Previously, the status of Semin’s future with the Washington Capitals were hazy at best. Capitals general manager George McPhee was somewhat mum about what he planned to do in the offseason and never really said anything one way or the other about keeping Semin on the team.
Meanwhile in Raleigh, Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said he expressed interest in bringing Semin in on a short-term basis.
The Hurricanes also have a lot of money left in their coffers that they can use for acquisitions like this: with just $50.2 million in payroll before Semin’s signing, they are near the bottom of the entire league in terms of money and aren’t even at the cap floor, let alone the ceiling.
Semin comes to North Carolina with his pluses and his minuses–literally. In fact, his +92 rating over the past four seasons ranks fifth in the entire league. He’s averaged at least 30 goals over the past six seasons, too. His best season in terms of points came in 2009-10, when he put up 84 points in 73 games. These past two seasons have both been 54-point campaigns for him.
His problem is his perception, though. He’s sometimes seen as a player unwilling to ‘be a team player,’ a player who can struggle to meet the game’s demands (especially when the stakes are high) and someone who is unmotivated. With a change of scenery–he’d never played for any other team but the Capitals before now–and personnel, he could become a better player or he could continue to regress. That’s a risk the Hurricanes, a team that is making big waves this offseason (see also uniting Eric and Jordan Staal), are clearly willing to take.
He will also continue wearing his number, #28, although now it will be in a different red and white pattern.