Alexander Semin was placed on waivers, Monday afternoon, by the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal signed him in the offseason to a very low risk 1 year deal worth only $1 million.
Semin has played 15 games this season and logged just a minuscule 1 goal and 3 assists. He has not played well for 72 games, dating back to last season in Carolina.
Going to the Hurricanes was a horrible decision for Semin. When he was thriving in Washington, he had a great offensive team around him. He was constantly playing with Alex Ovechkin, Niklas Backstrom, and Mike Green who was scoring 30 goals from the blue line for a time.
Semin needs power play minutes to produce. Last season he saw his power play time drop from 203 minutes to just 80. This season he's got 28 minutes so far. An increase from last season, but lower than his career average. A lot of that is he's not as effective, and to be honest he hasn't been a great power play producer for years. However he is good on the power play, and that's just what he is at this stage. A good offensive player.
Can Semin replicate the numbers he did in Washington? No he absolutely positively can not. However, he still has offensive ability, and he could produce given the right situation. Put him in Matt Moulson's spot this season and could he put up the same numbers? If he did he's $4 million cheaper.
Semin has played mostly with Alex Galchenyuck and Lars Eller this season. Eller is not a great offensive player, and while Galchenyuck is developing into a great player, he's still very young and hasn't broken out like a Nathan Mackinnon has at his age.
How would Semin fit in with the Sabres? Put Semin with Eichel. Flat out do it. Eichel has been lacking a sniper on his wing this season. Evander Kane was supposed to be that, but struggled to start the season. Kane has got hot over the past stretch, but has done so with Ryan O'Reilly, so Eichel gets left out. Right now he's playing with Jamie McGinn and Johan Larsson. McGinn has played well, but is known for being streaky so his luck will run out. Larsson has not been good on the offensive end this season, and offers not much help to Eichel in the playmaking category. Semin has a great shot, and great stick handling abilities. Eichel could be his catalyst to get him going again.
Those worried about Semin being an influence on Eichel, given that he's lazy and doesn't work hard and all the deserved narratives that come with him. But Eichel is a smart kid. Is he going to be poisoned by Semin when leaders like O'Reilly, Josh Gorges, Brian Gionta, and others are around? No he's not.