I’ve never been a big Alexander Semin fan.  I’ve always viewed him as a guy with a ridiculous amount of potential with a lack of motivation.  It has frustrated me to no end that he doesn’t make himself available to fans (claiming poor english, no interviews, limited attendance to events, etc), that he draws silly minor penalties and often appears to be doing figure eights on the ice instead of trying to control the puck and score.

Semin being semin.

Don’t get me wrong – When Semin has control of the puck and whips around at a dizzying rate followed by an electric slapshot, I love it.  I just think he doesn’t try as much as he could, and as a fan, it’s upsetting.

It’s so hard to see someone with so much talent skate around aimlessly without a care in the world.  This past summer, Matt Bradley, a former Capitals player, spoke openly and gave his opinion regarding the “Semin Caring” matter, and he didn’t filter himself.

Said Bradley, ““I don’t mind saying Alexander Semin’s name, because he’s one guy who has so much talent, he could easily be the best player in the league, and just for whatever reason, just doesn’t care.”

Harsh, right?

But, could there be an ounce of truth to it?  Semin’s camp immediately fired back that he does indeed care.  #SashaCares blew up on twitter, and Semin suddenly started doing interviews in english.  I remember watching that first interview, sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear what this guy sounded like.  You know what he sounded like?  A normal guy with a minor accent.  He totally speaks and understands english perfectly fine.  What happened to doing no interviews because of poor communication?  What happened to needing Ovechkin to be your translator?  Shame, Shame, Semin.   When you hear how great his language is, it’s hard to imagine that happened overnight.

I really wanted to think that Semin was just shy and didn’t like all of the media attention.  I wanted to think that he wanted to play the game, do his job and go home, but I just can’t think that way anymore.  Participating in a team involves more than just on ice play.  It involves a whole gamut of things and I’m just tired of making excuses for a player with such rockstar potential.

Evgeny Kuznetsov

After all of the negativity surrounding Semin, I really, really wanted to cheer for this guy.  I wanted him to make a tremendous impact and shut everyone up by showing how much he cares, but unfortunately, his performance since October has been lackluster.  When Bruce Boudreau was still in Washington, he benched Semin as a healthy scratch following a handful of unnecessary penalties.  Time out much?

Semin should be worried at this point.  His contract with Washington is up next year and the chances of him being resigned arelikely slim to none.  Why?  The Capitals have drafted 19-year-old Russian sensation, Evgeny Kuznetsov and he’s everything (and then some) that Semin should be.

Kuznetsov been compared to Evgeny Malkin in the way he plays, and his flawless skating and puck handling is to be feared and rivaled across the league.  In an interview, he once said his worst habit is “talking too much,” and his perfect day involves “sleeping and practice, sleeping and practice.”  Quite the opposite from our friend Alex Semin who is known for being silent in the media but seen at bars until all hours of the night with certain teammates and friends.

Best friends forever.

If Washington trades Semin, feathers will be ruffled. What would that do to the dynamics and chemistry of the team?  What would we get in return?  Would we regret the move??   I’ve wondered to myself “Would Ovechkin allow Semin to be traded?” (They are best buddies after all) but based on how the Capitals have been playing in recent weeks, it wouldn’t surprise me if General Manager George McPhee doesn’t even take the teams input into consideration anymore.  GMGM has to do what he has to do to get the team back in shape again.

I would love to see Semin come back from his upper body injury with renewed vigor, passion and motivation to be the great player that he is.  But, I fear that something is holding him back and we’ll never see his full potential here in Washington.  For whatever reason, the nation’s capitol just can’t get 100% of Semin 100% of the time.

Semin should be worried.  He has talent nipping at his heels and if he doesn’t get it together, that talent in the name of Evgeny Kuznetsov is going to win.  His favorite color is gold after all, the color of champions.

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