Alexander Semin is gone from the Washington Capitals but certainly not forgotten, at least by right wing Troy Brouwer. Semin signed with the Carolina Hurricanes last summer after seven seasons with the Caps.
“It was tough to lose his scoring ability when he wanted to play,” Brouwer said. “But all in all I think we’ve been doing well without him.”
Semin’s consistency and effort were questioned from the outside but rarely from teammates. Matt Bradley wondered aloud about how much the Russian winger cared in a radio interview two summers ago, and that pattern continued with Brouwer’s comments Monday.
“Some nights you didn’t even know if he was gonna come to the rink,” Brouwer said. “It’s tough to play alongside guys like those because you don’t know what you’re gonna get out of ‘em.”
Brouwer only played with Semin for one season. Semin signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Hurricanes, who visit the Caps on Tuesday night.
“You do get pretty excited to play former teams. It gives you something to get up for if you don’t already have enough as it is,” Brouwer said. “It is fun; it is an experience. I’m sure he’ll get a warm welcome tomorrow night when he is here. The fans really enjoyed having him here. And in that aspect he’s gonna enjoy probably coming back and playing.”
Asked about some NHL players having such natural talent, Brouwer said: “It can be frustrating. I know there’s a lot of guys that work really, really hard to get where they are playing in the NHL, and some guys it’s a little bit easier because of their skill-set. Every player’s different, every attitude is different, every personality is different. That’s why the world is the way it is.”
Semin has four goals and 10 assists this season with Carolina. That would be tied for second on the Caps with Alex Ovechkin.
Hurricanes teammate Tim Brent took to Twitter in defense of Semin.
“Just read Troy Brouwer’s comments about Semin,” Brent wrote in a series of posts. “I can say on behalf of his teammates that we love having him here, and he has been a big part of our success so far with his consistent play and work ethic. NOT only his scoring ability. I hope he sticks it to them.”