|Alexander Semin had 21 goals, 33 assists with the Capitals last season. (Getty Images)|
Alexander Semin has finally found a new home.
The Carolina Hurricanes announced on Thursday afternoon that they have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the free agent forward on a deal that will pay him $7 million.
“We have done a lot of research about Alexander, and discussions about his fit with our team have included people at many different levels of our organization, including players, coaches and staff,” said Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford in a team statement. “What's been clear throughout this process was his commitment to wanting to play in the NHL, and compete against the world's best players.
“Alexander's elite skill level and ability to score from the wing fill an important need on the ice, and we hope that a fresh start in Carolina will serve both Alexander and our team well.”
Even though he hass as much skill as almost any player in the NHL, and has been extremely productive throughout his career, teams seemed to have little interest in signing Semin this summer due to a less-than-stellar reputation around the league. On July 1, for example, he was absolutely crushed by a panel that included Marc Crawford and Pierre McGuire on TSN for being "the ultimate coach killer" and "not a good teammate."
The Hurricanes seemed to be one team all along that had interest. Rutherford said on more than one occassion over the past couple of weeks that he would be willing to sign Semin on a short-term basis. He was able to do just that on Thursday, giving Semin a slight raise over the $6.7 million he made this past season as a member of the Washington Capitals.
In 77 games with the Capitals he scored 21 goals to go with 33 assists.
Since the start of the 2005-06 season only 25 players in the NHL have scored more goals than Semin's 187. He's also 23rd over that stretch in terms of points-per-game with a mark of 0.93.
“I'm very happy to be a Carolina Hurricane,” said Semin in Carolina's release. “It's a great fit for me. I look forward to playing with great players, and putting together a winning season.”
It's a lot of money, but it's also only a one-year commitment and the Hurricanes have more than enough cap space to afford it. Prior to signing Semin they were still $4 million below the current salary floor for this upcoming season.
Rutherford has made a couple of major moves this summer in an effort to improve his club and now has what should be a pretty exciting hockey team offensively. On draft night he completed a blockbuster trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins to acquire Jordan Staal for Brandon Sutter, a first-round draft pick and defenseman Brian Dumoulin, and then signed Staal to a 10-year, $60 million contract extension.
Now they've added another goal-scoring winger to their top-two lines that already included Eric and Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner.
They still have some question marks on their defense, but scoring goals shouldn't be much of an issue this season for Carolina.
If nothing else their games might be some of the most entertaining in the NHL.