Thread: Confirmed with Link: Free Agency Thread
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07-21-2012, 07:45 PM
  #618
Robb_K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
I just think of Semin as a mercurial one-way winger with inconsistent effort, and that kind of player would stand out like a sore thumb on a Hitchcock team and among the assembled group the Blues have. He's obviously got high end skills, but you need to have players you can count on night in, night out and that's not Semin IMO.
I think THIS is the key. I have no doubt that Semin is capable of playing Hitchcock's 2-way 200 foot game. He looked decent playing defence in Washington's system last season in the 4-5 games I watched. He didn't look like he was cruising or dogging it.

I think the worry is that he might take off a night every once in a while, which would cause a problem with the other players who play all out, all the time. He'd be resented for having the big scorer's contract and not being a "team player". The Blues' game under Hitchcock's sytem is very much a team game, needing ALL the players on each shift on the same page. Hockey is a game of inspiration. A team's mental atmosphere affects how fast their feet move. Confidence and a common full-out effort towards the goal to win puts more jump in the skates than players' minds concentrating on teammates "sabotaging" the team's cause.

The Blues have a young team, growing up together, striving together to become a winner. They have a very friendly and devoted-to-team atmosphere. Having a player lapse into selfishness could destroy that. That could be the difference in Stewart's case.

The Blues keeping Stewart, and Hitchcock not benching him for long periods, might be because Stewart WAS really trying hard all season, and NOT being "lazy" or selfish, but was thrown off by having to adjust his one-sided game to Hitchcock's 2-way, 200 foot game, on the fly, without having had a training camp and exhibition season,- while not having had the proper physical training for it. He was tired from not being fit enough for it, and also bewildered by the complexity of the defensive responsibilities that he wasn't trained for.

Semin, on the other hand, has proved that he is capable of playing the 2-way game in a structured system (as he did in Washington last season). But, he still hasn't "proved" that he can play "full-out" ALL season long for a coach and team, to shake his unfairly strong reputation as a "lazy" and selfish player.

If Semin would cost $2.5 million per year, possibly, Armstrong mike be willing to take a chance on him. But to pay a scorer's salary to him, and gamble that he might have a bad influence on team chemistry and the young players, is too risky.

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