Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis revealed that winger Alexander Semin underwent successful wrist surgery sometime during this offseason and is expected to be ready to go by the time the team’s training camp kicks off.
Interestingly, Francis notes that the 30-year-old sniper hurt his wrist during 2013 training camp and was hampered by the injury for the duration of the 2013-14 season. It was a tough year for Semin, who needed an injury to make Russia’s Olympic team and missed the playoffs once again with the Hurricanes.
“He hurt it in training camp. He jammed it and had issues with that. He tried a couple different things over the course of the season, but more or less just played with the bad wrist all season,” Francis said. “All indications are that the surgery went well. He’s rehabbing it now, and he should be 100 percent for training camp.”
A 22-goal campaign is probably a little underwhelming to some, although he did so in 65 games and was obviously not 100 percent.
Really, though, it’s been a while since Semin unleashed his outstanding shot enough to enjoy a truly outstanding goal-scoring season. He’s scored 28 or fewer goals since the 2010-11 season after enjoying 38, 34 and 40-goal campaigns during his best times with the Washington Capitals.
That’s not to say that he’s been an “enigma” at all times in Carolina; he managed exactly a point-per-game (44 in 44 contests) in 2012-13 while showing some promising chemistry with Eric Staal. Injuries have been a considerable hindrance for Semin and many other Hurricanes, really, so a coaching change plus a little more health-related luck could help that struggling franchise turn things around.
If nothing else, we might see more of that world-class wrist shot next season.
Roy Sommer etched his name into the record books on Wednesday night.
Sommer, who’s been the coach of San Jose’s minor-league affiliate for the last 18 seasons, recorded his 637th win at the American League level to surpass Hockey Hall of Famer Fred “Bun” Cook as the winningest coach in league history.
More, from the Sharks:
Sommer ranks 1st in the AHL in games coached (1,388) and now victories (637) with the 4-2 victory over the Ontario Reign (AHL affiliate of the LA Kings). In the AHL, he has coached 120 players who have gone on to play in the NHL, including 95 who have spent a portion of their careers with the San Jose Sharks.
In all, 20 players who have dressed for the San Jose Sharks this season played for Sommer in the AHL at one point in their career.
Sommer, 58, was a former Maple Leafs draftee that appeared in three career NHL contests, all with Edmonton during the 1980-81 campaign. He transitioned to coaching immediately upon the end of his playing career and, prior to taking San Jose’s minor-league gig, spent two years as an assistant with the Sharks from ’96-98.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.