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Canes couldn't stop Semin, so they signed him

The Sports Xchange

The Hurricanes had to wait to make their free agent splash, so it might have gone a little under the radar. But by late July, they had secured Alexander Semin as a piece to upgrade the offense.

More than providing another element for the top lines, the addition of Semin eliminates a past problem for the Hurricanes. After all, they rarely could slow him down when he played for Southeast Division rival Washington.

In regular-season games for Washington in seven seasons, he had 197 goals. Of those, 27 came against the Hurricanes. That's the most he scored against any NHL team.

The options on how to use Semin will be numerous -- the top lines figure to be reconfigured with the addition of center Jordan Staal. So if Semin, a natural left wing, takes a spot on one of the top two lines and either Eric Staal or Jeff Skinner holds a role as a left wing, that figures to mean there will be a ripple effect on the top lines.

Semin will cost the Hurricanes $7 million for one season. His signing is an indicator, according to general manager Jim Rutherford, that team owner Peter Karmanos is fully behind the roster makeover that has begun.

Semin receives a fresh start with the Hurricanes, who obviously have been impressed with his scoring touch the last few years. They're certainly hoping that his presence in the lineup will help shift the balance of power in the division.

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