On July 1st, Alex Semin will become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. According to his agent Mark Gandler, the Russian winger has no intention of re-signing with the only NHL team he’s ever played for.
“It was good while it lasted,” Gandler told ESPN’s Craig Custance shortly after the season. “With the lack of playoff success, with the direction they are going. They decided to change directions. That’s within their rights. Alex doesn’t fit into that system obviously.”
Semin — perhaps not on the same page as his agent — told reporters at World Championships, “There was no talk at all that I am not going to sign with the Capitals for sure. I have not talked to them about leaving.”
Meanwhile, Semin continues to wear Capitals gear wherever he goes. During the World Championships, he could be seen wearing a Caps hat everywhere, and earlier this week, he did an interview with local Krasynoyarsk TV station Afontovo and wore his favorite Capitals rubber bracelet (shown above).
In that interview with sports anchor Sergei Kuzavkov, Sasha Minor dished about what it was like to score two goals in the gold-medal game of the World Championships, his well-documented struggles with English, and his girlfriend.
Igor Kleyner has the translation below.
Semin on his two goals and being named best player of the gold-medal game:
I really wanted to score. I had a feeling that I would be able to do something… if not scoring a goal, maybe a good assist, or something. After the first goal, the confidence returned to me. We had a lot of chances, we found our game. Especially with linemates like San’ka and Pashka – anybody in my position could have done well.
On playing on the same line with Ovechkin and Datsyuk:
They are real hockey players, with a capital [P]. They can score. They can pass. They can help you in any situation. I really enjoyed playing with those two.
Semin’s first thoughts after the final whistle:
Joy and elation. Not everybody gets to win World Championship. For two years before this, our guys couldn’t win. It’s good we got lucky this time around, and I was a part of the team.
On the World Championship celebration:
We didn’t get a chance to celebrate! Right after the game we packed the bags and took our flight to Moscow.
On who congratulated Semin first:
I called my dad. It was impossible to talk in the locker room, so I went back on the ice. I didn’t call anybody else, because it was pretty late in Krasnoyarsk. The next day there was a lot of messages. It’s hard to describe the emotions. Everybody was sending congratulations thanking the team.
On Evgeny Malkin:
I think right now he is the best player in the world. It is very difficult to stop him. There is not much else to say.
While in Washington, you didn’t play with Ovechkin much. Has it affected your guys’ chemistry?
I have been playing with him for seven years. We are together all the time [in the same bowl of porridge]. We understand each other, who goes where, who gets open where. So I think we still understand each other well. And sometimes we still played together, although not much this season – but as you can see, we still haven’t lost it.
On dealing with different time zones since coming home:
It’s hard to handle – first 6 hours time difference, then 7, now it’s 12. It’s not easy to get used to it all these flights… especially when you are not on vacation, when you need to play. Get up at and eat dinner at 3 am, and then go on the ice at 7 – you can imagine. I still wake up in the middle of the night, and then walk around sleepy all day long.
Semin’s thoughts on the American lifestyle:
I am used to it now, it’s been 7 years. But I’ll never sell out Russia anyway! It’s my home. Especially Krasnoyarsk, I always come here for the summer, that’s where my family and friends are.
Plans for immediate future:
Going on vacation with my girlfriend. Her name is Alena. She lives with me. She is from Krasnoyarsk. She stayed with me the entire season.
Didn’t you use to live with your mother?
Yeah, my mom also comes. She also was there with me, but I can’t always live with my mom!
What does your girlfriend do?
She studies English. She goes to college… I mean takes classes there. It takes a lot of time to learn English.
You use to have problems with English…
Yeah, I know… but to explain myself in a conversation with someone – I don’t have a problem with that. My girlfriend’s English is better than mine though. I guess schooling does matter. My mom always told me, “What do you need math for?!” If I knew I would have lived in America, of course I would have worked more on my English [as a kid], but, who knew…
On what he does in his free time.
I like spending time on Krasnoyarsk Sea. I love jet skiing – it’s my hobby now. I also like to play soccer.