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|24 сентября 2006
Semin Is Proving to Be Worth The Wait // Washington Post
Left Wing Thriving In Camp for Caps
By Tarik El-Bashir
It took the Washington Capitals two years, one lawsuit and $2.6 million to bring Alexander Semin back to North America. A week into training camp, it's easy to see what all the fuss was about.
Semin, with his dazzling stickhandling, smooth skating stride and superior
shot, has quickly established himself as the Capitals' most exciting player
not named Alex Ovechkin.
It was Semin's first interview with local reporters since arriving in training camp on Sept. 15, two years, almost to the day, after all of the trouble began.
By now, most Capitals fans know the story well. After scoring 10 goals and registering 12 assists as a rookie in 2003-04, Semin was suspended by the NHL club in September 2004 for failing to report to the minor leagues during the lockout. When he didn't show up for training camp a year later, after assuring officials that he would, the Capitals sued him and his agent in U.S. District Court for breach of contract.
Semin said that Russian officials wouldn't permit him to leave the country because he had not fulfilled his two-year military obligation; the Capitals disputed his claim. In April, the sides settled their differences and Semin agreed to a new two-year contract that will pay him $1.3 million per season.
"I'm happy it's over," Semin said. "I wish I could have been here earlier, but it was not my decision to be here or not to be here."
Coach Glen Hanlon and Semin's teammates said they are also eager to put the controversy behind them.
"I don't know why he didn't come," Hanlon said. "They said it was a military obligation and I'll respect that. . . . I'm just happy he's here. He's a good player and he makes our team better."
Team captain Chris Clark added: "There's no problem with him in the dressing room that I'm aware of. It's water under the bridge. Hockey is a game, but sometimes it's a business. That kind of stuff is rarely held against the player. He's an unbelievable player and we're happy to have him."
Asked what the coaching staff expects of Semin, who scored a goal 2 minutes 2 seconds into the Capitals' first preseason game on Wednesday, Hanlon laughed and said: "A lot of goals. But not at the expense of his defense. I expect there will be games you won't even notice him, and then bang, it's in the net."
Semin's biggest obstacle figures to be the same one that troubled him the last time he was here: his command of the English language. He still is not comfortable speaking to teammates or reporters in English. Until his language skills improve, he's going to rely on Dainius Zubrus and Ovechkin to translate for him. Hanlon also speaks some Russian.
"If he's not playing our system because he doesn't understand the language, then that's an issue and we'll have to figure out how to get the message across," Hanlon said. "But other than that, I just want him to work hard, be a good teammate and make us better. That's it."
Страничка Александра Сёмина на сайте
"Звёзды с Востока"
7 апреля. Semin Likely Back Next Season // Washington
10 октября. Нападающий «Лады» Александр Семин: Остаюсь
в России до конца сезона // "Советский Спорт".
7 апреля. Semin Likely Back Next Season // Washington Post
10 октября. Нападающий «Лады» Александр Семин: Остаюсь в России до конца сезона // "Советский Спорт".