One of the people Alexander Semin can thank for being a new member of the Carolina Hurricanes is Bruce Boudreau?
According to Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford, the former head coach of the Capitals and current head coach of the Anaheim Ducks played an integral role in him pursuing Semin and signing the Russian winger to a one-year, 7 million contract on Thursday.
I remember having a relatively long conversation with Bruce Boudreau, his former coach, at the June 22, 23 draft, Rutherford said Friday at a news conference. That was the start of us really doing our homework leading to this signing.
Rutherford didnt stop there. He tracked down some of Semins former teammates, coaches and just about anyone else familiar with the 28-year-old winger and his reputation of being an aloof, selfish and enigmatic star.
Several people in our front office tried to reach out to as many people that have crossed paths with Alex in his career, Rutherford said. Former players, former coaches, former scouts. You get different reviews from different people, but certainly the positives much out-weighed any people that had a negative experience with him.
No one has ever argued Semins talent level and his 197 goals, 408 points and plus-65 rating in 469 career games with the Caps was enough to convince the Hurricanes to spend 7 million on him.
His numbers are extremely high, as a matter of fact, for his critics who dont do the same homework we do, Rutherford said. Those numbers certainly indicate hes quite a bit different player than some people suggest.
Rutherford was referring to critics like TSN analysts Marc Crawford and Pierre McGuire, who on July 1 called Semin a coach killer and a loser.
Rutherford was asked about that reputation and may have taken a shot at the Capitals dressing room when he said, Part of getting a bad rap as a player sometimes is because of the player, and sometimes its because of the mix of players on that team.
The mix of players on the team sometime starts to push a player away. I dont know if any of those relate to Alex or not, but thats the best way I can answer it.
Rutherford said he hopes that with coach Kirk Muller behind the bench for a full season, Semin can return to being a 40-goal scorer with the Hurricanes and earn himself another contract with them next summer.
He could have signed for a lot more money and a lot longer in Russia, Rutherford said. Id like to think hell like living here and this is the start of a long-term relationship."