From Backstrom to Steckel, we're taking a quick look at and grading the 2007-08 season for every player* who laced 'em up for the Caps during the campaign (and is still with the team) with an eye towards 2008-09. Next up, Alexander Semin.
Contract Status: 2008-09 salary of $4,200,000 (cap hit of $4,600,000); RFA after 2009-10 season
Age (as of October 1, 2008): 24
NHL Seasons (including 2007-08): 3
2007-08 Regular Season Stats: 63 games played, 26 goals, 16 assists, -18, 54 PIMs
Key Stat: Semin had the second most goals on the team.
"At Least He Was Consistent" Stat: Semin had 12 goals, 8 assists and a minus-nine rating in 31 games before the All-Star break and 14 goals, 8 assists and a minus-nine rating in 32 games after the break.
The Good: Semin was second on the team in goals and power play goals, second in shots per game (2.9), and lead the team in shootout goals (including the clincher in Pittsburgh on January 21). He was 22nd in the League in goals per game (among players who played at least 54 games). Once he shook off a lingering ankle injury, Semin hit his stride - over the second half and change of the season he had 24 goals in 47 games (a 41-goal pace over the course of a season), including a six-game point-scoring streak in January and a five-game goal streak in February. Semin had seven goals and five assists in 18 regular season games following the acquisition of Sergei Fedorov and was arguably the Caps best forward in the playoffs with three goals, five assists, and a plus-two rating while playing probably the most inspired hockey of his career.
The Bad: A year after finishing second on the team with 38 goals and 73 points, Semin dropped to fifth on the team in scoring (his points-per-game dropped from .95 in 2006-07 to .67 in 2007-08) and played in 14 fewer games due to that ankle injury. His minus-18 rating was the second-worst mark on the team (and tied for 19th-worst in the League), he had only 20 hits all season, the worst takeaway-to-giveaway ratio of any Cap forward (third worst overall), and the fifth-fewest assists per minute of ice time on the team (better than only Milan Jurcina, Donald Brashear, Eric Fehr and Shaone Morrisonn). Semin had the second-worst goals against per sixty on the team and the third-worst plus/minus per sixty on the club and the most minor penalties of any Caps forward (by a wide margin, and the most minors per game by an even wider margin) thanks to 13 hooking minors (good for sixth-most in the League).
The Vote: Rate Semin on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.
The Questions: With which center would you most like to see Semin work for the 2008-09 Caps? What will it take for him to earn a 10 rating next year?
If you've missed any of the previous 2007-08 Rink Wraps, click here, get caught up, and vote - polls will stay open for a while.
* And by "every," we mean every one who played more than just a handful of games.