Found July 27, 2012 on Shutdown Line:
Pittsburgh_penguins_vs_fb7c

After a month of waiting and negotiating, Jim Rutherford made his first big splash in free agency by signing Alexander Semin to a one-year deal worth $7 mil. I had been pushing the idea of signing the winger for the entire off-season, so you can probably imagine that I am happy with this signing. The Hurricanes were in need of a top-six winger for almost a year and they found a potential solution in Semin. For those who haven't been paying attention to anything I have been posting for the past month, Semin is a dominant possession player and has scored at a higher level than almost every Carolina forward the last few seasons. That should have been enough for multiple teams to sign him in early July but most teams have avoided signing him because they believed he wanted too much money and didn't think he was a good teammate.

Semin doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to being a team leader but if you look at just his on-ice production alone, it's hard to believe that this guy wasn't one of the most sought after free agents this off-season. Steven Burtch of Pension Plan Puppets made an excellent post responding to the criticisms directed towards Semin and determined that most of them were completely overblown. The idea that Semin is one-dimensional is compeltely bogus because he wasn't on-ice for many shots against and even KILLED PENALTIES for a couple seasons. He also touched on Semin's playoff struggles and how most of the focus has been on the last three seasons when the reality of that situation is that the rest of the Capitals forwards let their team down just as much as him. Semin, however, was the main scapegoat among fans and the media.

If you look at Semin's career scoring rates compared with this off-season's prized asset Zach Parise, you'll notice that they have very comparable numbers. Both players produced at least more than two points per 60 minutes at even strength. In fact, Semin scored at a higher rate at even strength than Parise while playing fewer minutes. Semin can also produce on the powerplay and lord knows that is a huge area of need for the Hurricanes right now. He also has experience playing somewhat tough minutes and can be an ideal linemate for one of the Staal brothers since at least one of them is going to take on the tough minutes next season. The Hurricanes lacked a winger who could play those kind of minutes, but they helped rectify the situation by adding Semin to the fold.

Most people are going to look at the contract and say "Holy cow, why would you give that guy $7 mil.?!?!" and I understand that because that's a lot of money to commit to a player but the fact that it's only a one-year contract makes this not a big deal. Look, Carolina had cap space and need to overpay someone to get the top-six winger they needed and if $7 mil. is what is was going to take to get Semin here on a one-year ticket than so be it. If he doesn't end up working out then he can leave when the season (or hopefully the post-season) is over. Plus, if you look at his on-ice production over his career then it's hard to say that he isn't worth at least $5 mil. per season. That's the money you have to spend if you want to acquire a top-six player through free agency in most cases.

Carolina went the buy-low route last season to fill their hole in the top-six by signing Alexei Ponikarovsky and Anthony Stewart and I don't even need to tell you how poorly both moves worked out, so it's understandable why they wouldn't want to take another shot on a player like that. Semin is not a sure thing either but he has scored at least 20 goals a season for most of his career, can play on one of the top two lines without much of an issue and drive possession at nearly an elite rate. If the Canes are going to take a gamble, then signing Semin on a one-year ticket is a good route to take. 

The Hurricanes now have six legitimate top-six players and will not have to overslot third liners into top-liner roles or put trust in unproven rookies like they did last season. I think this will make a big difference next year and possibly make them more of a threat in the Southeast than they were previously. The defense corps is obviously a major concern but when you look at the prospective roster for this season compared to last year, you have to like what you see. This is going to be a better and much different Carolina Hurricanes team than in years past.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Did Carolina Hurricanes Quietly Steal Alexander Semin?

The Carolina Hurricanes signed Alexander Semin to a one year deal worth $7 million, causing many people to wonder whether or not it was a good signing by the ‘Canes. Semin sat around for much longer than expected on the free agency market, and could not secure a better offer from any other team, and he actually considered accepting a two year offer from a Russian hockey team...

'Canes, Semin agree on 1-year, $7M contract

Alexander Semin has agreed to a one-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. In announcing the signing Thursday, the team said the former Washington Capitals star forward will make $7 million this season. He's the latest big name to come to Carolina, which acquired center Jordan Staal during a draft-day trade with Pittsburgh. Even after that trade, the Hurricanes said they...

'Canes land Semin on one-year deal

Free-agent forward Alexander Semin has agreed to terms with the Carolina Hurricanes on a one-year contract worth $7 million, the team said Thursday. The former Washington Capitals star is the latest big name to join the Hurricanes, who acquired center Jordan Staal in a draft-day trade with Pittsburgh. Even after that trade, Carolina said it wanted to find another elite forward...

Carolina inks Alexander Semin to a one-year, $7 million deal

The Carolina Hurricanes made big news on Thursday afternoon by signing free-agent Alexander Semin to a one-year, $7 million contract. The news, as seen on NHL.com, boosts a Carolina offense that finished 16th in the NHL in total scoring during the 2011-12 season.  The announcement ends Semin's seven-year stint with the Washington Capitals where he accumulated 197 goals and...

'Canes sign Semin to add scoring punch

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Free-agent forward Alexander Semin has agreed to terms with the Carolina Hurricanes on a one-year contract worth 7 million, the team said Thursday. The former Washington Capitals star is the latest big name to join the Hurricanes, who acquired center Jordan Staal in a draft-day trade with Pittsburgh. Even after that trade, Carolina said it wanted to find...

The ‘Red Wings miss out on Alex Semin’ wailing and gnashing of teeth thread

Bad things happen when I go to community mental health and get stuck waiting…and bad things are probably going to happen in this thread. Those of you who have already attempted to hurl yourselves off the Red Wings’ bandwagon may very well want to speak to my psychiatrist or take some of my medication now that Alex Semin’s signed a one-year, $7 million deal with the Carolina...

Carolina Signs Semin For 1 Year, $7M

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 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...

Tough to Swallow

No Semin in Detroit.According to NHL.com, The Carolina Hurricanes signed Alexander Semin to a one year, $7 million contract.And there goes another one."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." --Alexander SeminOver paid?  Not if he goes out and scores...

'Canes make statement by signing Staal, Semin

The Carolina Hurricanes wanted to add one top-shelf forward this offseason. They got two. By trading for Jordan Staal and signing Alexander Semin, the Hurricanes have sent a clear message: They're in it to win - now. General manager Jim Rutherford said Friday it's hard to judge a hockey team during the summer but ''we are a much stronger team going into the season...

Detroit Red Wings Links: Alexander Semin Signs in Carolina; Shane Doan Now Too Expensive?

Here’s all the latest offseason news and information from around the web for the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, July 27 Alexander Semin officially isn’t coming to Detroit. The foreward signed a one year, $7 million dollar deal with the … Continue reading →

The Unexpected Rebuild

“Who’s putting the puck in the net?” in D.C. next season, Greg Wyshynski wonders, while digesting the news of Alexander Semin signing with Carolina. I wonder too. Let us hope that the captain shows up in shape this fall. Or: Let us hope there’s prolonged labor strife. It’s one thing to jettison Semin as at last intolerably inconsistent, maddeningly mercurial, and simply...

Alex Semin signs one-year deal with Carolina Hurricanes

 Alex Semin is the newest member of the Carolina HurricanesIt took three weeks, four days, and a few hours, but Alex Semin is officially no longer a Washington Capital.  However, we'll still be seeing the Russian enigma quite a bit next season.  Semin signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes earlier today, marking the first season he'll play...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.