October 10, 2011; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alexander Semin (28) lines up for a face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 6-5 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

Will The Canes Gamble On Alexander Semin?

Greetings Canes fans!  As the summer temperatures gradually climb from warm to hot, so do all the rumors around the NHL. Recently the Carolina Hurricanes General Manager, Jim Rutherford, stated that the Canes were trying harder than ever to acquire a top player. Rutherford also said he felt the Canes may have to go the trade route rather than acquire a big name free agent. At this point all we know is that the Hurricanes are in conversations with several teams. Oh how I would love to be a fly on the wall in the Canes “war room.”  In the meantime I will continue to cover the top free agents available.

In my previous articles covering some of the top free agents that the Hurricanes may consider, I covered the two big movers and shakers Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Now I would like to introduce Caniacs to another free agent, Washington Capitals left winger Alexander Semin. The biggest question with Semin is “Does the team that goes after him get the Alexander Semin of old (2008-10) or the Alexander Semin that has under achieved the past two years?”  During the 2008-09 season, Semin had a 79 point season.The following season he increased his point total to 84. However, each of last two seasons his point total has been 54. Semin averaged 16:47 of ice time this season, the lowest since his rookie year. So why would a team consider signing the Left Winger? Well the free agent market is fairly weak. If you are looking for a high scoring forward Semin may be just what you are looking for. He has clearly demonstrated that he is capable of netting 30 to 40 goals. Some feel Semin’s decrease in performance is due to being a product of the system in Washington and perhaps a chance with a new team to have an expanded role and increase his time on the penalty kill.

At the age of 28, the former first round draft pick still has plenty of upside to him. The question is “Does the Canes front office want to take a chance on a player that made approximately $6.7 million dollars for a 21 goal season, his lowest since his rookie year?” This is a major reason the Capitals were so frustrated with Semin and are willing to let him walk. The Capitals loss may be another teams gain, however this is not a risk the Canes front office can afford to make. The Hurricanes made it clear that they want a top-tier forward to compliment Eric Staal. Unfortunatley for Semin, and his past two years of subpar hockey, he is no longer considered a top tier forward. His salary is but his performance is not.  I do believe Semin will eventually turn his career around. However, I think he will need to do it for less money and for a team that has and does not expect him to be the goal scoring machine that Washington expected him to be.

Finally, I want to congratulate the Canes on resigning the broadcasters John Forslund, Chuck Kaiton and Tripp Tracy to new multiyear contracts. They truly are the voices we all have become accustomed too. There are a lot of questions to be answered and soon enough our 2012-13 Carolina Hurricanes will be returning to Raleigh for a season of redemption. In the meantime,  enjoy the Summer heat and stay tuned for all the latest news on your Carolina Hurricanes.

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Tags: Alexander Semin Carolina Hurricanes Chuck Kaiton Free Agency Jim Rutherford John Forslund Trade Tripp Tracy

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