The Carolina Hurricanes continue to stock up as the team announced Thursday they have signed Alexander Semin to a one-year contract for $7 million. Semin will be joining his second team in the NHL after six seasons with the Washington Capitals, reports Darren Dreger of TSN.
He'll also be getting a $300,000 raise from his salary of $6.7 million last season with Washington without having to leave the Southeast Division. Semin scored 40 goals during the 2009-2010 season but saw his production drop off in the following year to 28 goals and then 21 in his most recent season with the Capitals. For all his potential, the Russian player has been criticized for a lack of work ethic and a bad attitude in the locker room.
Semin has also struggled in the playoffs during his time with Washington. Along with Alexander Ovechkin, he was one of the biggest names on the team but, like Mike Green especially, was called out by the media for not getting enough done when the season was on the line.
In Carolina, he'll join a team where he could thrive. The make-up of the locker room includes noted leaders Eric Staal, Tim Gleason and new addition Jordan Staal, who signed a 10-year deal after being acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Those names combined with the young talent of Jeff Skinner with alleviate some of the pressure Semin has been under when he was on the Caps.
Despite the lack of production in recent years, Semin is no doubt getting a raise because of the short-term deal, according to Puck Daddy. It was long assumed Semin would head to Detroit, where he could line up next to a playmaker like Pavel Datsyuk, but Semin's agent told M-Live.com, "It never got serious with them."
The addition of Semin makes the Hurricanes, who haven't made the playoffs since the 2008-2009 season, a much scarier team offensively. He and Jordan Staal are players who will immediately see big minutes with their new team and probably put up numbers against relatively weak competition like the Winnipeg Jets and Florida Panthers.
After Rick Nash was traded to the New York Rangers and Minnesota was able to sign the Suter/Parise tandem, Semin was one of the biggest fish left in the free agent pool, although Shane Doan still has yet to sign somewhere. Semin was rumored to be headed to Russia because of a lack of interest in him from NHL teams.
Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford was happy to sign Semin, he told TSN.
"Alexander's elite skill level and ability to score from the wing fill an important need on the ice, we hope that a fresh start in Carolina will serve both Alexander and our team well."
He did not say, however, "and if it doesn't work he's outta here after one season."