Photo credit: Maria Ananova
After winning gold at the IIHF World Championships in Sweden, soon-to-be UFA Alexander Semin met the media in his hometown Krasnoyarsk. It was actually take two for the press conference, as Sasha had slept through the appointment the previous day, missing it altogether. He didn’t answer his mobile phone when the press tried to track him down, but did answer his house phone eventually, just to say that he had overslept and would not be coming.
Today he apologized, blaming jet lag, and then got down to answering questions. Sport-Express’ Dmitry Uskov transcribed the entire press conference, where Semin talked about whether Ovechkin would be visiting him, whether the KHL is an option for him this summer, and his plans for the future.
Alex Semin: I want to apologize for yesterday (missing the press-conference), it just happened, I was very tired from flying, jetlag, 12 hour time difference. I only have positive emotions from our victory, we came only for three games, and it was enough. We are meeting president Putin in Moscow on May 29th.
Question: Is there any clarity on where your career will resume in the next season?
Alex Semin: I can’t say anything concrete at this time. I’m waiting for July 1st, until the negotiations in the NHL open, for now I am unemployed.
Question: Are your priorities in Russia or North America?
Alex Semin: I can’t answer. I don’t know.
Question: During the final against Slovakia, when did you sense the victory?
Alex Semin: From the first minute of the game we could not make a mistake. This was the first time ever I played in this kind of Sbornaya. I think the coach is the main reason. I played for Bilyaletdinov once before, it was about 5 years ago. The most important is defensive play, with 100% dedication, everything depends on it. Also, there were a lot of new players, the team makeup was different, more young players. I felt comfortable. We had people who can play both defense and offense. You could see it yourself, Malkin was practically winning some games by himself.
Question: When the score was 5-2 in the final, it appeared everybody on the team was trying to set Malkin up to score so that he’d win the scoring title.
Alex Semin: Honestly, I don’t think so, he had a lot of scoring chances, he wanted to score, and he did – good for him. I wanted to get a hat trick, but it didn’t work out. Maybe it’s my tradition to go 2+1 in the final. (smile)
Question: Have you started learning English?
Alex Semin: I know [it], I just don’t like interacting, especially in English. I don’t have 100% command of it, and to stand and think about what to say – that’s not for me. I am comfortable explaining myself if I am at a store or somewhere else. I am understood, and I understand well.
Question: Is Ovechkin coming to visit you in Krasnoyarsk?
Alex Semin: I don’t know yet, he is traveling with his girl. She plays tennis. When finished, we’ll talk and make plans. For now everybody just resting.
Question: What are your most immediate plans?
Alex Semin: I am going to catch up on sleep for the first week, then, maybe I’ll fly somewhere for a vacation. Not that much time left, the training starts in mid July. And if I stay in Russia, I’ll have to start practicing much earlier.