Unrestricted free agent Alexander Semin has signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes.
“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,” said Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford.
The 28-year-old winger previously played six seasons with the Washington Capitals, scoring at least 20 goals every year. Semin’s most productive season came in 2009-10 when he scored 40 goals and added 44 assists in 73 games for the Capitals. However, the subsequent seasons saw a severe drop in production as the team implemented a more defensive-minded style of hockey, which hindered not only Semin’s offensive production, but team captain Alexander Ovechkin as well.
“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 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.”
Carolina had previously expressed interest in Semin on a short-term basis, but they may have overpaid for his services at $7 million for one year. Still, the short contract is a win-win for both parties.
While many teams may not have been willing to overpay for Semin after seeing a drop in production over the last two seasons and a bad reputation plaguing him across the league, a deal of this nature not only allows Semin to try to regain his status as an offensive superstar, thus raising his value if he decides to test free agency again next summer, but it also allows Carolina latitude if things don’t work out.
This is the second big move of the summer for Carolina, a team that finished 10th overall in the Eastern Conference – 10 points out of a playoff spot. The team previously acquired Jordan Staal, brother of Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, from the Pittsburgh Penguins at the NHL Entry Draft in June.
The Hurricanes still have a little less than $13 million in available cap space with 22 players signed for next season.