Semin handed chance to shine for Canadiens

There weren’t many teams in the NHL falling over themselves to sign Alexander Semin on the back of a disappointing few years, and the Montreal Canadiens were able to pick up the Russian veteran on a one-year deal worth $1.1 million. This time next year, the Canadiens will be looking back at either an amazing piece of business or a relatively inexpensive mistake, but Semin does arrive in Montreal with an impressive C.V. in the league. Semin was available for a budget price after the Carolina Hurricanes bought him out of the final three years of his $7 million-a-year contract with the franchise, ending a three-year spell with the team that has failed to live up to the hype that surrounded his move from Washington in 2012.


cc by Keith Allison

The prospect of only being on a short-term deal won’t be an unfamiliar feeling for Semin. After signing his entry-level contract with the Capitals in 2002, the Russian was never handed a deal longer than two seasons, making $6 million and $6.7 million in his final two seasons in Washington before the franchise opted against re-signing him in 2012. Having gone beyond the 50-point mark in all but two of his seven seasons with the Capitals, including a 40-goal campaign in 2009/10, Carolina fans could have been forgiven for feeling excited about what Semin could achieve.
After finishing with a point-a-game record during the lockout-shortened season, the Hurricanes slapped a five-year extension in front of the experienced right wing. While he managed to score 22 goals in the 2013/14 season, his form completely deserted him last season, recording just six goals and 13 assists. Carolina general manager Ron Francis made the decision to bite the bullet and the $14 million hit to buy Semin out of the rest of his contract. Montreal didn’t have to battle too hard to sign the free agent, snagging the veteran on a one-year deal that appears to work well for both parties.

While gambling fans might want to get as much expert opinion on bonus slots or games before betting, the Canadiens are taking a relatively small risk with this deal. He might not have produced his best form for a few years, but Semin has shown during his NHL career that plenty of Montreal fans will feel as though the forward could surprise a few people this season. For the former 13th overall pick in the 2002 Draft, being handed another chance to prove he belongs in the NHL will be a huge boost considering there had been some who felt Semin’s release from Carolina would spell the end of his time in the league.

At 31, Semin still has time on his side despite all the miles he has clocked up during his ten seasons in the league. That could all change if he fails to shine for the Canadiens, and the powerful winger will be well aware that he is playing for his NHL future next season. If he can reproduce some of the form from his glory days, Montreal may well have pulled off one of the deals of the summer.

9 Responses to Semin handed chance to shine for Canadiens

  1. leafy says:

    I see the Leafs making a trade soon.

  2. nordiques100 says:

    At that amount, Semin was a fine signing by the Habs. They need anything they can get in terms of secondary depth scoring.

    Semin has the skill for sure to exceed that. But its that attitude that stinks with him. I am sure though, after now 2 organizations have quit on him, he will be motivated. This is his last chance

  3. nordiques100 says:

    All UFA team that’s left:

    Stephen Weiss
    Derek Roy
    Jim Slater
    Marcel Goc
    Jarrett Stoll
    Max Lapierre
    Mike Santorelli
    James Sheppard

    Left Wing
    Scottie Upshall
    Curtis Glencross
    Dan Paille
    Tomas Flieschmann
    Martin Erat
    Matt Cooke

    Right Wing
    Erik Cole
    Brad Boyes
    Lee Stempniak
    Steve Bernier
    Tyler Kennedy
    Michael Ryder

    Cody Franson
    Christian Ehrhoff
    Andrej Meszaros
    Tim Gleason
    Lubomir Vishnovsky
    Sergei Gonchar
    Marek Zidlicky
    Jan Hedja
    Jordan Leopold

    Jonas Gustavsson
    Ray Emery

    There will be a lot of tryouts handed out.

  4. nordiques100 says:

    So what do you think of the Leafs moves this summer?

    I think every one of them has been pretty solid.

    I really like what they’ve done with the front office. They now have a proven GM with Lou in place to help Shanahan and Co.

    They have a lot of young, hungry front office folks to learn from Lou and the leadership Lou, Shanahan and Babcock brings is only going to help going forward.

    I also like that they have, on the ice, added a lot of players on short contracts.

    Spaling, Mathias, Parenteau, Arcobello, along with holdovers like Polak and Reimer could all be traded at the deadline since they have 1 year left on their deals.

    It gives them flexibility and allows them to perhaps get more assets for Mark Hunter who is running the scouting.

    It wouldn’t be shocking to see Bozak or Lupul moved as well. They have options.

    Plus, the play off Kadri and Bernier will determine their long term futures. Both players didnt get the deals they were looking for. They have something to prove.

    It seems many players have a lot to prove. This even includes their captain who seems to have survived the expected purge. He is on the longest contract on the team but needs to still show he is actually going to matter in the long term.

    Its going to be interesting too to see what Lou brings to the table. What stamp will he put on the team? I wonder if he will be the right fit in terms of working with this vast team/committee concept the Leafs front office has created. He’s been a lone ranger a long time in Jersey.

    But his experience is second to none. Thats just a huge bonus you just cant have enough of.

    I am fairly excited for the season. The team has a lot of growing to do. I think Bozak and probably Lupul need to go too to really make an even stronger impact at changing the room and the culture of the team.

    Babcock will be fun to watch and see what he can do with a group of players that have the tag of being uncoachable. At least the core group was. Its a lesser talented team too he has without Kessel. But he has some talent to work with and he is really going to have to be able to make Kadri, JVR and Phaneuf better players for the team to have any chance. Its going to be interesting to see the progression of the team. And if it falters, there is Jakob Chychuryn and Auston Mathews awaiting them with high picks.

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