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.