Just how common is it for elite point producers to repeatedly sign one year contracts throughout their years of prime production? It is very rare, becoming more common closer to the end of careers. My own database does not include every contract ever signed, but does include the pool of active contracts. If you look at all the forwards in the NHL who signed their current contracts from age 26-29 who averaged between 60-90 PTS per 82 GP over the last 4 seasons, what do you see?
75% of those contracts are at least 5 years long. Players signing their contracts in their peak production years tend to seek the longest term contracts possible while their value is also at its peak. That's how you maximize career earnings. There are more contracts over 10 years long than there are under 5 years. As Semin closes in on age 30 and his skills begin to diminish (some would argue that diminishment process has already begun), the amount of money he can get on a one year contract will fall considerably. Even Mikhail Grabovski scored a 5 year $27M contract.
It would be interesting to know what the best long term offer was on the table for Semin. He has a unique offensive skill set that should be in greater demand that what we've seen. $7M is a substantial sum, arguably more than he's worth for one year of work. However, if he doesn't suck it up and sign a long term contract soon, he's going to find that peak earnings window shut. It would also be interesting to see what kind of contract offers he has from the KHL. It's entirely plausible that he'll get a nice bounty whenever he decides to go back to Russia; such that he's willing to max out one year contracts in the world's best league during his prime years. Those Russian oligarchs need to wash their dirty money somewhere.