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

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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?