WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Alexander Semin #28 of the Washington Capitals warms up before the game against the Florida Panthers at the Verizon Center on January 8 2011 in Washington DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Literally yesterday's news: high-scoring but ultimately perplexing former Capitals winger Alexander Semin finagled a one-year tryout-style contract (his third in as many seasons) within the Southeast Division. He will continue wearing primary red though now of the Raleigh variety while garnering a pay raise in the neighborhood of $300,000. Moving expenses, obviously. Local Hurricanes coverage of the signing is well worth a peek at Canes Country.
So along with the recent bombshell acquisition of Jordan Staal, Carolina gets another coveted A-list forward as Semin packs his 17 goals and 19 assists in 40 career games vs Florida and heads a wee bit closer to Sunrise. Regardless of the lousy work-ethic accusations and apparent playoff vanishing acts, landing the six-year NHL veteran is a sly move by GM Jim Rutherford, divisionally speaking, as he's officially prevented the 28 year-old from upping with the Panthers, Lightning, or Jets.
That said, Semin scored a somewhat paltry 21 goals in 77 appearances during the 2011-12 campaign, which seems on the low end (and is in fact just that over his career) for a guy whose previous floor was 26 (in 66 games!). Even Florida's Kris Versteeg - who never found himself surrounded with Capitals-type talent up front last season - potted 23 goals in six fewer games. A year of utter frustration for Semin while adjusting from one coach's strategy to another? Undoubtedly. But if he returns to 40-goal form, that $7M will be in line with market value (cap hit comparables per CapGeek: Joe Thornton, Jarome Iginla, and Jason Spezza).
Is he the One That Got Away or will he become an inevitable burden on coach Kirk Muller?
...blew it; he's good for at least 20 goals on a Panthers roster that likely will need them, and he's STILL in the division. (75 votes)
...wisely resisted the temptation of the guy's stats vs. perception of dressing room headaches and mucho-mega $$$. Spend it elsewhere. (99 votes)
174 total votes