Say goodbye to Alexander Semin. Whatever pipe dream chance there was that the Washington Capitals would bring back the talented, mercurial winger vanished Thursday as Semin signed a one-year $7 million deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. He made $6.7 million on a one-year deal with the Caps this past 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,” GM Jim Rutherford said in a statement. “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’s tenure in Washington will be remembered for his production and the idea that his potential was even more than the 28-year-old ever reached. He’s fifth in franchise history in goals with 197.
In 2011-12 Semin finished with 21 goals, his lowest total in a full season during his NHL career.
When Semin scored the winning goal in Game 4 of the Caps’ series against the Boston Bruins on a gorgeous snipe past Tim Thomas, Brooks Laich was asked how many players could do that.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m just glad we have one that can.”
It was one of just three goals he scored in 14 playoff games this spring.
But not conducting interviews in English, and ex-teammate Matt Bradley’s comments about his willingness to care at all times will stick out as much as his on-ice accomplishments.
With Carolina, Semin should get a chance to play with either Eric or Jordan Staal. Pending the resolution of the collective bargaining agreement, he’ll see the Caps six times this season.
Semin will be the second-highest paid player on the Hurricanes, behind only Eric Staal ($8.5 million).