“I have no idea what I’m talking about.”

The NHL Network was super awesome today. They aired TSN’s three-hour Free Agent Frenzy special, in which there was precious little frenzying. As a result, TSN’s panel of uh, experts— Pierre McGuire, Marc Crawford, Ray Ferraro, and host James Duthie–  had nothing to talk about. So they dumped on former Capital Alex Semin.

Huge thanks to @TrevorCampbell8 for the video.

James Duthie: I want to talk about two of the intriguing names still left on the board. Let’s start with the forward Alexander Semin. It is the skill that nobody on this board can question. If you actually look at his numbers compared to Zach Parise’s over the last few years, if you just go purely by goals — we’re not comparing him to Zach Parise as a player — but the numbers hold up very well between Alexander Semin and Zach Parise as far as goals scored: 31 to 38; 32 to 26; 45 to 34; and 38 to 40. Very, very similar numbers. Would you take a chance on Semin?

Marc Crawford: The difference is: one guy has a ton of character, the other guy has no character [exaggerated hand motions]. One guy scores 30 goals and doesn’t help his team and the other guy scores 25 goals, but helps [his team] in every single way. So yeah, I would sign him, but he’s going to be banished to a place like Columbus or something, and that’s what those guys do, head to the island of misfit toys [evil laugh].

Ray Ferraro: What about if he goes to a place where he respects the people around him?

Marc Crawford: I feel like a place like Detroit could bring him in and surround him with a Datsyuk. You gotta have a really, really strong group. There’s an old NHL General Manager that says,”Either take a guy that’s a complete winner or a complete loser.” And he falls in that category. Maybe they can change him. [Gets skeptical look on his face.] I don’t like… you don’t change that much. I’d be cautious.

Ray Ferraro: I guess if you’re desperate for the one shot then he can give it to you. But he doesn’t give you a whole lot else.

Pierre McGuire: This is not a great teammate. I’ll tell you that right now, not a good guy to have around your group unless you have unbelievably great leadership and rely on that. He’s the ultimate coach killer, that’s what he is.

All four guys: [Nod in agreement]

Wow. Where do we start?

This is the first time I’ve heard Alex Semin called a “coach killer.” I thought that distinction went to his other Russian (now ex-) teammate Alex Ovechkin. And how precisely does one decide that “this guy has no character” — and everyone on the board casually agrees — without knowing the guy? Instead of developing some kind of insight, it seems like Crawford just ran this equation:

Not Canadian + doesn’t talk much + Russian  = Soulless.

The whole thing stinks. No more than 10 minutes later, Pierre McGuire called Canadian defensive prospect Justin Schultz — who has never played a game in the NHL before — a superhero. Meanwhile Semin, about whom not a single kind word was said all brodcast, somehow still was ranked 7th in TSN’s free agent pool.

TSN purports itself to be the authority for hockey on television, but instead of enlightening their audience they just rehashed the same tired clichés about a player who has always been cordial to his fans and beloved by his teammates.

So who is the lazy one here?

Tagged with:
  • “h8ers gonna h8”

  • Sounds like Marc Crawford has a bit of sour grapes about not being the next head coach of the Washington Capitals.

  • TSN is the most biased network when it comes to hockey, fuck em.

  • Sarah

    This makes me SO ANGRY. I am now, more than ever, hoping he goes to a team I don’t hate so I can root for him to do well and stick it to everyone who thinks like this about him.

  • sean

    Sometimes the truth hurts, although I don’t agree he is a coach killer, that’s Ovies job.

  • Bad Billy #30

    Totally agree. I see these ass holes gabbing on my T.V. almost every day. They have no right to call them selves “hockey experts” or “hockey insiders”. Their inside all right. Heads inside their asses.

  • Well, that’s glib.

  • made this for you guys: http://i.imgur.com/VYpM8.jpg

  • Yv

    I have commented in previous post about this, but for the sake of Semin will it be great to see the faces of PMg or M. Crawford when their teams, Pens or Hawks, will sign Semin. After that every commentator in the world can call them as real idiots.

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  • Piggyxcore

    Why can’t the “experts” be great players who know wat they are talkin about
    Like Howe or Gretzky they know their shit

  • bela giroux

    Marc Crawford can kiss my butt!!!

  • And we wonder why the guy pretends not to understand English. If this were the dominant English-language narrative about me, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to learn the language either.

    Related Question: how much does Semin’s stock need to fall in free agency before he says, “Screw you guys, I’m going home”? I can see a lot of non-contender teams hoping they can get a deal on him because of his “attitude problems” but what are the chances he goes to some godforsaken American city like Columbus over the KHL, especially when a) russians dig his flow, and b) KHL can back a truck of money up to his house?

