Habs sign Alexander Semin to one year contract
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.
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.