Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Brodeur for Semin? Really?

RUMOUR2009-2010 NHL Statistics2011 Cap Info
To WashingtonPositionAgeMINWSOPYearsCap Hit
Martin BrodeurGoalie384,4994591112$5.2 million
To New JerseyPositionAgeGPGAPYearsCap Hit
Alexander SeminForward26734044841$6 million

I think we can consider this rumour to be the Mother-of-all-rumours and there should be no surprise where it has come from, but that won't stop me from playing with it.  It's just way too juicy to pass up.

I suppose by now, you've seen the proposed deal above and probably laughed like many have already.  In this deal, it is suggested that the Capitals would look after their goaltending woes by going out and acquiring one of the greatest goalies of all time, Martin Brodeur, working in his twilight years in the NHL.  In exchange, the Capitals would send oft-maligned forward, Alex Semin, in order to sway Ilya Kovalchuk back into the fold in New Jersey... or so the rumour states.  In theory, the motive could be justified by either side, but could it really work out?

Actually, I'd like to look at the points that Eklund has in his post, just to see how much footing he has here.

1. The Devils want to keep Kovalchuk.  No surprise here.  Who wouldn't want to keep one of the premier snipers in the game?

2. Martin Brodeur is not a given to keep playing much longer, and will be hired the second he retires to work in the Devils front office.  True, he isn't a given to play much longer... and it does seem likely that he will get a job with the Devils, making him a "career Devil."  I think the quotation marks really speak for themselves here.

3. Kovalchuk would consider staying if the Devils would go out and get Semin to play with him.  I don't doubt this, since Atlanta bent over backwards to bring in Antropov, Kubina and Afinogenov, all in the hopes they would keep him happy.  Very plausible.

4. Brodeur would agree to play one (possibly 2) years in Washington. Firming up their goaltending situation and making the Caps the HUGE favorite to win a Stanley Cup. Then he could return to work for the Devils, who would be in a much better situation.  If this trade does go down, Brodeur would HAVE TO agree to play one or two (which is the remainder of his current deal) more seasons and then play in the quotation marks of "career Devil."  This isn't a reason, it's a product of the the rumoured situation happening.

5. Semin is a great player, but the Caps are not opposed to moving him for Brodeur. Interestingly, the Caps signed him to a very short deal.  Semin is a ticking time-bomb, looking forward to unrestricted free agency and the opportunity to be the big fish, even if it's in a small pond (which is my understanding).  Semin would again be the smaller fish against Kovalchuk, but at least he'll go unrestricted next July, so he could be as greedy as he wants.

Salary CapOkay, so the salary cap is a pretty big factor when it comes to just about anything these days, but with these cap hits being fairly similar for the 2011 season, the only thing that really comes into play is what each team would need beyond this deal.  The Capitals, in theory, would be set with a good pack of forwards, maybe an underwhelming defense corps, but at least they will have a reliable keeper for a playoff run.  The Capitals could spend the extra cap space on improving the depth they'll need to sign.  With Semin going to the Devils and taking away Brodeur, this means that the Devils would have to both improve their defense, which has been underwhelming in its own right and actually replace one of the best goalies of all-time.  The Devils would have to greatly improve both while taking on an extra $800,000 hit on the cap space, in order to get back into the division race in the Atlantic.  To me, this is a no-brainer to say no to.

Besides the salary cap issues, which are huge and would make so much more work for Devils management, the term "career Devil" just lingers as something that has to happen.  Brodeur is not a player in the twilight of his career looking for a last gasp to win a Stanley Cup.  Brodeur has his name etched on the Cup, three times, and probably doesn't "need" another one before his career ends.  He has all of the clutch NHL records, a few championships, numerous awards and international accolades.  All Brodeur is doing is playing for the love of the game, you would have to believe and another Cup, which would be awesome no matter which way you look at it, would likely be sweetest in the Swamp.

Also, why would Lou Lamoriello want to make the Capitals a better Cup contender, just to keep Ilya Kovalchuk?  Doesn't make much sense to me.

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