In the end, the Alexander Semin experiment ended about as bady as it could have - and the way many people feared it would - with the forward placed on waivers in December.
A lot of the talk will be about Semin not being good enough, and the move not paying off. Some people will say he never got a fair chance and was doomed from the start. There are elements of truth in both those statements but the main one I want to make today is that I would want Marc Bergevin to take that chance every day of the week.
We don't know the real reason that Semin is on waivers. It could be due to the emergence of Sven Andrighetto who is what everyone hoped Semin would be. It could be due to the fact that Semin and Therrien had irreconcilable differences. It could be Bergevin saving cap space for a bigger move. It could be all three. It could be none of the above. We just don't know.
The fact is Semin had good numbers from an analytical point of view, which means the process was working, but unfortunately the results were not.
In the end, if nobody claims Semin, the Canadiens will be out about $150,000 on the cap, but they would save $950,000 if Semin is sent to St. John's. That's a low number for the possible upside Semin could have brought.
It's similar to the Thomas Vanek trade, in my eyes. The cost was minimal (Sebastian Collberg and a second-round pick), and Vanek didn't perform up to expectations in the playoffs. But that's a gamble you should be making. Marc Bergevin has a reputation of being conservative, but he needs to continue to take these risks. If some fail, that's fine.
It will look like a failure in almost every measure, but on July 24, for the eventual cost (about $150,000 in cap space, $1.1 million actual money), I want my general manager making that move every time. Sometimes it will blow up in your face. Other times, you get Tomas Fleischmann.