So the hammer has come down, and the Canadiens have waived Alex Semin. I don't think it's so that they can send him to the IceCaps either.
I'm always willing to give a guy a chance, wasn't sore at all with the Alex Semin signing and his slow start. At the price he cost the organization, I was willing to experiment, wait for him to get in gear, to adapt to our system and our pace, to gel with his teammates, even if it doesn't turn out to be Lars and Alex Galchenyuk.
The instant beneficial effect that Sven Andrighetto had on that line tempered that feeling somewhat. It wasn't just a case of two players trying to find their way in a new position, and Alex Semin getting the short end of the stick while they figured it out. It really was Alex being an anchor on his two younger linemates, a square peg in a round hole team.
I was intrigued and positively inclined when Marc Bergevin announced the signing, so I won't back away from that now. I thought if he got his head screwed on straight, with the support of a better team dynamic and a few fellow Russians, and with a strong coaching staff, he could produce, contribute. A twenty goal season was a realistic aspiration, I thought. If he was healthy and fit, the talent would shine through.
It didn't happen soon enough is the best spin we can put on this. As Michel Therrien said after the first game in 2013, "On a pas l'temps d'niaiser". There's no time to mess around. If we had a lot of history with Alex, an investment, emotional or otherwise, we'd be tempted as fans to think we should stick this out, give the guy more rope. Mollycoddle away at him. But we have a darn Cup to win, we're not building a culture like the Sabres are.
This might be a case of a guy who didn't quite get it. The RDS guys who cover the team and are in contact with the actors were getting more snide by the week about his chances to make it, about his value to the team. The pivotal point may have been when he was a healthy scratch for nine games or so, drew back into the lineup, then missed the optional skate either that day or the next. That raised eyebrows. 'It wasn't really optional for you Alex', seemed to be the feeling around the team.
So Marc Bergevin, getting some strong performances from Paul Byron and the yoots from St. John's, decided to cut the cord, and we can't really blame him. And I don't really see St. John's as a likely landing spot if he clears waivers. There's no way the GM will want to expose his prospects to what could degenerate into a toxic situation. If he clears waivers, I expect they'll come to some agreement where he finds his way to Europe.
And I wouldn't be shocked if he was claimed by another team, again with the understanding that he can be had essentially for free. Would Alex Ovechkin militate for his return? Would Barry Trotz stand for that? How about the Ducks, could they put him on left wing with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry? They've been looking for a left winger for those two forever, famously dealing for Jiri Sekac in the hope there'd be a 'click'.
How about one of the bottom feeders? Would the Oilers, thinking they have nothing to lose, take a flyer on a veteran and send a youngster back to the AHL where he belongs? Another team thinking that maybe he was a poor fit for the system in Montréal, but maybe would be better in theirs?
So I don't expect that he'll ever play again in the NHL, but there's a slim chance that the quest for goal scoring will spur a team to give him another final chance. More likely though, he's taken the Andrei Kostitsyn Express to the KHL.
Dean Spanos, partnering with the Raiders, robbing me of my team.