Habs sign Alexan­der Semin to one year con­tract

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

Alexan­der Semin hopes to reignite his ca­reer. The Mon­treal Cana­di­ens are mak­ing a lowrisk gam­ble that he can.

The Cana­di­ens signed Semin to a US$1.1 mil­lion, one-year con­tract Fri­day, the kind of move that could pay ma­jor div­i­dends if it works out or be writ­ten off as an cheap mis­take if it fails.

“Alex is a pure goal scorer with a good shot,’’ gen­eral man­ager Marc Bergevin said in a state­ment. “His sign­ing rep­re­sents a great op­por­tu­nity for the or­ga­ni­za­tion and for Alex’s ca­reer.’’

Mon­treal got Semin at a bar­gain-base­ment price af­ter the Carolina Hur­ri­canes bought him out of the fi­nal three years of a con­tract that paid him $7 mil­lion an­nu­ally. Once a 40goal scorer and with seven sea­sons of over 20 goals on his re­sume, Semin sput­tered with six goals and 13 as­sists this past year.

De­spite his high cap hit and tal­ent that some NHL ex­ec­u­tives con­sider among the best in hockey, Semin was oc­ca­sion­ally a healthy scratch un­der first-year coach Bill Peters.

“Last year was a bad sea­son for me,’’ Semin said on a con­fer­ence call. “I not score no points, I play not well. I try go­ing back to how I can play.’’

Semin at his best is an elite scor­ing winger who can im­prove the power play and fill the net. Af­ter ini­tially de­fer­ring to Bergevin and coach Michel Ther­rien about his role in Mon­treal, the 31-year-old spelled it out per­fectly.

“Score goal, win the game,’’ he said. “That’s it.’’

If Semin and the Habs do that, it’s a win-win. Semin has a history of mak­ing the most of one-year con­tracts.

Be­yond his en­try-level deal, Washington Cap­i­tals never signed Semin for more than two sea­sons at a time. He made $6 mil­lion and then $6.7 mil­lion on con­sec­u­tive one-year con­tracts, putting up 28 and then 21 goals be­fore the Cap­i­tals opted not to bring him back.

When the Hur­ri­canes signed Semin for one year at $7 mil­lion, he was a point-a-game player dur­ing the lock­out­short­ened sea­son. That led then-Carolina GM Jim Rutherford to ex­tend him at that value for five more years.

AP PHOTO

Carolina Hur­ri­canes’ Alexan­der Semin (28) brings the puck up the ice af­ter tak­ing it away from Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors' Cody Ceci (5) dur­ing the sec­ond pe­riod of an NHL hockey game, Tues­day, March 17, 2015.

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