Free Agency 2012: Should the Red Wings go after Alexander Semin or Shane Doan?

With Zach Parise locked up in Minnesota for the next 10 years, the list of remaining free agent power forwards has trickled down to only a handful, and the Red Wings are looking for someone to fill in a gap without having to sacrifice their own players in a trade for a forward still locked in a contract (Rick Nash or Bobby Ryan).

Two forwards the Red Wings may be interested in are Alexander Semin and Shane Doan.

The articles and press surrounding Alexander Semin certainly have not been positive over the past few seasons. The forward has been painted as a lazy, “coach killing,” inconsistent player for the Washington Capitals, squandering his talent even when playing amongst guys like Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, and Alexander Ovechkin. Even in this free agency period, he has been labeled as a “Plan B” for most teams.

Semin is an extremely talented hockey player. He has one of the most wicked wrist shots in the entire NHL. But his lack of consistency has given him a bad reputation.

Why would he choose the Red Wings, if an offer from them happens to come?

Semin has stated on many different occasions that he has enjoyed playing with Pavel Datsyuk in Russia, both in the Olympics and in the World Championship. If Semin signed with the Red Wings, he would find himself as Datsyuk’s winger. It would be a dangerous combination of Russian skill and deke-ability.

And would a coach like Mike Babcock be able to straighten Semin out? Babcock is known as one of the most demanding coaches in the NHL, asking a lot from his players game in and game out. Would that kind of attitude have a positive effect on Semin, or would he just tune it all out like he seemed to do in Washington?

The risk on Semin lapsing into inconsistency may have the Red Wings steering clear of the Russian winger.

Shane Doan seems to be contemplating leaving the Phoenix Coyotes for the first time in his career. And the Red Wings would be stupid not to at least take a look at what signing him would include.

Doan is a physical player, something that the Red Wings have lacked in recent years, and something they seem to be attempting to rectify by signing agitator Jordin Tootoo this off-season. He finished last season with 22 goals and 28 assists in 79 games. Plus, he’s a right-handed shot, another thing the Red Wings need.

Doan’s price tag last year was $4.55 million, much less than Semin’s $6.7 million.

But Doan would like to stay in the desert, if it’s possible. The Coyotes have had ownership problems, and it is still undecided if the team will remain in Glendale or move elsewhere. If the chance comes for Doan to stay, the team’s captain would more than likely jump at the opportunity.

The Red Wings have to try. They pushed for both Parise and Ryan Suter and came out empty-handed; they cannot give up just yet. There are still pieces of the puzzle to fill. When push comes to shove, the Red Wings won’t be afraid to shove.


Follow me on Twitter (@franzenmuth) and make sure to "like" The Checking Line-Red Wings Edition on Facebook as well as on Twitter (@TCLRedWings) to stay up to the minute with all the latest team news and notes.


Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Welcome Christina! Doan is a real possibility as his agent has reported both sides are interested, but Holland said nothing is happening with Semin. Jay Bouwmeester might be moved and the Wings are in on him, and obviously Yandle as well, although it'll take a lot to pry him away from Phoenix

Brad Butland's picture

Welcome! While I might not think Doan or Semin are worth bringing here I do still think that, as a matter of principal, the Wings need to try. Managemnent needs to live up to the talk of 'aggression' in the offseason, and quitting after whiffing on Parise and Suter would fly in the face of that. If we cannot get a pure, talented scorer and a dependable top 4 defenseman, I would feel better saving the resources till spring and see what kind of deal we can swing. Signings like Samuelsson just piss me off, personally. You can only polish a ball of dung so much, and at the end of the day, it's still a ball of dung.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Nicely said! Samuelsson I can do without. Tooto and Gustavsson - sure. But they need more than that.