Vanek isn't really that much of a two way player imo, not enough that it makes a difference how much better offensively Semin is. Semin is just as good of a goal scorer if not better, and for sure a better playmaker.
Vanek was on the PK to start the season, had 2 SHGs in the first few games, and the PK was flawless. Inexplicably, Ruff stopped putting him out there, and the season went to crap.
As for being a playmaker -- and I'm not saying one way or the other who is better at it -- keep in mind how brutal the Sabres have been the past 2 seasons at finishing and scoring. 75% of the team couldn't hit an open net last year if they were in the crease.
Ever heard of Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom, or Sergei Fedorov? Besides, IIRC Vanek spent most of his time on Roy's line when those two were on the Sabres anyway.
I guess I worded things a bit strong, but I won't back down from the belief that Semin has better support around him. He's also playing in probably the most offensively-oriented system in the league. Vanek seems like he's sometimes bottled up by Ruff and a lack of firepower on his team.
If you're going to use the line argument rather than the "teammates" argument, you then have to point out that Semin's best goal scoring season came with Kris Beech as his primary center, and this season he usually had Fedorov to play with. You think either of them compare to Roy offensively?
The fact is both of these players had great supporting casts offensively, but neither got the primary benefits of their team's best offensive support on their own lines (at least 5-on-5) most of the time.
Vanek's better defensively probably (Semin is no slouch other than in discipline), Semin's got the better wrist shot, Vanek's better in front of the net, Semin's the better playmaker.
Good comparison, I don't know which way I'd choose honestly.
I like Vanek as well, but it's close. If Semin could ever stay healthy for a season, then we're on to something. Durability will always be an issue. Vanek has also grown as a player by leaps and bounds and he's now discovered what it takes to be a top player in the league and to have the best checkers on you night in and out. I don't think Semin has had that experience yet because everyone seems to focus on Ovechkin and Backstrom.
I gotta give credit for a good poll. I chose vanek due in large part to his ability to stay healthy. I was skeptical of how good vanek would truly become after his break out season. He has proven himself to be one of the most dangerous goal scorers in the league and i think hes the second or third best natural goal scorer in the league behind only ovechkin and possibly kovalchuck. What i like best about vanek is hes willing to go to the front of the net or he can dangle for highlight reel type s***
Semin is also a dangerous sniper however the injuries and somewhat of a reluctancy to go to traffic areas sways this one to vanek.