When asked what led him to sign the enigmatic Semin, who was bought out by the Carolina Hurricanes this summer after scoring only six goals in 57 games last season, Bergevin said: “He’s high skilled … he brings something that not a lot of players do have. Obviously, things didn’t go his way in Carolina. He’s going to have a chance to prove that he is a player that he once was and he’s still young at 31 years of age. So we hope he’ll bring his skill and his compete level to Montreal.”
The Hurricanes gave Semin a five-year, $35-million contract extension in March 2013 after he had averaged a point a game in his first 30 games with Carolina (eight goals and 22 assists) after signing a one-year, $7-million free-agent contract. The buyout will cost the Hurricanes $14 million spread over the next six years.
Bergevin told reporters in Foxboro that the 31-year-old Semin, who was selected by the Washington Capitals in the first round (13th overall) at the 2002 NHL Draft, needs to show more consistency in his game.
“That was the downside that he had in Carolina and that’s what we’re looking for,” the GM said. “If you don’t score — (and) it’s hard to score in today’s game — you have to bring something else to the table. So it’s either backchecking or stripping pucks or playing solid hockey … that’s what I expect from you if you don’t score.”