Despite being among the most talented unrestricted free agents available, the Canes were the only team willing to take a chance on the Russian sniper. During seven seasons with the Washington Capitals Semin had -- fairly or not -- earned a reputation as a soft, lazy and temperamental. But the impression he's left in his first 13 games with the Southeast Division-leading Canes has been decidedly different.
"He has been nothing but great," Eric Staal, Carolina's captain, tells Mark Masters of TSN. "He's been a great teammate for everyone in this room and the type of guy who competes in practice and in games. That's all you can ask for."