  • i meet semin once and told him he was my favorite player while he was signing my jersey…all he said was “next” my friend was in line behind me and skipped him because of that

  • Wow, that shy and introverted person must be a real asshole.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    To be fair, TSN is a decent hockey network with actual good reporters like Darren Dregr, Scott Cullen, and Bob McKenzee. They just happened to put the biggest idiots in the Free Agency discussion. Don’t ask me why. Everyone knows Pierre McGuire is a Penguin lover and we all know Marc Crawford has been irrelevant as a coach for some time.

    That being said, Washington can do better than Semin.

  • Totally agree. Cullen, Dreger, and McKenzie are great.

  • Yv

    The consequences seemingly following. Those comments are now all over internet. It would be good if Semin’s agent and attorney will sue those two for some kind of defamation during ongoing trades by using public television. Despite 100s names involved, including really low-quality players, enforcers, only Semin was targeted with derogatory comments.

  • Josh

    Maybe the negative press gives the caps the opportunity to sign him for an appropriate price

  • Barbara

    This really chaps my hide. Analysts analyze. Haters hate. Not only did they slander Sasha, they pooped on the Blue Jackets. My mute button is now my best friend.

  • Dark Stranger

    It generally seems that people outside the “dominant” group have to be “better” to earn kudos. And their failures are judged more harshly. This is true in the corporate world and certainly true in the NHL. The dominant group in the NHL is the Canadians, but other North Americans (those from the states) are also considered to be part of the dominant group. Europeans are considered outsiders and Russians are considered to be outsiders, even more than other Europeans. Hence, Semin’s predicament. With being an introvert and reticent and not having done well in Round 2, here come the sharks in a feeding frenzy, so to speak. If he were that much of a loser or such a bad teammate, the Caps would have dumped him long ago. Sounds like Fedorov (an ex teammate who’s now a GM for a KHL team) would like his services. That does not sound like a bad teammate to me. And Galiev has praised Semin for helping him out and letting him stay at his place last summer during training camp. Varly has praised him also. Plus, he & Laich actually car pool to the airport at times.

  • nailed it

  • Rhino40

    Agree. Please God not the Penguins, though.

  • Rhino40

    At last it can be told: “Eklund” from hockeybuzz.com is actually Pierre McGuire. Don’t know why I didn’t see it before.

  • Dark Stranger

    Mine too. Granted, the Blue Jackets are a team with issues and a team I would not choose to go to if I were in Sasha’s shoes but….

  • Dangles

    Doubt this happened

  • Pierre mcguire doesnt know anything, is biased towards everyone but the caps.. he kisses sidney crosby`s ass. if ur not canadian he thinks you suck ( unless you are evgeni malkin and only because he plays with crosby). I dont know anything about marc crawford and there is a reason for that. he sucks at what he does. now i hope semin scores fifty goals with the caps and wins a cup and then be interviewed by them and see these tools call him wat they did. also if i were cloumbus i would take extreme offense to that comment. TSN should be ashamed that they employ these people. i am so furious about this.

  • PuckBuddyDoug

    I call bogus.


    Weren’t you the guy in the Bradley jersey?

  • J

    if thats true he probably had no idea what you were saying

  • Dangles

    just want to go out on a limb and say that you are a fat loser with an embarrassing goatee. he probably didnt like the smell of hotdogs and nachos all over your jersey. your friend was probably just a casualty of your appalling gluttony…

  • That’s over the line.

  • The idea of Semin in a Pens uni makes me want to puke. I could live with it if he signed with the Hawks.

  • Like Mark Crawford is a real winner. He hasnt done anything as a head coach since winning a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 1996 and choking in the 1998 Olympics as head coach of Team Canada. This is just a blowhard who was a career minor leaguer/journeyman NHL’er, formerly a mediocore coach who has bounced around and has not accomplished anything close for 15-20 years. These comments about Alexander Semin is bascially coming from a professional hockey version of a loser.

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  • Because players of that caliber are out doing something … rather than sitting around talking about it.

  • I’m currently watching the Boston series on NHL Network (again) … and I may be biased, but I’ve been seeing some really great play from Semin. If he doesn’t get re-signed here, I hope he finds a team that really appreciates all that he brings to the game.

