Outside of what happened in the state of Minnesota, the most talked about signing this off-season was the Hurricanes inking Alexander Semin to a one-year deal worth $7 mil. Despite the high salary, this is one of the safest bets the Hurricanes could have made because the team was in need of a top-line winger and Semin had arguably the highest ceiling of any player on the market. Signing him for one year is a good risk to take for a team like Carolina, who were using third liners and AHL call-ups as part of their first line on a regular basis last season. The question now is what kind of numbers will Semin put up in Carolina and will it be in line with his career production?
So far, the expectations I've seen for Semin in Carolina have been all over the place. There are some who think that playing on a line with one of the Staal brothers will help Semin find his way back to being a 30 goal/70 point player while others have said that he may grow complacent and see his production continue to decline as it has the last few seasons with the Capitals. Hell, I've even heard some people say that he may reach 40 goals, which is probably the most unlikely of the scenarios given how tough of an accomplishment that is.
Semin is probably one of the more difficult players to project on the Hurricanes because we don't know what kind of ice time he will get next season and what kind of situations he'll be used in since line combinations are up in the air right now. My initial thought is that Semin will spend most of the year on Eric Staal's line and get a bit of a zone start push thanks to Jordan Staal & possibly the third line, but he did regularly play tough minutes before last season with the Caps, so he doesn't need to be protected. There is also the question of how much powerplay time he will get and whether or not he will kill penalties, both of which will have a direct impact on his goal total.
The Canes are going to be spending $7 mil. on Semin next season, so there is no doubt that they will try to get the most out of him but it's still tough to predict how much he will produce next season. We're going to try to do it anyway after the jump.