Whatever Alex Semin thinks about the seven years he spent in Washington and the biting words Troy Brouwer had for him on Monday will have to go unsaid, at least for now.
Through a Carolina Hurricanes spokesman, Semin declined interview requests with the Washington media on Tuesday, no big surprise considering Semin had spoken with the Carolina media just once this season, back in training camp with agent Mark Gandler as his Russian interpreter.
Earlier Tuesday Semin agreed to do a television interview with team broadcaster Tripp Tracy for the team’s game broadcast. It will air on Carolina television during the game.
On Monday Brouwer reiterated what has been said many times about Semin – that he lacked work ethic.
“Some nights you didn’t know if he was going to come to the rink,” Brouwer said. “It’s tough to play alongside guys like those, because you don’t know what you’re going to get out of them.”
Not surprisingly, several Hurricanes came to Semin’s defense. Within minutes of Brouwer’s comments Hurricanes center Tim Brent authored this tweet:
“Just read Troy Brouwer’s comments about Semin. I can say on behalf of his teammates that we love having him here, and he has been a big part of our success so far with his consistent play and work ethic. NOT only his scoring ability. I hope he sticks it to them.”
Teammate Jiri Tlusty, who sits beside Semin in the Hurricanes’ dressing room, described the 28-year-old winger as a fun-loving teammate.
“He’s been great,” Tlusty told the Charlotte News & Observer. “He jokes around with the guys. He’s getting used to us and opening up more and more every day. I think he’s enjoying his time more and more.”
Semin certainly has been effective on the ice for the Hurricanes. Playing on a line with Eric Staal and Tlusty, he has four goals and 10 assists and is a plus-10 with 16 penalty minutes through 17 games.
“He came from a different system in Washington and it’s going to be a big adjustment for anybody,” Staal said. “But he’s a fun guy to play with. He has a ton of skill. He can make plays down low, plays in the neutral zone and really shoot the puck.
“We’ve enjoyed being around him and it’s one of those things where you get more comfortable as you go.”
In seven seasons in Washington Semin recorded 197 goals and 409 points in 469 regular games and was a plus-65 during that time. In 51 career playoff games Semin added 15 goals and 34 points.
“We all know how good a player he can be,” Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz said. “How he’s so good with the puck, shooting, passing.
“Off the ice Alex and Alex [Ovechkin] kind of did their own thing. He’s a very quiet guy. You saw him at the rink and that was all.”
Asked how he thinks Semin will be remembered in Washington, Schultz said, “I think he did a lot for the Caps. Around us he was quiet, but he was such a dynamic player out there and he scored a lot of big goals for us. I think he’ll get a positive welcome back.”