The last big free agent – not named Shane Doan – is now off the market.
Early Thursday afternoon, the Carolina Hurricanes announced that they signed right winger Alexander Semin to a one-year, $7 million deal. The contract will keep the 28-year-old in the Southeast Division, after spending the first seven years of his NHL career with the Washington Capitals.
“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,” Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement released by the team. “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.”
Over the past six seasons Semin has averaged 30 goals, but last season he finished with just 21 goals – the lowest of his career for a full season – and 54 points. Semin’s value has dropped significantly over the last year, due to not only inconsistency on-the-ice but also because of a mediocre work ethic off-the-ice. Those could be the two biggest reasons he signed a one-year contract instead of a longer deal. A change of scenery will certainly be good for the Russian native.
For the Hurricanes it’s the second big acquisition this summer. Pittsburgh traded Jordan Staal to Carolina back in June on the first night of the draft, in a move that allowed the Penguins to shed some money and pick up a couple of low-end prospects. Jordan is now once again reunited with his brother Eric, the captain who helped lead the franchise to it's first Stanley Cup back in 2006.
“I'm very happy to be a Carolina Hurricane. It's a great fit for me. I look forward to playing with great players and putting together a winning season,” Semin said in a statement.
With Carolina’s salary cap number now at $57 million next season, the team still has plenty of money to spend to fill in another hole or replace a player who might become injured for the long term. In just a month the Hurricanes have become the arguably the best team in their division.
As for the Capitals, things just continue to go from bad to worse.