Seven Lessons From Alexander Semin

Posted June 30, 2012

Photo by Alena Schwarz

The rumor mill has been in full force over the last few months when it comes to the “enigmatic” Alexander Semin.  Will he stay?  Will he go?  Is the KHL on the warpath with a trillion dollar contract?  Do we, as Capitals fans, even really care?

Coming out of last season, it’s easy to see the main reasons for gossip: He made $6.7 million last year, and is due to go UFA on July 1 (last year, he’d re-signed by the end of January).  Despite an increase in defensive responsibility, his 21-33-54 point-total has left him well below the kind of point-per-game average most people seem to think that $6.7M should be buying (this season, he pulled down .701 PPG. In 2010-11, he tallied .831.  For comparison, his career best in the NHL was 1.15 in 2009-10, the year the Caps snagged the President’s Trophy).

But enough with the numbers. Hockey is about more than just stats – it’s about taking stupid penalties and scoring that last-minute game winner.  It’s about setting an example for the future, so that others can learn from your mistakes.  During his time as a Capital, Alex Semin has been kind enough to provide some fantastic lessons for future members of the franchise.

1.  Throwing a puck at the opponent’s net is frowned upon in the NHL.

2.  When getting into a fight, remember that your fight strap must be tied.

3.  While ingenuity is prized on the ice, remember that your body is under contract and belongs to the team.  Don’t do stupid things that might result in a broken leg right before a game, and especially not when someone nearby has a camera.

4.  A bucket is not appropriate attire for hockey practice.

Alex Semin's Bucket Adventure (Photo Credit: Media Chameleon, 3/31/2012)

5.  It’s not a stick-penalty if… No, actually, it’s pretty much always a stick penalty.

6.  You will eventually have to talk to members of the local press. The language barrier will only buy you seven years.

7.   Spend long enough with an NHL team, someone will paint your portrait.

This is by the very talented QueInk. See more of her artwork here.

Farewell Alex Semin! We’ll miss always talking about you!