Alex Semin Signs in Carolina

Alexander Semin signed a 1-year deal worth $7 million with the Carolina Hurricanes. No doubt about this: I don’t think there is any team that has gotten better, especially on offense, than the Hurricanes. Further, they’ve got a full compliment of top-6 forwards. In addition to Semin they’ve got two guys named Staal, Jeff Skinner, Tuomo Ruutu, and can pick their final piece from guys like Chad LaRose, Jiri Tlusty, and Jussi Jokinen. Good for them. I mean they’re looking for answers on defense, but that seems like a problem for at least one other really good team…

The one year deal is safe, but the $7 million price tag is high. Really, the price is not too high for Semin, one of only six players in the league to average more than 30 goals per season over the last six years, but I don’t mind the Penguins walking away from this one. Look at it this way, $7 million, even for the opportunity to sign a former 40 goal scorer, would really put a dent in the Penguins cap space to find a stud top-4 defenseman, which still needs to be the team’s top priority.

Breaking down what it means for the Pens, Jakub Voracek’s new deal in Philly, and some other stuff after the jump.

With Semin off the board, the only stout top-6 forward left on the market is Shane Doan. Apparently he is (or did) stop in Philly and New York, but I can’t even find the link so I don’t have any real commentary to add. All I will say is that I hope the Pens aren’t really loading a bunch of eggs into the basket to bring Doan in. To me, he’s not worth it. I really think he will have trouble skating with Sid and Dupuis and call me an apologist, but I’m still struggling to see how the Pens offense is not fine as is. Am I the only one that thinks that with or without Shane Doan, Sidney Crosby is going to flat out embarrass the rest of the NHL next year? I mean dude has a score to settle, over the last two regular seasons, in 63 games he has 103 points. Read it again, in his last 63 games he has 103 points. Shane Doan didn’t help Sid score any of those points…


Was told Sidney Crosby avoiding interviews to focus on training in what he, others deemed important summer after health issues. #Penguins

– Shelly Anderson, @pgshelly

Like I said…

Jakub Voracek signed a new 4-year deal with Philly today, it comes with an annual cap hit of $4.25 million. I’m not necessarily surprised with the money, but that’s still a lot for a guy with minimal top-6 minutes and a career best 18 goals. Anytime you start to lose faith in the Penguins organization just remember that Ray Shero signed James Neal for 6 years at $5 million per.

Speaking of the Flyers, Claude Giroux claims that Sid forced him to need surgery on both of his wrists after six straight games of taking face-offs against him. My thoughts: “get tough, you old softy.” I don’t mean that in a pugilistic, nihilistic sort of way, I mean it in a quit whining sort of way. If the Flyers kept a “Crosby Jar” for every time one of their players blamed Sidney Crosby for something stupid, they would be half way to funding food relief programs for the entire African continent. I’m sure the fact that Giroux, who weighs a whopping 170 pounds, who plays every game of his career against guys who probably average 30 more pounds of muscle than him has nothing to do with the break down of his wrists. There’s no way that taking face-offs against Brian Boyle (6’7″, 244) or Jordan Staal (6’4″, 220) 12 times a year has contributed to that, nope nope nope.

EDIT 2: This wins the Internet.

Giroux, workin’ hard.

I know it’s boring and I know it’s frustrating that there isn’t a lot going on with the Penguins right now, but here’s a little projected depth chart to spur some commentary, it could be worse:

Obviously the big hole is on that second line, I literally don’t know whose name to write in, and viewing Deryk Engelland as a top-4 defenseman is scary. In terms of the second line, consider that Tangradi and Jeffrey are both off of this list at this time. I think that if Jeffrey can get comfortable on the wing he could be a great fit, and again, as I always say, we haven’t ever gotten the chance to really see what Tangradi can do because he never gets the chance to play in real scoring situations. A 6’4″, 230 lb. winger could be a wonderful asset on a line with Sidney Crosby. Looking at the defense, basically all I did was to try to match left-handed sticks with right-handed sticks. Further, I definitely think that Niskanen is better than Engelland, but if you assume that one of our puck-moving, first round pick defenseman is going to get the sixth starting spot (I certainly do) then Niskanen would be a better “mentor” just because he plays a more similar type of game. Further, I do really think its going to be Despres, one, most opinions are that he is ready for the NHL. Two, compared to Morrow or Pouliot, he’s got so much more professional experience, including real and meaningful NHL games, and three, his size is important. Last thing, man does that goalie tandem look good.


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