This article is part of our From the Press Box series.
This week, three players reached crossroads in their careers.
The Canadiens signed Alex Semin over the offseason to address concerns about their offensive woes last season. Coming off a bad year, they were able to get him to agree to a low-cost ($1.05 million), one-year contract, with his profile around the league low due to concerns over his work ethic.
Even so, the fact that Semin delivered 34-, 38- and 40-goal seasons earlier in his career had to be attractive to the goal-starved Habs. We all know that Montreal has shot out of the gate and leads the NHL's Eastern Conference thanks to what's been a much-improved offense, but Semin has had almost nothing to do with that success. He was limited to only one goal and three assists in 15 games played, ultimately becoming a frequent healthy scratch.
Finally, the Canadiens' brass saw enough to determine this experiment was a total failure, and they placed Semin on waivers.
Well, the rest of the NHL teams obviously agreed with the Habs' sentiment, as he cleared waivers, agreeing to go to AHL St John's. Luckily, Montreal did not commit big dollars to Semin and it's now only going to cost them $150,000 against the cap to see if he can motivate himself and earn a return ticket.
Jonathan Bernier entered this season with a brand new two-year contract at an annual cap hit of $4.15 million, staying with the Toronto organization that liberated him from backup duty in Los Angeles early