The Hurricanes have signed unrestricted free agent winger Alexander Semin to a one-year, $7 million contract. Semin was looking for big money and got it, while the ‘Canes make a low risk move to bolster their offensive attack.
What does this mean for Semin and Carolina?
Carolina gets: A mystery wrapped in an enigma. Semin is one of the most talented players in the league. I profiled him a few weeks ago, breaking down some of the myths that the hockey media has created for Semin.
“All that being said, Semin has the 11th highest goals-per-game average since the lockout. He has had a positive impact (on the ice, at least) on his teammates.
Even during 2011-12, a season in which Semin saw his ice time cut to 16:47 per game, and was playing with checkers instead of Washington’s top talent; he was able to generate scoring chances at a significantly greater rate than any other Capital.”
Semin will play with Staal (I know, easy thing to say, right). The Hurricanes are likely going to ice a Staal-Staal-Semin top line. They have toyed with the idea of Eric on the wing, and the combination obviously has a lot of potential.
The Hurricanes were below the cap floor, so this is a no risk move for them. Semin eats up space they needed to use, and they committed only one year of term to him.
After that top line, Carolina still has some interesting pieces in place:
Or they could split the Staal brothers up:
Lots of options for Carolina – a team that should be much improved in 2012-13. Jeremy Welsh is another player to keep an eye on.
Fantasy players impacted:
This move benefits Semin, of course, as he now has a team to play for (and presumably a coach who will give him more than 16 minutes of ice time per game). It also helps Carolina’s other offensive players, including the Staal brothers, Skinner, and any of the defensemen who play on PP1.
I think this move will have a positive trickledown effect on Carolina’s other forwards – they all slot in to positions they are better suited for.
Fantasy players this helps, in order:
1. Jordan Staal
3. Eric Staal
4. Joni Pitkanen
5. Jamie McBain
Fantasy players this hurts, in order:
1. LaRose (likely bumps him out of the top six)