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  • CCCP74

    No offense, but being Canadian has nothing to do with this. I’m a Caps fan and lets be realistic here, he is this generation’s Alexei Kovalev and no one can dispute that. Aside from Pierre McGuire (which I think for all the smarts in the world needs a lesson in common sense), I respect these guys’ opinions far more than ANY other broadcaster. You want to bring Nationalities into the mix, American broadcasters yes, even the fine folks at CSN are absolutely clueless as far as how the game goes. More reactive than analytical and they always state the obvious during the game. Semin is a great player… when he wants to be. Semin is a great teammate… when he wants to be. Is he a loser? No, he won a World Championship. Is he a coach killer? I’m inclined to think so – but I’m also a firm believer that what makes a good player great is its supporting cast. Semin needs a guy like Malkin to magnify his skillset. He never had that chance here in Washington. TSN is no worse than any other network on TV – but at least they’re educated. Ask any broadcaster NOT in the Washington area and/or fanbase, and they’d probably say the same thing, otherwise he would have been signed by now. Insulting TSN simply because you don’t agree makes you look just as foolish as they did. Spare yourself the “homer” calls and just admit they’re right. I’m waiting for you guys to tear him to shreds once he signs with Pittsburgh, and I’m going to enjoy the backlash and hypocrisy. Cheers, eh!

  • CCCP74

    Gretzky tried coaching… and crapped the bed. Players of “that” caliber are not calling FA’s on behalf of teams to lure them. Also known as hook, line and sinker.

  • “he is this generation’s Alexei Kovalev and no one can dispute that.”

    Yes they can. Much of the hockey blogosphere has been disputing exactly that since last week.

    “You want to bring Nationalities into the mix”

    No, WE don’t want to bring in nationality. We want to identify when other do that through unspoken prejudice.

    “Insulting TSN simply because you don’t agree makes you look just as foolish as they did.”

    We’re not insulting them because we disagree; we’re insulting them because their argument is unsubstantiated and filled with innuendo. Just like yours is.

  • CCCP74

    “No, WE don’t want to bring in nationality. We want to identify when other do that through unspoken prejudice.”
    Not Canadian + doesn’t talk much + Russian = Soulless. <– Ahem.
    They don't bash Malkin, Ovi or any other Russian. They bashed the PLAYER. Semin is leaving the Caps for a reason. Give it a week and when he signs with Pittsburgh, he'll be crucified for the decision.
    "We're not insulting them because we disagree; we're insulting them because their argument is unsubstantiated and filled with innuendo. Just like yours is."
    Do you not read the articles? Its riddled with blinded pseudo-facts, perhaps as it should be, but lets be real here.. you're attacking a TV station for bashing a player, even worse, an EX-CAPS player. I don't need to substantiate the fact that every hockey broadcast scrutinizes any particular player, because they do, regardess if they're Canadian or not, english speaking or not… You've all just knee-jerked because he attacked a "former" Caps player, and yet the Caps community is quick to throw Jeff Schultz under the bus, along with Wideman and whoever. And we all have, Twitter is crawling with nay-sayers.
    C'mon, no innuendo's needed. Just be intelligent… you know, HOCKEY intelligent. If you're gonna bash TSN, you better line up CBC, NBC, Versus and the NHL Network. Stick to product on the ice and in the GM's office, not those covering it and you'll sleep better.

  • I did read the articles. Like this one from Toronto, which is chock full of those pesky fact things: http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2012/7/7/3142627/refutation-of-stupid-semin-arguments

    The rest of your points don’t make sense and aren’t relevant, so I’ll just pretend you said our site is great and you read it every day.

    Thanks, dude!

  • Ana

    How can you say “he’s this generation’s Alexei Kovalev” and not understand that you’re drawing parallels based on race? Nobody’s calling Bobby Ryan this generation’s Mike Gartner, because that would be ridiculous. They have nothing in common except for nationality.

    You’re parroting ideas of Semin’s character that have come from thin air, and perpetuated to the point where they’re accepted as fact. This is exactly the reason why we try to call out mainstream media when they make lazy, xenophobic assumptions, because it creates an environment where people can repeat them without feeling they need to back them up.

    You are certainly entitled to your best guesses about what goes on in the locker room, just like everyone else, but to say that these opinions exist in a vacuum uninfluenced by any racial stereotypes is disingenuous.

  • Ummmm

    Russian and Canadian are nationalities, not races. Duh.
    He’s talking about their SKILL… guys, can you read?
    Moving on.

  • tomandyourmom

    Wow. CRAAAAZY amount of homers on this board. You need to get into the real world. Semin is a lazy bitch. All that anti-Euro sentiment really seems to hurt Malkin, Datsyuk, Hasek, Lidstrom, etc. Get a clue.

  • Am I the only one that has seen Semin play? He does give up and plays and he definitely takes too many penalties – stupid ones and at the worst time for his team. I am a Hawks fan and we could use some firepower but I trust our management is smart enough to make it a one-year deal.