Happy Sasha. (Photo credit: @megab23)

Ahead of tonight’s reunion game against the Caps, Alex Semin sat down with Carolina Hurricanes color guy Tripp Tracy for a two-part English interview. It’s totally awkward.

For those worrying Tripp would nail Semin with incisive, hard-hitting questions like “Are your shoes comfortable?“, you may now relax. Instead, Tracy tossed up softballs like “What do you think of your teammates?” and “Do you enjoy Carolina?”

Hey, you guys don’t think there was any collusion between Tracy and Carolina PR following Troy Brouwer’s unkind words, do you? Naw! Tracy probably came up with “your teammates are clearly the most important relationship to you” all on his own.

With immense thanks to welshhockeyfan and Tom Kaz, videos and transcript are below.

Part One

Alex, I know it’s been a few games, but boy does that jersey look good on you. And I think that’s a perfect place to start. How have you enjoyed Carolina?

In Carolina? I like in Carolina. Everybody support me. I like fans in this area. Everyone is good.

In watching you, your teammates are clearly the most important relationship to you. They have loved you. Talk to me about getting to know your teammates.

[Odd noise that sounds like Ahhh] I say before. Everybody support me and help me. Doesn’t matter where on the ice. Off ice. When we’re on the road, guys tell me go with us for dinner. I like these guys.

I want to ask you about one guy in particular. As soon as we landed in Washington, Eric Staal — your captain, your linemate — he sent me a message that said “I’m so excited. I wanna win this game for Alex.” He’s enjoyed you so much. Talk about getting to know him.

I’m very excited too to be stay here. Cuz I play before heres seven years. It’s very important for me this game tonight. I wanna wins this game too.

What have you liked most about Eric?

He’s good guy. He support me every time on ice. He’s well spent. He wants to pass it to me. I like play here.

Part Two

I want to get to know you a little bit. Your relationship with your father who was a great player in his day. He was a forward like you. I believe he was your coach. Can you tell us a little about your dad?

Yeah. He’s good player when he was younger. He support me every time. No [laughs] he suggest me every time. Sometimes after a game, I call him and we talk about a game when I play well, when I play bad. So we talk to after game [about] how I play. He… help me. [nods]

You must stay up pretty late with the time-change in Krasnoyarsk.

It’s 13 hours.


[I stay up until] 11, 10 PM.

Anybody that watches you says “Man, he’s a smart hockey player.” Does that come from your dad? They talk about you. They say “you are a smart hockey player. You think the game well.” Does that come from your dad?

Yeah. Probably.

Everybody says it. [Head Coach] Kirk Muller says,”You know what? He’s such a professional.” He hates to lose. Can you talk about Kirk Muller?

I just work on myself. I don’t know how to explain this. I like working with Kirk. He’s a good coach.

Before I let you go, when you’re training in the summer, is it true you train with a ski team?

Ski team, yeah. The coach for the ski team have a group. And the young guys — same like me — starts training with this guy in June and practice two months with these guys.

Whatever you’re doing there, you’re doing right. What are your hobbies when you’re not training?

Fishing. And I like other water sports like jet skis in summer.

We’ll try to get some video of that. Alex I wanna try something because you’ve taught me a lot of Russian. But you didn’t teach me this. This will be my best try. And then I’ll translate. [Tripp speaks absolutely terrible Russian.] Alex, we’re proud you scored your 200th NHL goal as a Carolina Hurricane.

[inaudible] I really happy to scoring Carolina 200 goals.

We’re very happy to have you here. Good luck.

So… Frost/Nixon, right? And how much does it burn to hear him say “I like play here” after he said the SAME THING to us?!

  • Semin and I have the same haircut

  • Abby

    Semin’s face when he was told that he was a smart player is classic.

  • serpent

    Sasha! Come home!

  • StacyO

    Sigh. I still love him.

  • He support me, and I like play here.

  • 28IS(still)GREAT

    Thanks for the Sasha coverage guys!!!!

  • greenlife

    he definitely says “i like play with him” not “i like play here”. not sure which one is worse though…ew staal

  • jennrubenstein

    i miss him.

  • Say what you will about his career, but he’s not a trash talker. Through all of the insults he’s received from former teammates, he’s remained calm. Brouwer and Neuvy et al may accuse him of not being a good teammate, but what kind of teammate are you if you publicly insult your former teammates? Does that really make your current teammates feel more comfortable with you? You are accomplishing nothing positive. You’re spreading bad juju.

  • CDizz

    My ears are bleeding from Tracy’s attempt at speaking Russian. Besides that, it’s pretty cool seeing Semin doing English interviews…even if 70% of what he said was “he support me.”

