Canes place Semin on waivers, plan to buy out his contract

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Alexander Semin’s time with the Carolina Hurricanes is over.

The Hurricanes on Tuesday placed the enigmatic forward on unconditional waivers with the intent to buy out his hefty contract.

The move came the day before the start of the NHL’s free agency period. Semin must clear waivers at noon Wednesday before his deal can be bought out.

Under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, he will be owed $14 million — two-thirds of the amount remaining on his deal — over six years.

“Alex fully intends to play in the NHL next season, ” Todd Diamond, Semin’s agent, said in an email to The Associated Press.

Diamond added, “We expect a strong market for him.”

Semin, 31, has three years remaining on a contract extension signed in March 2013 and worth $7 million per season — second on the team only to captain Eric Staal, who is set to make $9.5 million this year.

This move wasn’t much of a surprise, after he quickly fell out of favor with first-year coach Bill Peters.

Semin had a career-worst six goals and added 13 assists in 57 games during a largely disappointing 2014-15 season. During his three seasons with Carolina, he had 41 goals and 64 assists.

He was the fifth-leading scorer in Washington Capitals history, reaching the 30-goal mark three times in his seven seasons with them, before leaving via free agency in 2013.

The Hurricanes took a chance on him before that lockout-shortened season, with then-general manager Jim Rutherford signing him to a one-year, $7 million deal.

At first, the move worked: Semin had 30 assists in his first 32 games with the Hurricanes and teamed with Jiri Tlusty and Staal to form one of the NHL’s most potent lines.

He was rewarded midway through that season with the five-year extension which ran through 2017-18.

But after that, Semin’s production tailed off.

He had 22 goals and 20 assists while dealing with a concussion and a wrist injury during his first 82-game season with Carolina, and never seemed to click last season with Peters, who occasionally made him a healthy scratch and chided him for his conditioning.

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