The Carolina Hurricanes solidified the biggest offseason in their history Thursday, signing free agent sniper Alexander Semin to a one-year, $7 million contract. The addition of Semin, along with the acquisition of center Jordan Staal, gives the Canes a huge boost to their forward corps heading in to the 2012-13 campaign.
Semin has been, at times, criticized for his effort and commitment, but there's no denying his skill. The 28-year-old Russian right wing has three 30-plus-goal seasons under his belt during his
six seven seasons in Washington, including a 40-goal, 44-assist campaign in 2009-10 that ranked him sixth in the NHL in tallies that year. He was also on the mark that postseason, scoring five goals and adding nine assists in 14 playoff games. For his career he has 197 goals and 408 points in 469 games, plus 34 points in 51 career postseason games.
Semin has thrived against the Hurricanes in his career, registering 45 points (27 goals, 18 assists) in 41 games in the Southeast Division. But by adding Semin (13th overall pick in 2002) and the younger Staal (second overal in 2006), coach Kirk Muller now has several options in the top-six. One could figure that the top two lines will consist of some combination of Eric and Jordan Staal, Semin, Jeff Skinner, Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu. If the Staal brothers play on the same line — with Eric moving to wing, as the team has hinted they will try — Semin could join them at right wing, with the "Finns & Skins" line of Skinner, Jokinen and Ruutu staying together. Regardless, all six have scored at least 26 goals in a season, and they combined for 298 points in 2011-12.
The release from the Hurricanes is after the jump.
‘CANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH ALEXANDER SEMIN
Winger has averaged 30 goals per year over last six NHL seasons
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with left wing Alexander Semin (SEH-min) on a one-year contract. The deal will pay Semin $7 million for the 2012-13 season.
"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."
Semin, 28, completed his seventh NHL season in 2011-12, ranking second among Washington Capitals skaters in goals (21), assists (33) and points (54), and tied for fourth in plus/minus (+9). The Krasnoyarsk, Russia, native earned three goals and one assist (4 points) in 14 Stanley Cup playoff games for the Capitals, as Washington topped Boston in the first round before falling to the New York Rangers in seven games. Following the playoffs, he joined Russia at the 2012 IIHF World Championship, tallying five points (2g, 3a) in three games, including two goals and one assist during Russia’s gold-medal game victory.
"I’m very happy to be a Carolina Hurricane," said Semin. "It’s a great fit for me. I look forward to playing with great players, and putting together a winning season."
Selected by Washington in the first round, 13th overall, of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Semin (6’2", 209 lbs.) has totaled 197 goals, 211 assists (408 points) and 450 penalty minutes in 469 career regular-season games with the Capitals. He is one of 18 NHL players to have averaged 30 goals or more per year over the last six seasons, with 187 total goals in that period of time. Semin netted his 197th career goal on April 5 against Florida, moving into fifth place on Washington’s all-time goal-scoring list. He has a career plus/minus rating of plus-65, and his plus-92 rating over the last four seasons ranks fifth among all NHL players.
Semin has represented Russia in nine major international competitions, including the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. He helped Russia capture gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 IIHF World Championships, and also won medals at the 2002 U-18 World Junior Championship (silver), 2005 IIHF World Championship (bronze) and 2010 IIHF World Championship (silver). Semin’s career statistics are below.