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 Seminâ€™s driveÂ and said that the Russian winger â€śjust doesnâ€™t careâ€ť during a radio interview. On Monday afternoon, Troy Brouwer didnâ€™t couch his criticisms of his former teammate, either.
â€śIt was tough to lose his scoring ability when he wanted to play,â€ť Brouwer said. â€śBut all in all, I think we’ve been doing well without him.â€ť
When asked if Seminâ€™s unpredictable play and inconsistency was frustrating as a teammate, Brouwer went even further.
â€śSome nights you didn’t even know if he was gonna come to the rink,â€ť Brouwer said. â€śIt’s tough to play alongside guys like those because you don’t know what you’re gonna get out of ‘em.â€ť
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 â€“ 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.