Last week it became really big news when Alexander Semin called out Sidney Crosby as just another player. It became big news on the web as well as on TV. What didn't become big news was the comment that may have been directed at Thomas Vanek. Semin did an interview with Puck Daddy where he talked about many different issues, some hockey related and some non-hockey related.
Comment on Sidney Crosby...
What's so special about [Crosby]? I don't see anything special there. Yes, he does skate well, has a good head, good pass. But there's nothing else. Even if you compare him to Patrick Kane from Chicago ... [Kane] is a much more interesting player. The way he moves, his deking abilities, his thinking on the ice and his anticipation of the play is so superb.
Was this comment directed at Thomas Vanek?
I think that if you take any player, even if he is "dead wood," and start promoting him, you'll get a star. Especially if he scores 100 points. No one is going to care about anyone else. No one is going to care whether he possesses great skill. Let's say you put someone in front of the net and let him deflect pucks in, and he scored 50 goals; everyone will say "Wow!" and then hand him a $10 million per year contract. That's what they like here.
Thanks to a comment at Japers Rink for the hat tip
It appears the comment had to be directed at Vanek because I can't think of another player he would be describing. Do you think Vanek knew about the comment because he scored two really pretty goals on Saturday night when the Sabres beat the Capitals 5-0. Wonder if he went over and asked Semin if he liked the goals.
If for some reason you missed the goals here they are..
Goal #1 - put the Sabres ahead 1-0 in the first period.
Goal #2 - with 2.9 seconds left in the 2nd period
For those of us who have had the pleaseure of watching Thomas Vanek, we know he does more than just stand in front of the net. Vanek is not afraid to stand in front of the net but he is one of the most creative players in the NHL today. He has deceiving speed and wicked wrister. He is also really good with his hands for a big guy that stands in front of the net.
Vanek has 11 goals in 12 games to start the season and many of those goals have been of the "pretty" variety. He has also scored his first two shorthanded goals of his career.
Did Vanek deserve the huge contract he got? Probably not but the Edmonton Oilers were desperate and the Sabres had no choice but to match the offer. Vanek is off to a hot start and if it continues he will be a 50 goal-scorer easily and may possibly hit the 60 goal plateau for the first time of his career.