The Carolina Hurricanes have inked Alex Semin to a five-year, $35 million contract extension, the club announced on Monday.
“We’re very happy to retain Alex,” said ‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford. “Alex is an elite player and has been a major contributor to the Hurricanes having a very strong top line.”
Semin, 29, inked a one-year, $7 million deal with Carolina last summer after spending the entirety of his career in Washington.
While there was no denying his offensive talent, questions about his attitude and desire left him untouched on the open market before the ‘Canes offered a short-term “prove it” deal.
He’s certainly done that.
The Russian winger has emerged as a point-a-game guy in Carolina, teaming up with Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty to form one of the league’s most potent offensive lines.
Semin has 8G-22A-30PTS in 30 games this year, tied for 20th overall in league scoring while Staal sits seventh overall with 35 points. Tlusty is tied for 22nd in goals, with 13.
Semin’s deal is just the latest in Carolina’s spend-happy ways dating back to last January.
The spending starting with Tim Gleason (four years, $16 million) and extended to Tuomo Ruutu (four years, $19 million) Jeff Skinner (six years, $34.35 million) and Jordan Staal (10 years, $60 million).
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.