Alexander Semin Signs with Hurricanes: What to Expect from the Left Winger
Semin has only signed a one-year contract, but expectations are already rising for this season. Last year, the Carolina Hurricanes weren't able to muster a 30-goal scorer. Eric Staal came the closest with 24 goals and was also the only Hurricane to eclipse the 50-point mark.
Semin will certainly be expected to change that. Carolina has been particularly thin on the wings. Only Jussi Jokinen broke the team's top five in point totals, followed by Chad Larose with 32 points.
Semin will no doubt contribute a high number of points on his own, but he will also improve the point totals of those he plays with.
Either Jokinen or Larose could be placed on the opposing wing with Semin. This gives the Hurricanes a solid first scoring line and makes them far more dangerous on the power play. Keep in mind, Semin is only three years removed from two 80-point seasons, despite his recent decrease in point totals.
Making predictions about the chemistry of Carolina's new first line is going to be tough until we get to see them in training camp. However, Semin undoubtedly puts the Hurricanes in a more competitive spot in the Southeast Division, especially considering there was only a three-point difference between the third and fifth team last year.
One thing is for sure, the Hurricanes are paying Semin a lot of money this year, and he'll be expected to perform at his 80-point level. Another 50-point season means Carolina overspent, and at $7 million, fans will expect a playoff spot to go along with the bucket of goals and more threatening power play.
The lines between hope and expectations will be blurry, but we'll all be able to tell very soon if the Hurricanes got their money's worth.
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