Tag: Alex Semin

Hurricanes Front Office Shakeup Hockey

Shots fired! ‘Canes owner Karmanos rips into Jim Rutherford (Updated)


Well, this is interesting.

Speaking with Raleigh-area media on Wednesday, Carolina owner and recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Peter Karmanos took several shots at Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford — the same Jim Rutherford that worked under Karmanos for 20 years as ‘Canes GM.

Per the Post-Gazette, the shots fired included:

• A stinging criticism of Rutherford’s cap and budget management, by way of heaping praise on Rutherford’s replacement, current Carolina GM Ron Francis.

“Ron is far more inclusive, so he’s asking a lot of questions and I give him my opinion. … He’s far more astute on the financial end of the game. Jim liked to talk about the fact that we’re a ‘budget team.’ I’m not sure what that ever meant. Every team has a budget. That means we had a budget until Jim needed a player, then I’d say, ‘OK,’ and we had a different budget.

“Ronnie is a no-nonsense guy when it comes to those kinds of contracts. He’s not worried that he might get criticized if his team doesn’t do as well as people think it should. So he doesn’t panic when it comes to signing players or worrying about that type of thing.”

More: Pens’ Rutherford to columnist: ‘You’re a (expletive) jerk’

• A reference to what shape Rutherford might have the Penguins in by the time their rumored sale is complete.

“Pittsburgh has no first-round picks anymore. They traded their first-round pick from the year before. They traded their first-round pick for this year, and now they’ve traded their first-round pick for next year.

“The guy’s trying to sell the team. … I think they’ll sell that team for between $700 and $800 million in Pittsburgh, and the cupboard will be pretty bare by that time.”

Karmanos, 72, also drew parallels between Rutherford’s ill-fated Alex Semin signing in Carolina — Francis bought out the remainder of Semin’s contract yesterday — and Wednesday’s big Phil Kessel trade, suggesting that Kessel may score as many goals (six) for the Pens as Semin did for the ‘Canes last season.

At this time, it’s probably worth noting that, in September of 2013, Karmanos fired his son, Jason, as Rutherford’s assistant GM in Carolina. Jason later landed as the VP of hockey operations in — you guessed it! — Pittsburgh, where he reconnected with Rutherford.

Updated: Rutherford and the Penguins organization have responded, sorta.

Related: Citing age, Karmanos sells OHL team — so when will he sell ‘Canes?

Francis: Semin in 14-15 didn’t have ‘high compete level’

Alex Semin

The Carolina Hurricanes plan to buy out Alex Semin’s contract after just two seasons of his five-year, $35 million deal. The move wasn’t shocking given that he scored just six goals and 19 points in 57 contests in 2014-15, but Hurricanes GM Ron Francis nevertheless made made his rationale clear.

“He certainly has had some injuries, but last season he did not have the compete level we expect,” Francis told the News & Observer. “We talk about holding our players accountable, and there were some things we felt he did not hold up to, so we made this decision.

“When we talk about accountability and a consistently high compete level, we have to follow through, or they make no sense. He did not have that high compete level, for whatever reason.”

Semin has had some terrific stretches in his career, but inconsistency has been a problem. As his former coach Bruce Boudreau put it back in 2013, “[Semin] can show flashes of absolute brilliance one minute. Then you’re going, ‘What are you doing?’ the next.”

Despite the latest setback, his agent remains confident that Semin will play in the NHL next season as teams have already expressed interest in him. He’ll be one of the more intriguing free agents on the market.

Will the next team that signs him be getting an 80-point player? Or will his struggles persist?

Semin’s agent: ‘We’ve already received calls on him’

Alexander Semin

No, Alex Semin is not going to the KHL.

According to his agent, the 31-year-old winger will have no problem finding an NHL team with which to sign.

“Without question, Semin will play in the NHL and will have a great season,” Diamond told Sportsnet today. “We’ve already received calls on him.”

Earlier today, the Hurricanes announced that they’d placed Semin on unconditional waivers with the intention of buying out his contract.

To be sure, there are teams in the market for goal-scoring wingers. For that reason, the likes of Pittsburgh and Florida have been linked to Toronto’s Phil Kessel.

Semin would be a cheaper alternative than Kessel, who’s signed through 2021-22 for a cap hit of $8 million. Of course, Semin’s also four years older and coming off a season in which he scored just six goals in 57 games.

It’s what Semin’s done in the past that may convince a team to take a calculated gamble. The former 13th overall pick has 238 career goals, including one 40-goal season in Washington.