The Red Wings have money to spend this year, and whether or not they had planned on it, they will be forced to spend money to bring big free agents here once again to put Hockeytown at the top of the list next season to bring home Lord Stanleys Cup.
The biggest question on Red Wings fans is not the type of player the Wings need, that’s very common knowledge around the league.
They need a big defenseman. Ryan Suter is oft rumored to be that man. He is a very solid addition to any blueline, and is easily the biggest target among free agent defensemen. He will command at least 7 million dollars per year, and 8-10 years.
The bigger question, especially now, is the rumored Parise still the best fit for the Wings, now that his team is making a strong push to their own plate on the Stanley Cup.
Zach Parise last year made 6 million dollars. He also became captain of the New Jersey Devils, the team he has played for since he was drafted in the 2003 entry draft. Since Parise broke into the league in 2005, he has been a very strong player for that team. His rookie campaign wasn’t much to write home about, but with the exception of an injury riddled 2010-2011 season, he’s played at least 81 games every year in the NHL.
With the exception of that injured year, and his rookie campaign, he’s scored at least 30 goals and 30 assists in every campaign as well, and he’s had an average shooting % of 11.4, that is including his injured yeard where he only converted 6.1% of his shots. That definitely makes him a high powered scorer.
If you put him on the wing of Zetterberg or Datsyuk, you can almost guarantee similar numbers to his break out 2008-09 if all stay healthy. That year, he scored 45 goals, had 49 helpers, was a +30 on the ice, and had a 12.4% conversion rate on net.
We also know Parise is very clutch in big games. He scored the goal to tie it in the final seconds of the Gold medal game of the 2010 Olympic games, and in that series out of six games he had 4 goals, 4 assists and 0 Penalty minutes.
In his playoff NHL career, his numbers aren’t too bad also, despite a couple empty nets this year, he has a respectable 55 games played, with 20 goals and 42 points (Updated as of 5/26/12). He is however a -2, and his shooting percentage drops a full point and a half to 9.9%.
All very respectable and lust-worthy of any team in the league. The demand for Parise is high, and so with that, his demands will be high. Considering he now has captain experience, and now coupled with a very deep playoff run, I think the Parise from before the playoffs, who would’ve taken 6.5-7 and 5-7 years, will now demand closer to 7.5-8 million for 4-5 years, if not more. He is worthy to pursue, but Carolina will have more money to throw at him, and almost as good a pairing in Eric Staal.
Alexander Semin in the 2011-2012 season made 6.7 million dollars. He was drafted 13th overall in the 2002 entry draft by the Washington Capitals. He is 28 years old, and has played for the Capitals since the 2006 season. He had a rookie campaign in 2003-2004, but took a break with the lockout to play in Russia.
Alexander Semin took a lot of heat this playoff year, as well as this regular season. He came under fire for lack of effort, and poor play in both ends. On the opposite side of Parise, he has zero experience as an alternate or captain of an NHL team. And his team has never run far in the playoffs. Out of 51 games he has a measly 15 goals and 34 points.
All those things, will definitely negatively affect Semin on the Free Agent Market.
However, in his defense, his regular season output can put him ahead of Parise, given the opportunity. In the past two years, the Capitals overhauled their system in that they reigned in Ovechkin, Backstrom, Green and Semin and in an effort to make stronger playoff pushes, they collared those four players and a marked difference in performance was shown in terms of points.
Bearing that in mind, career, in 469 games (a full 30 less than Parise), he has 197 goals, 211 assist and 408 points total. He has a shooting percentage of 14.1.
Prototypically Semin is a more offensive signing, which the Wings might be looking for. He will have more chemistry off the bat with Datsyuk, and can complement his playmaking with his hard shot.
In my mind, he’ll request for around 6.5-6.7 as he’s making now, but will settle for possibly 6.0 for 10 years to play next to Pavel Datsyuk for the next 7 or 8 years.
All in all, Semin, I think will fight harder in the next few years to redeem his name in the NHL while playing alongside the best player in the NHL in Pavel Datsyuk, his countryman.
Parise, I believe is the better fit long term. Him and Zetterberg I believe could make incredible plays and would for the next decade.
Who do you choose?