Many say I’m a half-empty guy when it comes to the Habs and maybe they’re right. I put it down to my dark troubled Irish character. Or maybe it’s just the Guinness.
So to keep my critics happy I’m going to keep on my rose-coloured glasses on today and concede that we will all wait until this fall to see how Alexander Semin fits in with our beloved Habs. Yes he is a former 40-goal scorer but that was in 2009-2010 – in other words, you’d be just as well saying Jaro Halak is a Cup-worthy goalie since he looked that way that same season. (Eds. note: You have been saying exactly that for years!)
Things get significantly more dire when you look at his modern-day stats. Six goals and a minus-ten rating last season. I know, I know, he was playing for a beyond-crap team but – like Gomez, like Briere – the trend is pretty clear. His goal production is on the down-and-down.
Upside? It’s only costing Marc Bergevin $1.1 million to pick him up and any added scoring is a plus on a team that can’t buy goals.
Here’s one mystery for ya. The Canadiens snare an aging sagging scorer in Semin yet have spent years snubbing a much more useful aging sagging scorer named Jaromir Jagr. Explain that to me? Jaggs’ Westmount agent Petr Sloboda has been trying to sell Jagr to the team for years and management has said privately they won’t touch him with a ten-foot-pole. Genuinely curious about this one.
The other thing that worries me here is how the kindly ol’ coach is going to take to Semin. Michel Therrien benched the last two high-profile scoring acquisitions – Briere and Parenteau – and we all know he has limited to no patience with any skater who doesn’t bring the proverbial lunch bucket to the rink every night. Is he really going to get on with this enigmatic Russian?
But hey this is the new more optimistic Top Shelf scribe here. So yeah I’m waiting til the fall on this one. And if he tears it up, all the better.
– Brendan Kelly