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?
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.
Just over two years ago, the Carolina Hurricanes gave Alex Semin a five-year, $35 million contract extension.
People said they were crazy.
Today, the Hurricanes announced that they’ve placed Semin, 31, on unconditional waivers with the intention of buying out his contract.
It’s a move they said back in January that they wouldn’t make.
“Our job is to continue to work with him and get the message through,” GM Ron Francis said. “We think we can do it. We’re not giving up on him at all.”
But after Semin finished the season with just six goals in 57 games, they’ve given up.
The ‘Canes will carry a cap hit of just over $2.3 million through 2020-21 for the buyout.
Related: Carolina ‘looking at all the options’ for Semin, says Francis
With the start of the free agent period less than 48 hours away, teams had to either present qualifying offers to their restricted free agents or allow them to enter the UFA market. While most RFAs will receive them, every year there are some noteworthy players that teams choose to concede the rights to.
This year Carolina Hurricanes forward Riley Nash and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Yannick Weber are among those that top that list.
Nash was taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. Rather than sign him though, Edmonton traded his rights to Carolina in 2010. Since then the 26-year-old forward has registered 22 goals and 37 assists in 178 contests, including 25 points in 68 games in 2014-15.
Hurricanes GM Ron Francis hasn’t ruled out the possibility of re-signing Nash despite the fact that he’s allowing Nash to enter the open market, per the Raleigh News & Observer’s Chip Alexander.
Weber, 26, is the veteran of 229 NHL contests. He had 11 goals and 21 points while averaging 17:11 minutes in 65 contests in 2014-15. Vancouver’s decision to give up its exclusive rights to Weber is eyebrow raising.
Similarly to the case with Nash though, Vancouver might still end up signing him. It sounds like the Canucks’ primary concern was what he might have gotten via arbitration, per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy. Still, Weber has been given control over his situation so Vancouver will have to see what he does with it.
Some other noteworthy players that will be allowed to test the open market include Colorado’s Jordan Caron, Columbus’ Dana Tyrell, Edmonton’s Keith Aulie, and Winnipeg’s Keaton Ellerby.
Carolina has rewarded Andrej Nestrasil — claimed off waivers last year from Detroit — with a two-year deal worth $1.825 million.
Nestrasil, 24, will carry an average annual cap hit of $912,5000 and, per Carolina GM Ron Francis, will be paid $875,000 in 2015-16 and $950,000 in 2016-17.
“Andrej is a big body and a good fit for our team and what we’re trying to do,” Francis said in a statement. “He battled an injury last season, but proved he could produce offensively on the NHL level.”
The Czech forward was a good pickup for the ‘Canes last year. After floating in and out of the lineup with Detroit, Nestrasil became a pretty productive player in Carolina, scoring seven goals and 18 points in 41 games while averaging over 14 minutes per night.