After he spent several weeks floating around on the free agent market, despite an impressive track record of success (as far as points are concerned), the Carolina Hurricanes made what many considered to be a gamble when they signed Alexander Semin to a one-year deal last summer.
It’s looking like a gamble that is absolutely paying off for the Hurricanes early on in the season.
Semin has always been a guy that has produced throughout his career. He totaled over 80 points one season and 79 in another. His last two seasons featured 50-point campaigns, reaching 54 in each of them. But he’s always been seen as something as a ‘cancer’ around the locker room.
We haven’t heard of any issues yet with Semin in Carolina. In fact, his teammates have praised his work ethic and the way he plays. Could it be a matter of the stereotype that has plagued Russian players? That’s one potential explanation for the nasty rep that he does have.
But between the praise he’s received from teammates for his attitude and work ethic, and the fact that he’s spent more time setting up teammates on the ice, rather than trying to put the puck in the net on his own, it’s clear that those concerns regarding his rep may have been overblown.
Regardless of what he brings to the Canes off the ice, he’s been a welcome presence on it so far. In 19 games on the year, he already has 16 points, including 12 assists. He’s part of the reason that the top line of the Hurricanes could probably be considered to be among the league’s best.
It’s almost comical that almost nobody wanted this guy last summer, mostly based off of his reputation. The Hurricanes managed to grab him on a one-year deal, and it’s one that is paying off for them so far. It’s probably too soon to talk about making him a part of the Canes for the longer term, but if he continues to perform well and draw praise from his teammates, clubs may not shy away from him when he hits the market again this summer.