Alexander Semin returns to Verizon Center on Tuesday night as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes to face the Capitals for the first time since he parted ways with the organization this summer as a free agent.
Semin, 28, spent the first seven seasons of his NHL career in Washington. While his skill level and goal-scoring ability were never questioned, his work ethic frequently was a topic of discussion.
In the summer of 2011, former Capital Matt Bradley publicly questioned Semin’s drive and said that the Russian winger “just doesn’t care” during a radio interview. On Monday afternoon, Troy Brouwer didn’t couch his criticisms of his former teammate, either.
“It was tough to lose his scoring ability when he wanted to play,” Brouwer said. “But all in all, I think we’ve been doing well without him.”
When asked if Semin’s unpredictable play and inconsistency was frustrating as a teammate, Brouwer went even further.
“Some nights you didn’t even know if he was gonna come to the rink,” Brouwer said. “It’s tough to play alongside guys like those because you don’t know what you’re gonna get out of ‘em.”
The Capitals opted not to re-sign Semin, and he agreed to a one-year, $7 million deal with the Hurricanes in the offseason. In his first 17 games of the season for Carolina, Semin has 4 goals and 10 assists – numbers that would rank tied with Alex Ovechkin for second on the Capitals in points — while playing primarily on the top line with center Eric Staal.