Alexander Semin’s days with the Canadiens appear to be over. The Habs placed him on waivers Monday which also signals that he has been activated off injured reserve. Devante Smith-Pelly has been placed on IR retroactive to Thursday to make room for Semin on the active 23-man roster (merely a formality since he’ll be off the roster at noon on Tuesday).
Semin signed with Montreal in late July, inking a one year, $1.1 million deal. The hope was that his poor performance with Carolina in 2014-15 was an aberration and not a sign of his play declining. As it turns out, that wasn’t the case.
Semin started the season on Montreal’s second/third line (Michel Therrien doesn’t like to number his trios) alongside Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk. It didn’t take too long before Therrien decided to scrap that experiment and sent Semin to the press box for nearly three weeks before giving him spot duty with Galchenyuk or on the fourth line.
This season, the 31 year old has played in 15 games with the Canadiens, picking up a goal and three assists while averaging 12:20 per game in ice time. Semin also recorded just 18 shots on net, a point of contention with the coaching staff as a player with his shooting abilities should have been shooting more often.
In his career, he has 517 points (239-287-517) in 650 games split between Washington, Carolina, and Montreal.
Semin’s waiver period expires at noon EST on Tuesday. If he is claimed by another team, Semin will come off the cap entirely as of Tuesday. If he clears and is assigned to St. John’s, a small cap charge will remain.
If Alex Semin clears waivers, the #Habs would still clear most of his salary off their cap. Only a $150,000 charge (pro-rated) would remain.
— HabsWorld.net (@habsworld_net) December 7, 2015
The Habs will be able to clear $950,000 of his cap hit ($375,000 plus the league minimum salary of $575,000) resulting in a ‘buried’ cap hit of $150,000.
Alternatively, Semin and the Habs could pursue a mutual contract termination if Semin makes it through waivers. That would free him up to seek opportunities overseas while alleviating the entire cap hit off of Montreal’s cap. Semin would have to be sent down and then go through waivers a second time (unconditional waivers, more commonly known as $125 waivers) before that could happen.