Alexander Semin is a goalless 30-year-old winger with injury, discipline and motivation issues who carries a $7.0 million cap hit until he's 34. Despite this, there are several NHL teams that should be in pursuit, should Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis find himself eager enough to jettison the once-prolific sniper.
Why? Simply put, Semin is a possession monster. That's a big reason that his huge deal made sense at the time it was signed, and it could still make sense today -- in the right situation.
Semin's early-season struggles have everyone forgetting how popular his contract was initially. His agent Mark Gandler said, "I think that Alex is going to be an example for how to play this game for many years to come in a Carolina uniform," as reported to Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times, who also quoted then-Canes GM Jim Rutherford (now of the Pittsburgh Penguins) as saying, "Alex is an elite player and has been a major contributor to the Hurricanes' having a very strong top line." An overwhelming 85 percent of fans polled by Canes Country liked the deal, too.
Players go through slumps, and sometimes they find themselves in situations in which they simply can't perform, whether that's related to another player or coach or whether it's something mental or physical. In order to succeed, teams need to look for undervalued players such as this, and almost nothing lowers an asking price like an overpriced contract.
However, despite that price, there's value to be had with Semin, and there are particular teams that should get on the phone with Francis, should he elect to put the winger on the block.