For some reason the Wings fell prey to a massive episode of "groupthink" this summer. They were willing to throw MASSIVE contracts at Suter and Parise, two guys who have NEVER played like they deserved that much money. Presumably because they bought into their underserved reputations. Yet they were scared away from Semin, who's contract is a lot but at 1 year wasn't going to be a problem, also presumably because of an undeserved reputation. I have no idea why Semin got singled out of laziness when the entire Washington organization has the exact same problem.
Semin clearly isn't a long term solution, but who can say they wouldn't rather have him on Pav's wing, just for this year, rather than sit on all this cap space for the season. He couldn't possibly have hurt us this season, and he would have had ZERO negative impact on the future either.
For everything people say about Semin, it really applies to Ovechkin the last couple seasons.
A one year contract for a guy with something to prove isn't a huge risk. But Semin got $7 mill with Carolina. Maybe it was an issue with paying him more than Z and Dats for the year. Who knows.
But it sounds like he's playing well and playing big minutes for the Hurricanes.