It appears as though we have a fresh free-agent signing: Alexander Semin has accepted a one-year deal (not what he was after) with….the Carolina Hurricanes.

Look at them go, what with their fancy new Jordan Staal and pretty new Alexander Semin. Their fans must be pumped, and frankly, I can’t wait to catch a ‘Canes game now.

Here’s the first report I saw (trying to figure out who got out the official “first” on Twitter is painful):

Instead of giving him any sort of term, the ‘Canes got Semin to commit by paying him seven million dollars next season. For those of you who aren’t super good at math, that’s a good number of millions to get paid in a single season.

But, there are plenty of ways to validate paying Semin well when you look at the numbers – over the past five NHL seasons, he has the 25th highest points-per-game (via @67sound). He’s actually not too far off being a point-per-game career player. He made $6.7 million last year, and the cap has gone up a fair amount.

The contract is kind of baffling, because in my mind, it confirms what we all suspected: teams really aren’t willing to take any – ANY – kind of long-term risk with Alexander Semin because…maybe he’s grumpy in the dressing room or something? Maybe they don’t like the direction of his stats? They certainly aren’t fond of something.

Semin’s ceiling is ridiculously high (and he’s judged against that, which is why people think he’s a whole bunch of bad things, intangibles-wise), as attested by the fact that teammates in the past have called him “the most talented player in the league.” He’s potted 40 before, and there’s no reason to believe that with increased ice time (he can’t get less) and a couple good linemates he couldn’t threaten that number again. With the ‘Canes being well below the salary cap, I think it was worth taking a flier on the guy, I’m just surprised it’s only for one season.

For Carolina, this shows that they’re not fooling around anymore – it’s time to be taken seriously again, and it’s time to win. Here’s Carolina Hurricane’s GM Jim Rutherford weighing in with the final word:


And there you have it.

Comments (18)

  1. Nothing says ringing endorsement like a one year deal and a “lot of research”.

    • I saw a slightly more detailed interview with Rutherford. Reading between the lines, it sounds like there were problems between Semin and somebody else in the Capitals’ locker room. The Hurricanes gave Semin a one-year deal as an opportunity to prove that it was the other guy who was the douche.

    • Nothing wrong with a one year deal and I would imagine any team that signs a player for any amount and for any term does research prior. One year is good for the Canes and A.S.. Makes perfect sense for team and player. I never bought any of the biased rumors regarding Semin. It is a normal test not one that is testing Semin’s personality. It respects the team and A.S.. If either is happy after the season they negotiate a new deal. If either is unhappy they both move on. Simple as that. IMO, this could have applied in Pittsburgh or Jersey. Both would have been good for team and player. Canes wanted him more and the other teams will be sorry they didn’t push harder for him.

  2. the east is the new western conf

  3. No way is he worth that even for a 1 year term.

    • Yeah, I had figured 5-6 million was probably where he’d wind up – on a short-term contract. Carolina overpaid…

      • They overpay for one year, but it’s relatively low risk.

        If it doesn’t work out, they’re not paying him for year two, albeit at a lower salary. If it does work out, they can probably get him to resign for a longer term and lower salary before July 1st.

        He’s also not going to be that hard to trade. Teams accumulate cap, as far as I can tell (which is why a few teams can acquire more than 60mil in salary at the trade deadline), so many teams will be able to fit that under the cap near the deadline, and most of those will be willing to take the chance if they think it’ll get them the cup (or even into the playoffs. *cough* Toronto). It’s not like they’ll be tied to him long term.

        So the way I see it: low potential risk, high potential reward.

        • This.

          Frankly, I’m surprised more teams didn’t offer similar one year deals for this guy. If you have the space, the potential reward dwarfs the risk.

          He nets 30? It’s a win.

          He ruins the team with his enigmaticness? The Canes don’t re-sign him in year two.

          • I agree, it’s low risk. My main point was that given the fact that teams seemed to be avoiding Semin like the plague, it seems like they should have gotten him for less than 7 million. I’d have even gambled on giving him a 2 year contract. He ought to see more ice time this year and play a bigger role. It’ll be interesting to see how he does. I suspect his stats will improve (though probably not to a value of 7 million).

    • Semin is worth every cent of that contract. I’m not going to go into a long explanation as to why IMO he is because I have stated my thoughts on A.S. many times. No player of his skill has ever been so misused and mistreated by their team as he was that I can recall. I never bought into all the B.S. about Semin. Good bye Caps. Time for Semin to take care of himself and get his career back on track. He will help the Canes greatly and it will be a pleasure to watch the top six they have now. Need a defenceman or two and a decent backup and they should be set for a good run. Besides, if the owner and Rutherford think he’s worth it, it’s their cash. IMO, Alex Semin is going to fit right in with the Hurricanes. Expect to see them all put up some pretty nice numbers. While watching and listening to Jim Rutherford this off season, I have gained a real respect for the man. A good and commited G.M. and a class act.

  4. Not sure why they would have to over pay so badly to get him, obviously nobody else was giving him &7mil/year or he would have signed already. $5 would have been fair, but they should have gone 2 years I think because if he lights it up, he could walk away as a UFA again & as much as he got for this year, he would get even more next year in that scenario & he would know it. Who knows, maybe they just took a chance & if it works, maybe they re-sign him long term during the season and if not, no big deal it’s just one year. Canes looking a lot better, but still more to do if they want to compete for home ice in the playoffs. I definitely think they can get in though now, I’d say maybe 5th or 6th in the East. Could use a top 4 D-man IMO, but they could surprise some people.

    • Maybe because he had a KHL offer as well that I think was worth $6.7 million (but tax free or something).

  5. Surprised there’s so much negative reaction to the dollar amount. The key here is that it’s a $7 million investment. Not the $100 million investment given to Parise or even the $30 million investment Philadelphia has (allegedly) offered to Doan. That $7 million is money and cap space that Carolina (and a lot of other teams) already have burning a hole in their pocket and I’d really, really like to know which currently available free agents would represent $7 million better spent. Since it’s 1 year, it doesn’t hurt Carolina’s chances of signing their own players either.

    The choice isn’t whether Semin at $5 million helps you win more than Semin at $7 million. The choice is whether Semin at $7 million helps you win more than $7 million collecting dust in a bag somewhere.

    • I don’t think there’s any free agents left worth $7-mil. I guess if they believed he would bolt for the KHL, then they did what they thought they had to in order to keep him in NA. If the KHL offer was tax free, I’m surprised he didn’t take it. I do think it’s a good signing for them, he gives them a lot of options now for top two lines. 30- mil for Doan is a bit much, but of course Philly will overpay since they’ve been missing out on all other targeted FA’s. Would like to see the Canucks get Doan, but they won’t overpay, especially since Gillis is hesitant to sign older players to multi-year deals.

  6. Semin is exactly what the Canes need. They need offensive talent. They had the cap space. Done deal. If things don’t work out there is no downside at all. Trade him at the deadline for a 2nd rounder and move on. If he lights it up and you still miss the playoffs – you might even get a late 1st rounder (if Gaustad could bring one – surely a guy like Semin could).

  7. smart- Carolina is going to be tough this year.

  8. Noted that some ofthe food stalls have been at womad since the start… One ofthese is now. N zen…great noodles and tempura.. All fresh + yummy… Noticed that festival director Chris smith lovesthem too. Kat and kit.. Hereford.

  9. Mark my words folks. With a fresh start and getting out of Washington, Alexander Semin is going to thrive with the Canes. Great deal for all involved. Only problem for the Caps organization and some unfortunate player, is who will be their next excuse or scape goat if you will.

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