Alex Semin

Kassian reinstated from NHL substance abuse program (Update: Waived)


From the NHL:

The National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League announced today that forward Zack Kassian of the Montreal Canadiens has been returned to available status and has entered the follow-up care phase of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program.

Kassian’s care continues to be administered pursuant to the NHL/NHLPA SABH Program.

Kassian, 24, was placed in Stage Two of the SABH program on Oct. 5, and was suspended without pay until clearance. This came just days after he was involved in an early morning car accident in Montreal, in which Kassian was a passenger in a SUV driven by a 20-year-old female.

Montreal police later confirmed that while speed didn’t play a factor in the collision, alcohol may have.

On Oct. 7, Vancouver GM Jim Benning — who traded Kassian to Montreal in exchange for Brandon Prust this summer — confirmed that Kassian went through Stage One of the SABH while with the Canucks.

Kassian has yet to appear in a regular-season contest with the Habs, and it remains to be seen how the team handles this situation moving forward.

Currently, the club is pretty thin at Kassian’s natural right wing position — Brendan Gallagher is out with a broken hand, and the Alex Semin experiment failed.

As a result, waiver claim Paul Byron has been moved up to first-line duty with Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec, while Dale Weise is manning the second line next to Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk.

Kassian, who did score a career-high 14 goals and 29 points with Vancouver during the ’13-14 campaign, could slot into the lineup and possibly provide a scoring punch.

But it remains to be seen when — or, if — Kassian will get back into GM Marc Bergevin’s good graces.

“We are professionals and we have to behave like professionals,” Bergevin said following Kassian’s accident, per the Gazette. “You have to be respectful and you’re lucky to be a hockey player.

“I’m a firm believer in character and that’s really a lack of character and judgment on his part.”

Update: Didn’t take long for Montreal to make a decision, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the club has put Kassian on waivers.


Report: Semin signs deal in KHL

Associated Press

Just one day after being placed on unconditional waivers by the Montreal Canadiens, it looks like Alex Semin has found himself a new home.

Semin signed a one-year contract with Canadiens during the off-season, but it was difficult to envision things working out between he and coach Michel Therrien.

The 31-year-old had a goal and four points in 15 games with Montreal.

Therrien made him a healthy scratch eight times during his brief tenure with the team.

Semin will join former NHLers Wojtek Wolski and Oskar Osala (played one NHL game) in Magnitogorsk, as well as Capitals first round pick Ilya Samsonov.

From 2003 to 2015, Semin scored 239 goals and 517 points in 650 games with the Capitals, Hurricanes and Canadiens.

Semin placed on unconditional waivers


It always felt like it was going to end this way, but now it’s official — Alex Semin is done as a Montreal Canadien.

On Wednesday, the club placed Semin on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract.

The move comes not long after Montreal exposed Semin to standard waivers — which he cleared — then assigned him to its AHL affiliate in St. John’s.

Per multiple reports (see here and here), Semin had no plans to report to the IceCaps, hence the move to terminate his deal. Montreal would then be off the hook entirely for Semin’s $1M cap hit.

At this point, all signs suggest Semin could be on his way back to the KHL. The 31-year-old Russian has a long history with the league — after making his NHL debut in 2003-04, Semin spent two years playing for Tolyatti and Mytishchi Khimik before returning to North America.

During the lockout, Semin appeared in 20 games for KHL club Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo.


Semin clears waivers, assigned to AHL


No takers for Alex Semin.

On Tuesday, the Habs announced that Semin — who was waived yesterday — has cleared and been assigned to the club’s AHL affiliate in St. John’s.

Semin, 31, hasn’t played in the American league since a four-game stint with Portland — then Washington’s affiliate — in 2003-04.

During that stint, he scored four points in four regular-season games, and 11 in seven playoff contests.

Right now, it’s unclear if Semin will accept the assignment.

There remains the possibility of him going to the American League and rediscovering his game — not unlike Chicago’s Bryan Bickell — but it sounds as though Semin’s game needs plenty of work before Habs head coach Michel Therrien would consider a recall.

Montreal waives Semin


Looks like the Alex Semin era in Montreal is coming to an end.

Per multiple reports (Globe and Mail, News 1130), Montreal has apparently put veteran forward Alex Semin on waivers.

UPDATE: Confirmed, via TSN.

Semin, 31, joined the Habs this season on a one-year, $1 million deal after Carolina made the costly decision to buy out his five-year, $35 million contract.

Montreal GM Marc Bergevin took a low-risk, low-cost gamble on Semin, hoping the change of scenery could help him rediscover some of the form that saw him score a career-high 40 goals for Washington in 2009-10.

It ended up being a losing bet.

Semin has been a healthy scratch on numerous occasions this year and, when he did crack the lineup, showed a penchant for unnecessarily putting his team shorthanded.

All told, Semin had just one goal and four points in 15 games for the Habs.

It remains to be seen what happens next. It’s hard to imagine Semin being stoked about an assignment to AHL St. John’s — assuming he clears waivers — and it’s also hard to imagine him fitting into Montreal’s future plans.

Speaking of what happens next, it’ll be interesting to see if today’s move is a precursor to Montreal addressing its second line.

The club hoped Semin could be the goalscoring winger needed to play alongside Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk, but that clearly didn’t work out.

Related: Semin scratched again; will the Habs need to make a trade?