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Alexander Semin signs with Carolina — one year, $7 million

Jul 26, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

Alexander Semin Getty Images

Alexander Semin will stay in the Southeast Division, but it won’t be in Washington.

The Carolina Hurricanes announced they signed the offensively gifted Russian to a one-year contract worth $7 million.

Throughout his career Semin has been a big scorer with 40-goal ability and now he’ll join a Hurricanes team boasting Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Jeff Skinner, and Tuomo Ruutu up front. Suddenly Carolina’s ability to score seems downright scary.

Canes GM Jim Rutherford sounds very hopeful that Semin will put them into another level.

“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. “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.”

Given the rumblings and grumblings out of Washington the last few seasons about Semin’s work ethic and ability to focus, finding out Semin’s commitment level was necessary. Rutherford mentioning that says as much.

It may not be a mistake he chose Carolina as he’ll be able to torture the Capitals directly six times a year as well as in the hunt for the division. The Southeast Division just got a whole lot more interesting.

  1. lonespeed - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    As a Carolina fan…

    Well, at least we got Jordan Staal this year.

    • tbbolts91 - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      Congratulations. And with the Lightning being in the S/E division, I’m a little nervous. I wish Stevie Y would’ve looked into Semin. Although Matt Carle took up all our cap space….

      • blackfoot11 - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:27 PM

        Yzerman is too smart of a GM. He knows the Semin types, from being a player.

      • phillyphever - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:30 PM

        Yeah, that’s gonna haunt you in 2 years. Trust me, he’s not worth it.

      • tbbolts91 - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:29 AM

        @blackfoot11 i know what you mean. i couldn’t see semin fitting in with the bolts locker room anyway. alex semin does have a lot of potential, though, that any team could use

    • mattj2524 - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      lonespeed – don’t be clichea and repeat everything you read in these comment lines. What Semin lacks in the defensive and physicality departments, he makes up for in the offensive zone. He has extremely soft hands, grace on his skates, and one of the better shooting touches in the league.

      As a Carolina fan…be happy that you had the money to overpay a pure scorer for a contract with no long term commitment. As long as Cam Ward remains solid on the back end of this team, I’d be willing to bet that this addition just put your team in the playoff mix for the coming year.

  2. kingfooj - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Rutherford sure wasnt kidding, that is one short fat contract. Guess we’ll get to put Staal’s ‘one elite forward away’ prediction to the test.

    • jpelle82 - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:20 PM

      thats what i’m thinking, staal asked for it, rutherford delivered. now there’s no excuses

    • barkar942 - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:10 PM

      So who is the one ELITE forward you speak of? Semin? Seriously? ELITE?

  3. phillyphever - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Wow, did Semin’s agent have any photos of Rutherford or something? Well, the good news it’s only one year, so his laziness will only affect the team for a short time.

  4. wakegoalie27 - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Huge signing that puts them AHEAD of Washington this season. There was an excellent read and I wish I could remember the article that debunked a lot of the statistical myths surrounding semin.

    As a flyer fan, I was hoping we could get him for somewhat cheap. 7 mil is probably too much but hey when you got the space you might as well use it

    • phillyphever - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      Ah, no thank you. Didn’t want another Zherdev fiasco with Semin.

      • wakegoalie27 - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:27 PM

        Do you blame zherdev? Dude was producing and got demoted to 4th line.

        Semin has the talent and given the right leadership his image will be shed. Washington is terrible at dealing with problem children, from management on down that team has absolutely no heart and absolutely no guts when times get tough

      • barkar942 - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:23 PM

        “Do you blame zherdev? Dude was producing and got demoted to 4th line.”

        The only thing Nik Zherdev ever produced in the NHL was divots on the bench from long periods of sitting on it, which he completely deserved, mostly from his poor overall effort. One good shift per game doesn’t make an elite player.
        As for Semin, I will admit he has an AWESOME shot, but as for the rest of his abilities, I am left unimpressed.

