- The Washington Times - Friday, November 11, 2005

The agent for Alexander Semin, the Washington Capitals’ reluctant-to-report left wing, might be in violation of a U.S. District Court order if a story quoting Semin in a Moscow newspaper is correct.

Semin, under contract to the Caps, has been ordered to report to the NHL team to fulfill his contract. Semin had been playing for Lada Togliatti in the Russian Super League but that team has collapsed financially and Semin is no longer listed as a team member.

Semin’s U.S.-based agent, Mark Gandler, who has very close ties with the Russian hockey community, was ordered not to help the 21-year-old find a new team when a temporary restraining order was granted a week ago.

But according to an interview with Semin in the Moscow newspaper Sports Express, Gandler is assisting the player in his effort to find a spot on another roster. The Russian league is currently on hiatus so players can compete in a tournament.

“Who is working to find you a team in Russia?” the paper asked Semin.

“The same agent, Mark Gandler,” the paper quotes him as responding.

Semin’s rights in Russia have been acquired by Khimik, another Super League team, and it expects the player to report once play resumes.

“I’m expecting a lot of things, too, [that] doesn’t mean they are going to happen,” the player said.

Semin then suggested in the interview that he was prevented from returning to the United States by someone in Russia, where, he maintains, he is still serving a military obligation.

“I’m telling you, I couldn’t come over. They didn’t let me,” Semin told the paper when he was asked why he didn’t report to the Caps at the start of this season.

“I don’t need all those troubles,” Semin continued when asked about another Russian player who experienced similar problems. “Why should I put myself in that situation when I wouldn’t be able to return to Russia? Some people made it so that I ended up in the army. I was emphatically suggested [sic] in Togliatti not to leave.”

Was he afraid what might happen if he left without permission?

“I was told what would happen in such a case,” he said.


“It’s better if I don’t say it.”

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