NHL Notes: Semin, Hurricanes agree to extension

NHL Notes: Semin, Hurricanes agree to extension
March 26, 2013, 9:00 am
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Alexander Semin agreed to a five-year extension with the Carolina Hurricanes. (USA Today Images)

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Alexander Semin has found a home with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The team said Monday that the left winger has agreed to a five-year contract extension that will pay him $7 million per season and keep him with the Hurricanes through 2017-18.

Semin had spent his first seven seasons with the Washington Capitals, who drafted him in the first round in 2002, and became the fifth-leading scorer in club history but appeared to be the odd man out.

He got a fresh start over the summer when Carolina -- which was looking for an elite forward to skate alongside Eric Staal -- took a flyer on him with a one-year free agent deal worth $7 million.

At the time, general manager Jim Rutherford said it was a low-risk, high-reward deal because "we got a very talented player (and) we didn't lock in for a long period of time and then find out it's not working."

It's sure working now.

Skating alongside Staal on the Hurricanes' top line, the 29-year-old Semin has a team-best 22 assists and is second with 30 points while keeping Carolina in contention for its first playoff berth since 2009.

"We're very happy to retain Alex," Rutherford said. "Alex is an elite player and has been a major contributor to the Hurricanes having a very strong top line."

Semin has 205 goals and 233 assists during his eight-season career.

Lightning hire Cooper as coach
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning have hired Jon Cooper as their new coach.

The team announced the move on Monday night.

Cooper had been coaching Syracuse of the AHL, Tampa Bay's top minor league affiliate. He is replacing Guy Boucher, who was fired Sunday after 2 1/2 years with the team.

Cooper will coach his first game for the Lightning on Friday night against the New Jersey Devils.

Dan Lacroix and Steve Thomas will handle coaching duties when the Lightning host the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. The pair will then remain as assistant coaches for Cooper.

The Lightning, at 13-18-1, are in next to last place in the Eastern Conference.

Hossa remains out with injury
CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa has been ruled out for the Chicago Blackhawks' game against the Los Angeles Kings due to an upper-body injury.

Hossa left Chicago's 5-2 victory at Colorado last Monday after he took a hit in the first period. The right wing then missed the Blackhawks' 4-2 loss at Anaheim on Wednesday night, and was sidelined again for the opener of a three-game homestand on Monday night.

Hossa has 13 goals and 10 assists in 28 games this season.

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