Few players in the NHL have scored more goals against the Carolina Hurricanes than Alexander Semin.
Now, he'll be scoring goals for the Hurricanes.
The Canes announced Thursday they had signed the dynamic but at times enigmatic Russian forward to a one-year contract that will pay him $7 million.
"I talked with him today and he's very excited about the opportunity," general manager Jim Rutherford said. "I'd like to think it will be a good fit for both sides and will end up being a long-term thing."
Semin, 28, became an unrestricted free agent July 1 and there were initial media reports the former Washington Capitals winger might return to Russia to play in the Kontinental Hockey League. Semin is a native of Krasnoyarsk.
Rutherford said after last season that a pressing priority would be to sign a top-tier forward to play with center Eric Staal, the Canes captain. The Canes were spurned in their efforts to sign free-agent forward Zach Parise or trade for former Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash, making Semin a more enticing option.
Semin has scored 197 career goals and has 408 points in 469 regular-season games, all with the Caps, who made him the 13th overall pick of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. In 41 career games against the Hurricanes, he had 27 goals and 18 assists (45 points)
Semin was a 40-goal scorer in the 2009-2010 season, but has scored 28 and 21 the past two seasons as Washington became more defensive-oriented team.
In the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs, Semin had five goals and nine assists in 14 playoff games. He wasn't as productive this past season, with just three goals and one assist in 14 games.
Semin faced questions about his consistency of effort and his desire during his seven seasons in Washington. One thing that was rarely questioned was Semin's offensive skills.
Semin has international experience. He was a member of Russia's 2010 Olympic team and has competed for Russia in six World Championships, winning gold this year.