The Carolina Hurricanes signed free-agent winger Alexander Semin to a one-year contract last summer, and he apparently has earned his keep.
According to Aaron Ward of TSN, the Hurricanes have reached an agreement with Semin on a five-year contract extension worth $7 million per season:
Aaron Ward @NHL_AaronWard
Carolina Hurricanes sign Alex Semin, 5 years at $7 million per #TSN2013-3-25 22:15:09
The 29-year-old had several successful seasons in Washington before signing with Carolina in July. In 30 games with the team this year, Semin has recorded 30 points—slightly better than his career .87-points-per-game average—with eight goals and 22 assists.
Paired with Eric Staal, the Hurricanes have a formidable top line that will now be a strong foundation on which they can continue building for the future.
Carolina currently sits in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, just one point back of the eighth-place New York Rangers. While the Hurricanes aren’t in a position to make a major splash should they make the playoffs, retaining Semin’s services for the next five years will allow them to continue adding pieces with key players in place.
Re-signing Semin wasn’t a surprise move, though the timing was slightly unexpected. He’s played exceptionally well for the Hurricanes this season, and general manager Jim Rutherford mentioned earlier this month in an interview with Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News and Observer that he planned on extending the right winger’s deal:
We hope that he's here a long period of time. We did not think of this as a passing thing. We said when we signed him that we liked him and wanted to see how he fit the team. We have been very pleased and hope to re-sign him.
According to Alexander, Rutherford previously did not plan to negotiate a new deal with Semin during the season. Apparently he has played well enough to warrant a change of heart, and he’ll look to reward the Hurricanes with a potential playoff berth on the horizon.