NHL notes: Hurricanes ink Semin

Alexander Semin is joining the Hurricanes next season after signing a one-year contract on...

Alexander Semin is joining the Hurricanes next season after signing a one-year contract on Thursday, July 26, 2012. (Jocelyn Malette/QMI Agency/Files)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:26 PM ET

The Carolina Hurricanes have decided to take a chance on mercurial winger Alexander Semin, signing the 28-year-old to a one-year contract worth $7 million.

The talented Russian tends to run hot and cold. He is coming off a disappointing season with the Washington Capitals in which he had 21 goals and 33 assists in 77 games.

But he had 40 goals in 2009-10 plus two other 30-goal seasons during his six years with the Caps.

“I’m very happy to be a Carolina Hurricane,” Semin said Thursday. “It’s a great fit for me. I look forward to playing with great players, and putting together a winning season.”

Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said he hoped a fresh start in Carolina would serve Semin well.

“We have done a lot of research about Alexander, and discussions about his fit with our team have included people at many different levels of our organization, including players, coaches and staff,” Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said. “What’s been clear throughout this process was his commitment to wanting to play in the NHL, and compete against the world’s best players.

“Alexander’s elite skill level and ability to score from the wing fill an important need on the ice,.”

VORACEK GETS RICH

The Philadelphia Flyers weren’t about to let another team hit up one of their restricted free agents with an offer sheet.

So the Flyers handed forward Jakub Voracek a tidy four-year, $17 million contract Thursday to prevent that from happening. Voracek’s cap hit works out to $4.25 million per season.

“Well, I was patient,” Voracek said of negotiations during a conference call Thursday. “We all knew what was going on with free agency and last week with what was going on with Shea Weber. If I was getting signed, I was getting signed. If I wasn’t, I wasn’t. I was patient and I knew I was going to get that opportunity to sign.

“That is exactly what happened. I am happy we agree on the terms of the deal and (I am) very happy to be locked up by the Flyers for the next four years.”

Voracek, a 22-year-old from Kladno, Czech Republic, had a career-high 18 goals and 31 assists in 78 games last season, his first with the Flyers. He spent the previous three seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets before being acquired in the deal for Jeff Carter.

KING-SIZED PAYNE

Former St. Louis Blues coach Davis Payne has landed himself another NHL gig.

With the Stanley Cup champs, no less.

According to lakingsinsider.com, Payne has been hired by the Los Angeles Kings as an assistant coach to Darryl Sutter. The 42-year-old old takes over the job vacated by Jamie Kompon, who moved to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Payne coached the Blues for two and a half seasons, starting in 2009, and went 67-55-15 during that time. He was fired in November and replaced by Ken Hitchcock.

BRIEFLY

Former Pittsburgh Penguins first-rounder Angelo Esposito is taking his under-achieving game to Finland. The 23-year-old centre, picked 20th overall by the Pens in 2007, has signed with the Lahti Pelicans of the Finnish Elite League ... The Ottawa Senators put forward Bobby Butler on waivers with the intention of buying him out if he clears. Butler had six goals and 10 assists in 56 games last season ... The Edmonton Oilers re-signed defenceman Alex Plante and forward Chris VandeVelde to one-year contracts. Both played with Oklahoma City of the AHL last season ... Pat Quinn and Scotty Bowman will coach the alumni teams at the Winter Classic in Detroit next season. Quinn will be joined on the Toronto Maple Leafs bench by Hall of Famer Red Kelly while Barry Smith will be Bowman’s assistant with the Detroit Red Wings ... The New York Rangers agreed to terms with defenceman Anton Stralman, avoiding an arbitration hearing scheduled for next week. Stralman had two goals and 16 assists in 53 games with the Rangers.


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