Francis on the #Canes decision to buy out Semin's contract: "We want guys who want to be here and want to play hard every day."
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) July 1, 2015
Carolina Hurricanes Executive Vice-President and General Manager Ron Francis has decided to say “See ya” to Alexander Semin, a move that says the ‘Canes are serious about accountability. By now you have heard that the Hurricanes have bought out Semin’s contract, after he cleared waivers on Wednesday. In a press release, Francis said,
“We thank Alex for his time in Carolina and wish him the best for the future.”
In other words, “See ya.”
Umm, no James
I talked to a fan at the end of the season who was trying to engender sympathy for Semin. I was open to the idea that he might get his act together over the summer and return to form this coming season. He might just do that, but not in Carolina.
Semin could sign with the Arizona Coyotes, as my colleague with The Hockey Writers, James Tanner who also does a column for Hockey Buzz wrote yesterday. Tanner wrote,
“I think the Coyotes should resign him. In fact, every team in the NHL should be at least considering it because Alex Semin on a cheap deal to reestablish himself is a great proposition.”
Well James, go right ahead. Something is happening in Raleigh, and it does not include players who are not willing or able to give their all.
A lot of teams will look at Semin.
Frankly, I wish him all the best success. I like him and do not question his ability one bit.
I have written repeatedly that Hurricanes Coach Bill Peters is the real deal. He’s a no-nonsense guy who is old school, hard work, hockey. I wrote in November when Peters benched Semin for lack of effort that Peters was not messing around with what he expected from his team. Peters said at that time,
“you’ve got to put the work in and you’ve got to be mentally and physically engaged in what you’re doing.”
He was not kidding then and I guarantee you he is not kidding now.
I asked Ron Francis today at the media availability if the Semin buyout sends a message to the locker room regarding accountability. Francis said,
“I would hope to have that sense before we did this, but if they didn’t, I’m sure this will hammer it home.”
Francis is another no-nonsense guy, and I sense that this season is going to reflect more accountability on the ice. I may be wrong, but Ronnie is not messing around, and I don’t think Coach Peters is either.
Hurricanes fans should look at the Semin situation with a sense of, “Hmm.” Sure the team didn’t sign any big free agents during the free agent frenzy. But look at it this way, Francis is serious about building this team. He’s shown he’s not afraid to lop off a player that is not with the program. I think that’s kind of cool, and may be the beginning of a turnaround here in Carolina.
Stay tuned as I will write about Hurricanes owner, Peter Karmanos and what he had to say to the gathered media. He’s quite interesting, and very engaged in all things hockey. And he has a really cool lighter, too.
Mark lives in the Raleigh, NC area and covers the Carolina Hurricanes.