We wrote yesterday about ‘Canes head coach Bill Peters possibly reaching his breaking point with struggling forward Alex Semin, who was a healthy scratch for Tuesday’s win over Tampa Bay.
Peters’ boss, Carolina GM Ron Francis, doesn’t appear to be as close to breaking.
The Canes’ options with Semin include placing him on waivers, sending him to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League or buying him out after the season.
Francis indicated the Canes would not do the latter.
“Alex is a part of the Hurricanes and we’ll continue to work with him and try to help him be the player we think he can be,” Francis said. “Things are different now in the way we are running things and what we expect. Our job is to continue to work with him and get the message through.
“We think we can do it. We’re not giving up on him at all.”
Not surprising to learn that Carolina’s passing on the buyout route. Since amnestying contracts is no longer on the table, utilizing a standard buyout for remainder of Semin’s five-year, $35 million deal would be a really expensive proposition for the ‘Canes — though to be fair, another team with financial issues, Arizona, used a one on Mike Ribeiro last June.
What Francis didn’t rule out, though, was the waiver route and a possible demotion to the AHL. In the world of guaranteed contracts and salary caps, it’s one of the few motivational tools general managers have at their disposal; we saw this recently with the L.A. Kings and forward Mike Richards, who was waived then sent to AHL Manchester after clearing.
Semin would almost undoubtedly clear waivers if placed on the wire. Could a wake-up trip to AHL Charlotte deliver the message Peters has been trying to send?