For the last four years, a pair of Alexanders have taken the nation’s capital by storm. Ovechkin and Semin have combined to make one of the NHL’s top scoring duos. If it weren’t for injuries, Semin would have had a 40-goal season by now (and may have even cracked 100 points). Currently sitting at 37 with just 6 games remaining, this will be his last chance to get 40 goals in a season with the Capitals.
According to two very good sources close to the situation, Semin will be heading back home to Russia after the season to play in the Kontinental Hockey League. He’ll be joining good friend Alexander Radulov with Salavat Yulaev Ufa, signing a three-year, $27 million with the team. Even though he signed a one-year extension through 2011 earlier this season with the Caps, he’ll be bailing early (like Radulov).
Semin has cited ‘not enough recognition with the team’ as his reason for leaving Washington and the NHL. With Ovechkin stealing all of the headlines and highlights in Washington, Semin has decided to take his act back to Russia, where he can be the focal point and face of the league. It’s safe to say the Caps will be losing a vital weapon to their offensive attack.
What kind of uproar will this cause within the Capitals’ organization and throughout the NHL? I imagine it would. The whole Radulov ordeal in the summer of 2008 caused quite a stir in Nashville, making fans turn on him before you could even finish reading the story. Will Caps fans have the same feelings towards Semin after reading this?
Semin will be following a long line of ex-NHLers (mostly veterans past their prime) who made the jump to the KHL. But for them to nab Semin before his all-around game has peaked is a huge win for the league. Commissioner Alexander Medvedev has been licking his chops, trying to grab one of the Russian stars from North America. He may have struck it rich here! Will it convince Ilya Kovalchuk to head back to Russia, as well?? We’ll see about that this summer.
Without Semin in the future plans anymore in Washington, they have a big void to fill before next season. It will be interesting to see how they replace the 26-year-old Russian.
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.