The Carolina Hurricanes have signed Alexander Semin to a five-year extension, worth $7 million per year, the team announced Monday.
“We're very happy to retain Alex,” said Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford in a statement. “Alex is an elite player and has been a major contributor to the Hurricanes having a very strong top line.”
Semin has been excellent for the Canes this season, averaging a point-per-game with eight goals and 22 assists. To think he had a hard time finding many takers last offseason as an unrestricted free agent.
With few options, Semin signed with Carolina over the summer on a one-year deal, also worth $7 million for the season and has proven that he is still one of the top offensive players in the league. It became pretty obvious that Rutherford made a terrific gamble quickly and he was quite vocal about his intention to sign the 28-year-old right wing to an extension in recent weeks.
With Semin re-signed, Carolina has a strong offensive core that includes Eric Staal, Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner along with goaltender Cam Ward locked up until at least 2015-16.
What makes the money doled out to Semin a bit more complicated is that it may put some pressure on Rutherford to move some money around in the offseason.
According to CapGeek.com, Carolina already has over $58.2 million committed to 17 players for next season with the salary cap expected to drop to $64.3 million. There's not a lot of wiggle room there to help build around that core.
Additionally, Carolina has a group of restricted free agents that it presumably would like to try and re-sign after next season including defensemen Justin Faulk and Jamie McBain and forward Jiri Tlusty.
Still, at his best, Semin is one of the elite offensive players in the league and a clear top-line wing. For a lot of teams, that's worth paying for.