Tuesday, July 3, 2012

When TV Analysis Affects Contract Talks: Semin a "Coach-Killer"?

Is Alex Semin a coach-killer? Pierre McGuire says he is and said it on TSN's Free Agent Frenzy telecast on July 1.

Watch it here thanks to Kukla's Korner

Semin's agent, Mark Gandler, was not happy because he feels it will effect his client's talks with potential teams. I can see Gandler's frustration, McGuire's comments could cost him and his client money. But, that is if you think that general managers listen to these telecasts and use the information discussed on them as data in making their decisions. That could be a stretch. I would imagine general managers interested in Semin have already done their own research talking to whomever they can. They likely have formed their own opinions.

This situation brings up an interesting question in general. How much influence do the comments of television analysts have on decisions made in the game? We will never get a real answer to this question as NHL front office staff would not reveal it if they did use analysts' opinions in making decisions. A guy like Pierre McGuire knows everyone in the NHL and is a former coach. It is conceivable that decision makers listen to him and his opinion is valued, at least off-the-air. Then again maybe they see this as on-air antics made to entertain the masses and ignore what he has to say.

Craig Button disagreed with McGuire, while not addressing McGuire directly, by saying that Semin was receiving unfair treatment. Button then showed Semin's plus-minus over the last four years: +92. This puts him fourth for forwards and ahead of Pavel Datsyuk. You can be sure that Semin's agent will be pumping this idea to general managers and not the "coach-killer" reputation.

Who do you believe, Button or McGuire? It is a little confusing and hard to know the true character of a player. I would speculate that if you put Semin in the right situation meaning the right players, coaches, and organization he can be close to the guy people expect. Button mentioned Detroit as the best place for Semin. Is Semin best for Detroit? I am interested to see where Semin winds up and how he performs. Then we will have a better sense of the man's character and not have to rely on analysts.

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