Stop me if you’ve heard this before: An NHL team signs a Russian player to a ridiculous contract only to buy him out within the next three seasons. No it’s not a case of deja vu, instead it has officially become a recurring tradition as the Carolina Hurricanes have announced they will buy out Alexander Semin. You might recall the then 29-year-old Krasnoyarsk native signing a 5-year $35 million extension in 2013 which many thought was too much money for a player described as enigmatic by pundits and fans alike.
His first full season after signing the extension saw him find the back of the net 22 times good for second best on the Canes roster. This previous season was by far his worst professionally as he was constantly a healthy scratch and only found the net six times and totaled just 19 points which can only be compared to his rookie year with the Capitals where he finished with 10 goals and 22 points.
Now with his time with Carolina officially nearing its end, it’ll be interesting to see where he continues his hockey career. While those who follow the NHL have grown custom to seeing Russian players return home for big pay days, the exodus that is currently happening in the KHL is cause for concern. With several ex KHL players already signing with NHL teams, plenty more are expected to follow suit.
While some team can likely afford to pay top-dollar for Semin’s services in Russia, he could easily sign a cool $1 million deal for the end of his career and play on contending teams. Perhaps a return to Washington is in the cards? Maybe he goes out west, regardless of where he lands it’s hard to envision him anywhere but the NHL.
Semin is 12th all-time amongst Russians in goals and in the top 20 for total points.