  • “I don’t know how to splain dis”

  • Hockeynightincanada

    My sympathy goes out to the Wards. I don’t have NHL Center Ice, so I can only listen to the radio-cast when I can’t find a live stream, but it sounds like Joel Ward got snakebitten on one shot.

    As for Cam Ward, it sounds like the guy stood on his head the entire night. Could’ve been 6-0. I’m sure he and Ellis have no choice with guys like Joe Corvo on the blueline :0)

  • I like Chantel McCabe. I wanna buy her coffee or how do dates work again I honestly have no idea

  • People give him shit, but I think hes just a misunderstood, shy, but extremely talented player. I am happy that he was a Cap and enjoyed watching him play for us. I was also excited to go to this game and see him in his new role.

  • Priscilla

    Well, to be fair, He’s not a talker at all. At least not in English. Unless forced to by his team’s PR folks when someone says he’s lazy and doesn’t care. I’ve only seen him interviewed in English twice. Once after Brads said he didn’t care, once after Brouwer did. Are there more? I love the guy. More Sasha in english! Also love Brouwer. what kind of teammate is he? Honest. transparent. Caps can use a guy with a ring that tells them how, when and why they suck and how, when, and why they are awesome. I want a Cup. Tell them how u got one.

  • Priscilla

    Coffee? Does she know you like her? Coffee is fine on a first date. Or lunch. Then move on to dinner. Then make her dinner, unless you suck at cooking. Then order dinner and sing a song on your guitar. Panty dropper!

  • Did you put [inaudible] because you couldn’t emotionally handle his heartwarming joke about how he could easily score 200 goals in 25 games? It is tough to see him happy with another team.

  • Yo8

    Well, you seem to have terrible memory because Brouwer has talk about his own team mates and not just Semin. Like Ovi said you need to keep it some things in the locker room.

  • Is that what he said? Really, I listened to it 78 times and came up with something different every time.

  • Priscilla

    I never said he didn’t talk about his own teammates. He has? Glad he does. He should talk about ex-teammates, too, if he thinks it will help. Seems like it did. All the focus was on the guys that were talking and three dudes that weren’t scored. He probably wants to win a cup. Not the good sportsmanship award you get in tee ball for being nice.

  • Gene Gallagher

    Probably your Russian.

  • Thanks. He is awesome.

  • Livia

    RMNB readers will vouch for your character.

  • Livia

    I find it unutterably sweet that Tripp Tracy is learning Russian and that Sasha is teaching him.

  • What a cheesey start to an interview: “…boy that jersey, it looks great on you…”

  • I’m opposed to using the word “boy” as an exclamation in all cases.

  • Hale

    Priceless! I saw something on Twitter, I think originally from Ian (?) about Semin getting engaged. Anyone else hear that? Is it accurate?

  • I saw a few people talking about it on Twitter and Tumblr last night, saying they heard it on the Canes telecast. I asked Tripp Tracy about it. He eventually got back to me and said they did not say that on the air last night. So that’s unconfirmed at this point. I have no idea.

  • JP

    The Hurricanes reporter that introduces the interview is bangin!!!

  • Al

    He said that he couldn´t score 200 goals in 20-25 with Carolina. He didn´t understand that Tracy talked about his 200th goal in his career.

  • Hale

    Thanks, Ian. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were and it would never be announced, but curious how it gets attributed to Tripp. I just wonder if something else was said and perhaps misinterpreted or a leap was taken. Heck, if they get married, we’ll probably only know after the fact and a child has been born! Thanks again.

  • Yo8

    I don’t see how talking shit helps a team to win. I mean the caps could have lost and you wouldn’t be saying that now. Good strategy and good play makes a team win. You could say that he “motivated” his team but I don’t see how it was so impossible for him to do that without talking about Sasha on the media. To me he motivated the Hurricanes and put pressure to the Caps. Did that pressure work? Yes, because they won but that doesn’t mean it could have back fire to the Caps.

    BTW people here are “give the C to Brooks” just because of his motivational speeches but has that helped the team to win the cup? No, and I don’t think Brouwer talking about ex-teammates is going to help either.

  • Dark Stranger

    Yo8 is correct. He was upset with Hamrlik and Neuvirth with comments they made during lockout and even remarked it would be hard to play with them.

  • Dark Stranger

    Agree that he’s a misunderstood and overly shy player. I’m the opinion that a more extroverted, “one of the guys” type player could have posted identical stats, with identical hot and cold streaks, and would not have gotten anywhere the grief. It’s a fact of life that the good communicators are more often given the “benefit of the doubt” and appreciated more than those who aren’t.

  • So where’s the Cup? Trash-talking your ex-teammates isn’t getting him one.