Following the Capitals 4-2 loss in Tampa on April 2nd, a game in which he recorded a goal and an assist, Alexander Semin was handed a score sheet that had his ice time listed at 14 minutes, 11 seconds. Fourteen minutes, Semin said in disgust. Wow! He then crumpled the score sheet and threw it in a trashcan.
Over the past few days, Semin and his agent Mark Gandler, have been trying to explain the future of the Capitals enigmatic right wing.
First, Gandler said his client, who is scheduled to become a free agent on July 1, has no interest playing for a team that limits his ice time and uses him as a role player. Then, upon arriving in Stockholm for the World Championships, Semin issued this statement to reporters:
This is all just talk. Words can get twisted. There was no talk at all that I am not going to sign with the Capitals for sure. I have not talked to them about leaving. And please dont ask me questions about the next season anymore.
This much Gandler can confirm: Semin has no interest returning for an eighth season in Washington if he is going to be used the way he was this season. Gandler told 106.7 The Fan: Theres no reason to discuss money or term, if they dont use the person.
Semin averaged 16:47 of ice time during the regular season and finished the year second on the Capitals in goals 21 and points 54 and tied for fourth in plus-minus plus-9.
During the playoffs, he averaged 17:28 of ice time, recording three goals, one assist and a minus-4. Those regular season totals continue a downward trend for the Russian winger, whose one-year, 6.7 million contract is set to expire in less than seven weeks.
Two years ago, Semin averaged 19:07 in ice time and finished with 40 goals, 84 points and a plus-36 rating. Last season he averaged 18:04 in ice time, recorded 28 goals and 54 points and was a plus-22.
Clearly, Semins value on the open market will be considerably less than the 6.7 million the Capitals gave him last season.
The Caps might want to ask themselves if they need a player, regardless of his price, who places so much emphasis on playing time.