      • phillyphever - Jul 26, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        Producing what, headaches? The guy’s soft. Hell, they never should have signed him in the first place.

      • michael90212 - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:24 PM

        @Barkar: I’m not defending Semin personally in any way, but you clearly haven’t seen him play very much. He’s as good a dangler as there is in the NHL. In fact, he would score a LOT more with that great shot that you’re talking about if he would actually USE that shot more often, instead of dangling, curling & dragging, pirouetting, etc. In short, he’s got a ton of problems with “intangibles,” but his skill level with puck handling is plainly evident to anybody who has seen a decent amount of games.

    • hockeydon10 - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:00 PM

  5. dipthatchip - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    damnit, I was hoping he’d sign outside of the SE. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t have any ‘on’ games vs WSH

    • barkar942 - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:27 PM

      dipthatchip, I am sure that he will have six attempts at a superior performance against his old team. Spite always will fire one up.

  6. mclovinhockey - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    The canes got better but still might not be a playoff team…
    I thought poop in the can said he would be a pen???

  7. earlcpeacock - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    hahahhhaa 7 mil for this hack!!! ur almost as dumb as philthy!!!

  8. herbiecane - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Here’s hoping Other Alex shows up as the Point-Per-Game Monster he can be and not the Locker Room Monster he allegedly can be.

    ….Holy crap- we kinda have some offense, don’t we?

    As for defense….#30 better stay ready to block 35+ a night. Like always.

  9. caps247 - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    As a Caps fan, wouldn’t say I’m surprised. Playing alongside either of the Staals would make a nice combo if he can get himself motivated to score again. He’s fully capable of scoring goals and has plenty of potential, but the question is will he live up to it? Only time shall tell.

    As for the off-ice issues, let’s see if the Canes can tame the beast that the Caps never could.

    I wish him good luck nonetheless, because of the impacts he made in Washington (mostly the positive ones) a few years back.

    The SE division just got beefed up, look for a division title race in the late season.

  10. sjsharks66 - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    I remember reading that Semin only needed 1 year 2 mil…. How did that jump to 7 mil.

    • blackfoot11 - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:19 PM

      My question is Carolina that desperate for a top 6 forward that they were willing to spend $7 million on Semin. The org. must be banking on the fact he can return to the Old 2008-2009 Semin.

    • barkar942 - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:29 PM

      …and what about those HUGE KHL offers we were all reading about! Guess they didn’t want him either.

  11. wenzel0232 - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Hey. Even the dirty Russian in Rocky IV turned out to have a heart in the end. I think, Semin picked the Canes singe can show them Craps what he is made of, 6 times a year!

    Whoever said the canes aren’t a playoff team above must not have a clue about hockey. If the bad Semin shows up the Canes make the playoffs in 6-8th. If the good Semin shows up then the Canea win the Southeast division.

  12. govtminion - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Seven million for a guy who takes lazy penalties, skates around in figure eights when he doesn’t feel like playing- which is pretty often- and tends to vanish in the playoffs?

    Big gamble, but it’s only a year, I guess.

  13. tfaltin - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    He’s got a 1-year, show-me-what-you’re-made-of contract. Jordan centering Semin and Eric. I don’t even know how hard Semin will need to work to get points…

  14. blackfoot11 - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    If hockey was a non-collision sport, Semin would flourish. He does not like contact and he turns off the effort when opponents hit him. He has better skill than Ovi, but pails in comparison to Ovi’s heart and effort on the ice. The talent is not the issue, it is his attitude. Good luck with that mission, Carolina.

