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Behind The Bench: Alexander Semin

by on 09/28/2011

Vitals

Born: Krasnoyarsk, RUS
Birth date: March 3, 1984
Height: 6’2” (188 cm)
Weight: 205 lbs (93 kg)
Position: RW/ LW
Shoots: Right
NHL Draft: 13th overall by the Washington Capitals in 2002
NHL Team: Washington Capitals
Jersey No.: #28
National Team: Russia
NHL Contract: 11/12
Cap Hit: $6,700,000

History

Semin started his career with the Traktor Chelyabinsk hockey school and made his debut in Russia’s second-tier Russian Major League (RUS-2) during the 2001-02 season. Semin tallied 13 goals and 8 assists with Chelyabinsk and was selected 13th overall by the Washington Capitals at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He spent one more season in Russia playing for Lada Togliatti of the Russian Super League (RSL). Semin recorded 10 goals and 7 assists in 47 games.

Semin made his NHL debut in the 2003-04 season with the Washington Capitals. In his rookie season, Semin tallied 10 goals and 12 assists playing in 52 games. Semin ended his season rather controversially as he missed the team’s flight to Pittsburgh and missed the team’s final game of the season. He then reported to the Portland Pirates of the AHL to finish his season with them. Semin recorded 4 regular season points in 4 games and 11 playoff points in 7 games.

Due to the confusion about Semin’s obligations to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Semin failed to report to the Hershey Bears of the AHL but instead returned to Russia and played in the RSL. The Washington Capitals suspended Semin for the whole 2004-05 season for not reporting to the farm team. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation require all men to serve for two years. The Russian Armed Forces allow conscripted soldiers who are hockey players to play for professional teams in Russia during their service but soldiers are not allowed to play for teams in other countries. Semin’s season with Lada Togliatti during the NHL lockout fulfilled his first year of his military obligation. Semin played 50 games for Lada Togliatti in the RSL, scoring 19 goals and adding 11 assists.

The Capitals filed a complaint against Semin and his agent Mark Gandler during the 2005-06 season, seeking for Semin’s agent and the Lada Togliatti to return Semin to the Washington Capitals. Due to Lada Togliatti’s financial issues, the club released Semin, but instead of returning to the Capitals, Semin signed with Mytischi Khimik. Semin fulfilled the second year of his obligation during the 2005-06 season. Semin split the season between Lada Togliatti and Mytischi Khimik tallying 19 points over 42 games.

Semin returned to the NHL after fulfilling his military obligations. He signed a two-year contract with the Capitals, finally resolving the conflict between the two parties. Semin exploded in his return season, tallying 38 goals and 73 points in 77 games. Semin finished second on the team in scoring behind Alex Ovechkin and was one of three 30 goal scorers on the team, along with Ovechkin and Chris Clark.

After a successful comeback season, Semin struggled during the 2007-08 season. He tallied 42 points in 63 regular season games and 8 points in 7 playoff games. Semin bounced back the following season and started the season leading the league as the top scorer until injuries caused his play to tail off. Semin still finished the season with 79 points in 62 games and tallied 14 points in 14 playoff games. During the 2009-10 season, Semin tallied a career-high 84 points and 40 goals in 73 games. Semin also represented Russia at the 2010 Winter Olympics recording 2 points in 4 games. Semin received a large amount of criticism as he failed to score any goals during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs despite firing 44 shots on net. Semin suffered another down season during the 2010-11 season, as he only tallied 54 points in 65 regular games and 6 points in 9 playoff games. Semin was an inconsistent scorer for the Capitals all season long as he went on long stretches without any contribution.

Talent Analysis

Pros

  • Possesses one of the best shots in the NHL
  • Creative with the puck
  • Soft hands and great stick handling
  • Superb one-on-one skills
  • Game breaker
  • Talented offensive abilities
  • Consistent and Reliable point producer
  • Good on-ice vision in the offensive zone
  • Marvelous skater

Cons

  • Oft-injured
  • Can be knocked off the puck
  • Easily intimidated
  • Poor defensive coverage
  • Does not back check
  • Lacks motivation

Future

Semin is entering his 7th NHL season and despite a disappointing 54 points last season, Semin in poised to put up career numbers this upcoming season. Semin only put up less than 50 points once in his career and that was during the 2007-08 season. The following season, Semin bounced back and produced 79 points in 62 games. You should expect an 80-point performance from Semin in the upcoming season.

Semin has signed a series of short term contract extensions recently so it will be interesting to see if the Capitals will continue to sign him to one and two year contracts or if they will part with him at the end of the season. If Semin is to stay with the Capitals after the end of the upcoming season, it will depend on how far the Capitals go in the post season as well as how much he’ll contribute to their run.

NHL Highlights

  • Drafted 13th overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft
  • 1st NHL Game Played – October 14th,2003 vs. Montreal Canadiens (1-5 L)
  • 1st NHL Point – October 14th,2003 vs. Montreal Canadiens (Assist)
  • 1st NHL Goal – October 31st, 2003 vs. Atlanta Thrashers
  • 1st NHL Assist – October 14th,2003 vs. Montreal Canadiens
  • 1st NHL Multi-point Game – November 4th, 2003 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (2 assists)
  • 1st NHL Hat-trick – October 5th, 2006 vs. Carolina Hurricanes
  • 1st NHL Playoff GP – April 11th, 2008 vs. Philadelphia Flyers (5-4 W)
  • 1st NHL Playoff Point – April 11th, 2008 vs. Philadelphia Flyers
  • 1st NHL Playoff Goal – April 17th, 2008 vs. Philadelphia Flyers
  • 1st NHL Playoff Assists – April 11th, 2008 vs. Philadelphia Flyers
  • 1st NHL Multi-point Game – April 17th, 2008 vs. Philadelphia Flyers (Goal and an assist)

Career Highlights

  • 2001-02 U18 WJC Silver Medal
  • 2004-05 World Championship Bronze Medal
  • 2007-08 World Championship Gold Medal
  • 2009-10 World Championship Silver Medal

Career Stats

AHL: 4 GP, 3 G, 1 A, 4 Pts
AHL Playoffs:
7 GP, 4 G, 7 A, 11 Pts
EHT:
14 GP, 6 G, 1 P, 7 Pts
NHL:
392 GP, 176 G, 178 A, 354 Pts
NHL Playoffs:
37 GP, 12 G, 18 A, 30 Pts
Olympics:
4 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 Pts
RSL:
139 GP, 37 G, 28 A, 65 Pts
RSL Playoffs:
28 GP, 9 G, 6 A, 15 Pts
RUS-2:
46 GP, 13 G, 8 A, 21 Pts
RUS-2 Playoffs:
2 GP, 2 G, 0 A, 2 Pts
WC:
36 GP, 13 G, 14 A, 27 Pts
WJC-18:
8 GP, 8 G, 7 A, 15 Pts
WJC-20:
6 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 4 Pts

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