Photo credit: Getty Images/NHL

On a fairly tame July 1st this year, the most notable thing that happened on the first day of free agency was not a player signing, but TSN opening fire on free agent Alex Semin with what bordered on xenophobic hate speech. The worst offender, former NHL Head Coach Marc Crawford, called Semin “a complete loser” and said that he had “no character”. If you haven’t seen the video, it’s worth reviewing here.

The next day, Crawford did us all a favor and left the continent, accepting a head coaching position with the ZSC [Zurich] Lions in Switzerland. Hooray! We thought we’d never have to watch him on TV or hear his commentary ever again.

We were wrong.

This week, Crawford did an interview with the German newspaper Tages Anzeiger, discussing his Alex Semin rant when asked how he grades a player’s character strength with Semin being cited as an example. translated the German article, and I’ve translated the Russian into English below.

You know, my words about Semin were misinterpreted. I compared Alexander to Zach Parise, one of the best players in the NHL, including in this sense [character strength]. Semin is a great player but he’s still got a lot to learn. And I, to be honest, wish him all the best.

About your question: people with a strong character are consistent, permanent in a good way, they are professional. When I watched Zurich’s games in the playoffs, I figured out right away that our captain Mathias Seger is a man of spirit. He’s smart, he feels the game. I like guys like him. Not many can do things he does.

While this is the first time we’ve seen Crawford back off his words, we’re curious what definition of “misinterpreted” he’s using. The TSN broadcast was live, uncut, and the panel was discussing only Parise and Semin at the time.

Crawford also went on to reveal that he interviewed for the Capitals’ vacant heading coaching position in the spring. That is scary news.

I’m sure Marc Crawford is a credible hockey coach, but he’s still got a lot to learn about the English language and how to be unbiased and responsible for his words. And we, to be honest, wish him all the best.

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  • Hate to tell ya Marc, there’s nothing to be misinterpreted about what you said. Just man up and accept it.

  • Gee, Marc, you were pretty unambiguous in your bashing of Semin. Or did you not mean it when you called him a loser and that he would end up in Columbus? You compared their stats and then CONTRASTED their character.

    At any rate, if you had any character, Marc, you would admit you were wrong about what you said. You would admit that you found out things about Semin that made your hasty judgment of his (lack of) character wrong and that you are changing your position. Saying your remarks were “misinterpreted’? That’s just cowardly.

  • At least one of my sarcastic notes stayed in an article after editing #FreeFedor

  • I googled Marc Crawford and read about his horrific part in ending a player’s career. And he says Semin has no character! Crawford is vile and the worst that hockey has to offer. Thank God the Caps had sense not to hire him and that he is no longer in the NHL. Maybe his rant at Semin was because he was angry Caps didn’t hire him? How infantile, if so.

  • Don’t forget this tiny incident too!

  • benonijump

    Semin may be the most misunderstood player in the league and contrary to Pierre M.’s comments, he is not a bad teammate or “coach-killer” (one would think the players wearing the ‘C’ and ‘A’s’ on their sweaters would bear the brunt of that criticism for any team). Semin’s image was dramatically influenced by him playing alongside not only one of the most explosive offensive players, whose own numbers decreased as much as Semin’s did the past two years, but also one of the most physical. Ovechkin is adored as much for his enthusiasm for hitting as it is for goal-scoring. Semin, for the most part, doesn’t hit. I swear if #28 had checked either Malkin or Crosby on their ass just once his perception in this town would have changed enormously. Right now I don’t think Semin is worth $7M/year but to only have to commit to him for one year at that price isn’t a bad idea for CAR. I wish him the best and wouldn’t mind seeing him score the GWG at the Phone Booth next season.

  • I’m quite pleased with Semin coming to Carolina. I’ll be purchasing a Semin jersey when I have a chance. Not a bad player to wear I think.

    Marc Crawford is an ass.

  • Tages Anzeiger is Swiss, even if it’s German language.

  • serpent

    Good thoughts, Kelli, but consider Sasha a rental. We want him back after the season’s end.

  • Rhino40

    4 words Marc Crawford is apparently in capable of saying:


  • Livia

    “And we, to be honest, wish him all the best.”

    Well done, Fedor! This is a perfect response to Marc Crawford’s perfect insincerity.

    Godspeed Sasha! Keep those hat tricks coming, and keep ignoring the nonsensical braying of the Canadian hockey media.

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  • Capital_Punishment

    What a Dick!