WASHINGTON – Former Washington Capitals forward Alexander Semin remains without a contract for next season and it is not yet known if the Russian sniper will return to the NHL or sign with a team in Russia’s KHL.
The 28-year-old became an unrestricted free agent July 1 and is seeking a long- term deal after finishing second on the Caps last season with 21 goals and 54 points in 77 games.
The Carolina Hurricanes are one of the few NHL teams to have publicly expressed interest in Semin’s services. Despite the interest, Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford reiterated today on Toronto’s Sportsnet Radio Fan 590 that he is not interested in signing Semin to a long-term deal.
“They’re aware that we’re interested and they’re aware that it’s a short-term [offer] because we want to get to know him,” Rutherford said in the radio interview.
“We all know his ability, but you’d also like to know exactly what you’re getting if you’re making a big investment…I was willing to go ten years with Jordan Staal but here’s another very talented player that right now I’m only willing to go one year with…But in Semin’s case, they’re aware that we’re interested in him but of course at this time they aren’t interested in a short-term deal.”
Semin’s 197 career goals rank fifth all-time in Capitals history but his plays away from the puck and his work ethic have been questioned throughout his career.
“If it’s just about money for him then he can go to Russia and make a lot more money than he’s going to make here on this contract,” Rutherford said.
“This is a guy that’s got options, but if he wants to play in the National Hockey League and have a chance to win a Stanley Cup someday then he’s obviously going to have to stay here. And I think with we’re at and our process of rebuilding our team, adding a guy like Semin would give us a better chance to do that.”