Alexander Semin Signs with the Montreal Canadiens

Russian forward Alexander Semin has signed a one-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens, reportedly worth $1.1 million.

The deal is low risk and high reward for the Habs. If Semin can bounce back from a disappointing year in Carolina, they could have a legitmate offensive gamebreaker. If he doesn’t and needs to be sent to the AHL, the Habs would only carry $200,000 of his salary (pro rated to the time of send down), on the cap.

Semin, 31, has spent the last three seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes and put up 41 goals and 105 points in 166 games. Drafted 12th overall in the 2002 draft, Semin became a major player for the Washington Capitals during the 2006-07 season, after spending two years in Russia. His 73 points in 77 games was good for second on the team, behind only Alexander Ovechkin. During the 2008-09 post-season, Semin gave a point-per-game performance, scoring 5 goals and adding 9 assists in 14 games. His best season came in the 2009-10 season, where he posted 84 points (40 goals, 44 points) in 73 games, placing him third on the team in scoring behind Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, whom both hit the 100-point plateau that year.

After Semin was unable to replicate his great performance, posting 54 points in each of the next two seasons with the team, he was on the move to Carolina. Unfortunately, injuries continued to haunt him and Semin’s best season for games played came during the lock-out shortened season, when he played in 44 of the 48 games.

Despite appearing in only 57 games last season, Semin posted his best possession stats since the 2008-09 season. The majority of his career, he has received more defensive-zone starts with both the Capitals and Hurricanes, making him a desirable player to have on the ice for driving the play up the ice. While his offensive production has taken a dip, players around him tend to look better when he’s on the ice. Semin has also averaged over 20 minutes just once in his career, and his ice-time was reduced by four minutes last season compared to the previous one. It will be interesting to see if he can remain healthy over the course of a season, and if his possession numbers continue to remain steady as they have for his career.