead moves he’s made over the past decade with the Wizards but George McPhee, up until the last two years, has done things right.
Well what happened?
I think the success of the Capitals at the end of last decade went to McPhee’s head. Let’s think about this for a moment. Let’s face it, the Caps had to be the worst team in the league to draft Alex Ovechkin first overall in the 2004 NHL Draft. Then the fourth worst team to draft Nicholas Backstrom in the 2006 NHL draft. So, it’s really hard to give McPhee all the credit for making moves that any person in the universe would make.
Now, drafting Alexander Semin– that was a good draft selection back in 2002. He was the 13th overall pick that year. Semin was the first of several Russian players the Capitals would acquire over the next decade to build the team that would win the President’s cup in 2009-2010. Semin was the perfect fit, the quiet assassin who’s the opposite of Ovechkin and his extrovert personality.
For six seasons Alexander Semin was the wing opposite the super star Alex Ovechkin, but Ted Leonsis and George McPhee did not want to give him a long term contract. Semin was very important for the Washington Capitals during this six year stretch and took pressure off of Ovechkin and Backstrom. He was the very pivotal third option that every successful team needs. And it is true what they say about good things, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
Alexander has left the Capitals to go star for their arch nemesis the Carolina Hurricanes. Not only has he starred there, but he’s out played Backstrom. Backstrom has 26 points (only 4 goals), Ovechkin has 27 points (13 goals) — Semin on the other hand has 30 points (8 goals). This team misses their 3rd scorer, their third wheel and I blame that on Leonsis and McPhee for not wanting to pay up.
So where’s Alexander Semin?
To me Leonsis and McPhee have made two horrible decisions over the past three seasons, firing Bruce Boudreau being the other one. These two men were very important to the Washington Capitals’ success late last decade and the first few years of this decade. That fact is clear during this season, I wish the Owner and General Manager had the foresight to know this back in 2011 when they fired quite possibly the best coach in Capitals history. Now, they have failed to replace an extremely important part of their team, the results on the ice are showing that.