The Canadiens announced Friday that they agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent winger Alexander Semin. Financial terms were not officially disclosed but the deal is reportedly worth $1.1 million. The Russian sniper will immediately fill a void on the right wing.
Last year was a disaster for the 6’2 winger. He was a frequent healthy scratch and wound up scoring just six goals while adding 13 helpers in 57 games, earning himself one of the most expensive contract buyouts in NHL history as a result last month (he will be paid $14 million by the Hurricanes to not play for them over the next six years).
Aside from 2014-15, the 31 year old has been a reliable point producer, collecting at least 42 points in each of the eight prior seasons, including a career year in 2009-2010, where he posted 40 goals and 44 assists in 73 games. In his career, he has 238 goals and 275 assists in 635 contests split between Washington and Carolina.
The deal represents a low-risk move for the Habs. With Semin’s price tag, he can easily be buried in the minors with next to no cap penalty while if he plays well, he’ll represent a strong bargain for the team. At first glance, he appears likely to start on the 2nd line with the Canadiens, playing behind Brendan Gallagher.
The deal now gives the Habs 47 committed contracts out of the limit of 50. The number includes Noah Juulsen who is likely to return to junior but does not include yet-to-be-signed Alex Galchenyuk. Assuming the team wants to leave a few spots available for in-season acquisitions, there’s a good chance that there won’t be more signings unless someone else gets traded.
Cap wise, the team has around $5.4 million left in space to sign Galchenyuk and deal with any other roster moves they have in mind.