  15. ravenscaps48 - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    $7 Million for a guy who scored 21 Goals and performed a great Houdini act worth of Vegas in the playoffs (that’s every year)….. Have fun, Caniacs

    • capesouth - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      Worth it for a team who has the cap space and is only committing for one year. Nothing but upside here. Worst case, he puts up 50 pts again and they drop him at the end of the year. Still an improvement over what they had. Best case, he goes out to prove himself and puts up 40 goals again. I think there is more working in his favor that makes it a good risk for the Canes: He is playing for a longer-term big contract again, the change of scenery, being a part of a team on the rise vs whatever the hell the Caps are, and MAYBE playing with some more passion to prove doubters wrong. If i’m the canes, I take that risk for a year too. Mixed with the handful of legit forwards they already have, could be a good thing. It’s a risk..just like every player in some way shape or form. It’s a good risk on their part.

      • blackfoot11 - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:56 AM

        At this point in FA, its all about bargain contracts. This was not a bargain, even though the guy has the talent. Great move in trading for Staal, but this move says the Canes are starved for top 6 forward talent to go with the current crop. Why not reward a current third/fourth liner or go to your farm system for talent to graduate? This move speaks to the depth of the ‘Canes talent pool.

      • capesouth - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:14 AM

        I don’t agree it is about bargain contracts…That’s not really a good reason to pass up a guy like Semin though…If the option is take a chance on a guy who has proven success and elite talent vs taking a chance on someone in their farm system which, like you say, may lack depth…I choose the latter. I think it is a good option for one year to see what happens. Maybe he stinks and they drop him. Then next year, they have that cap space to spend on a different pool of free agents if they want.

      • blackfoot11 - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM

        I see your point, but the Canes rewarded a guy with high salary reserved for 30+ goal scorers, and Semin has been everything but that in the last two years. I just dont see the value there, maybe at $3 million for one-year. GM’s should be building a team, not collecting talent. Especially talent with bad attitudes and aren’t coachable. We can only sit back and watch.

  16. capesouth - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    I’m actually pretty excited about Carolina and I’m not even a fan of theirs. I think they always have a good balance of skill and toughness when they’re on their game. That division is no longer a joke. Washington will compete, Florida I think is only improving, and Carolina has something to prove. Definitely playoff potential with the offensive threats they have and the goaltending. When teams suck like they have, while having to core intact, I think they have more potential bc that core now has the tools to succeed and the motivation to do it after all this time. They’ll do well.

    • ravenscaps48 - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      Might be one of the tougher divisions in hockey, now

      • capesouth - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:17 AM

        It will be better but still lack compared to other divisions. They have three teams that, in my eyes, are just above mediocrity. The Panthers, Caps, and the unproven Canes. We’ll see.

  17. cameltoews - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    I love how CERTAIN pens fans think they are getting every good winger out there. In reality no one wants to play there.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      Pretty sure you’re lying.

  18. capsfan19 - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Does this mean him and ovi cant party in clubs together??????
    “ovi, this is sasha, i miss you comrade” “sasha? Why you leave and go to carolina? We no longer butt buddy” *click*

  19. mclovinhockey - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    They have a great first line now, and some depth with a good goalie and half decent D… They won’t be a Philly, Pitt, rag or bruin type team
    Florida didn’t get much worse, I think Tampa got a bit better…the habs added size and depth to a team who had an off year and needed both of those things all year. The east is hard and semin could be a bust..
    The canes need to improve on D before I can comfortably say they are a playoff team. Not saying they won’t make it… Anything can happen, just saying I would not just assume they will make it.

  20. bcjim - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Massive fail on Mcphees part. Sorry to see you go 28.

  21. wenzel0232 - Jul 26, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    After the coaching change the Canes had one of the best records in the East last year and made a solid push for the playoffs. With Muller getting a full year and some significantly increased talent one should be asking, how can this team NOT make the playoffs.

    The D Looked bad last year because the O couldn’t keep ahold of the puck. They should get a break this year and won’t be asked to overachieve.

  22. earlcpeacock - Jul 26, 2012 at 6:14 PM


  23. wethog66 - Jul 26, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    See ya Sasha. Thanks for the memories.

  24. loge23 - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Jeez, they play hockey in Carolina??

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      They play hockey in Arizona.

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