Alex Semin is gone; what now for the Washington Capitals?

With a one-year deal worth $7 million, Alex Semin is headed to Raleigh to frustrate the living bejesus out of Carolina Hurricanes fans join Jordan Staal as part of a new-look offense for the Carolina Hurricanes.

It's a good deal for both parties. Semin, by hook (not the two-minute variety, with which Semin is very familiar) or crook gets his money and the team is only on the hook for one year. Not a bad deal for a boom-or-bust guy like Semin, even if he is coming off a bust season.

Now just where does that leave the Capitals?

They're not exactly up a creek with no paddle because it was pretty clear that Semin wanted to leave from season's end.

But Capitals general manager George McPhee had not ruled Semin out as recently as two weeks ago.

In free agency, the Caps have snagged Joey Crabb and Wojtek Wolski. They also snagged center Mike Ribeiro in a trade on draft night.

Do those signings make up for Semin leaving? What the hell are the lines going to look like?

These are questions that are not even close to being answered yet. There's still plenty of free agency left to go.

As it stands, according to, Washington has around $10.5 million to play with. That should be enough to lock John Carlson down for the long run and make a run at Shane Doan, who is still currently without a team and would fill the glaring hole on the right wing of the first line for the Capitals.

Next year is where it would get interesting. Winger Stanislav Galiev looks to be progressing well and, perhaps after a strong year with the Hershey Bears, could make the jump.

There will also be lots of guys coming out of contracts, including Ribeiro, Karl Alzner, Marcus Johansson, and both Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby, among other names, that the Caps would want to hold on to (damn you, Joel Ward and your $3 million per year for the next three years).

Financially speaking, letting Semin go is probably for the best. There's talent on the current roster and plenty more rising through the ranks.

Having cap space trumped having Alex Semin return to the Capitals. If the right money was on the table and after almost all the other big-name free agents moved on, he would have come back. 

But the money wasn't there. Whether or not keeping the cap space over keeping Semin was the right move will become obvious in the next few seasons.

Here's to hoping it was the right move.


MartythePenguin's picture

But Semin going to Carolina was the worst case scenario for the Capitals. The Penguins, Flyers and Bruins could make this situation a bad dream considering the outcomes.
However the Hurricanes are in their division and will play them 6 times next year. This is a nightmare for the Washington Area. They say Semin is not motivated?
-He only signed a 1 year deal, so he is technically playing for a contract the following year.
-Semin will at least be motivated to play in those games against his former team.
(Not to mention the paring might even make them meet in the playoffs.)
Finally, the Canes are making a run and the Caps added some names, not players. Just Saying.

Carden Hedelt's picture

Thanks for reading amd taking the time to comment. I agree that this could motivate Semin. I wrote a piece a while back about him and said that the right situation could do wonders for him. This might be it. This was a look at what the Caps are doing/might do from here on out in free agency since that's the most pertinent thing right now. My next post will probably be looking at the Caps players who have left and what happens when they play their former team again, where I'll touch on more of the things you mentioned.

George Prax's picture

I think Semin will do great down there. Carolina managed to get some decent hockey out of Samsonov after the trainwreck in Montreal, Semin can only do better, considering his pure talent. One thing's for sure, Canes/Caps games just got a lot more exciting as match-ups.