Former Capital Alex Semin is at another crossroads. After getting bought out by the Carolina Hurricanes and signing a one-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens during the offseason, the former 40-goal scorer is now on waivers. This news was first reported by Bob McKenzie.
The 31-year-old Russian has just one goal and three assists over 15 games. Coach Michel Therrien has made Semin a healthy scratch much of the season, citing Semin’s supposed lack of defense. For the record, Montreal has dominated puck possession when Semin was on the ice (56.65 score-adjusted shot-attempt percentage).
The Semin contract carried little risk for the Canadiens, and his release doesn’t hurt them much — unless Semin is claimed by one of their rivals. The waiver window closes Tuesday at noon.
Therrien’s problems with Semin began in November.
#Habs Therrien says Semin's areas of improvement have to do with adjusting to the team's system and the pace of his game.
— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) November 18, 2015
Therrien says he met with Semin this morning, explained to him he won't play tomorrow and what he needs to do to get back in.
— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) November 18, 2015
“We want him to make sure he’s really responsible with and without the puck,” Therrien said to Sportsnet earlier this season. Semin played three more games for Montreal and then returned to the press box.
If Semin clears waivers, the Canadiens will be on the hook for $150,000 of his $1.1M contract, seeing as how you can bury up to $950,000 in the AHL. That being said, don’t be surprised if a team picks him up, considering his low cap hit.
Bruce Boudreau’s Ducks, dead last in scoring, might be interested in Semin’s services. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ analytics department might see the upside in him as well, though the front office might be a hard sell there. The Pittsburgh Penguins, struggling to figure out how best to deploy their forwards, could benefit from Semin, though a systems stickler like Mike Johnston might take umbrage at Semin’s play.
One thing we know for sure: The Washington Capitals are not interested.
— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) July 14, 2015
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