Photo credit: Sovetsky Sport

Last week, former Washington Capital Alex Semin settled on his lockout destination, surprising everyone by choosing Sokol Krasnoyarsk, a minor league team from his hometown. “When I was leaving for the NHL, I dreamed that if there is ever a decent team and an opportunity, I would definitely play in front of my local fans,” Semin explained during his introductory press conference. “And my (90-year-old) grandma hasn’t seen me play in person for awhile. I’ll give her a present.”

It was only a matter of time before the big guns of the Russian hockey media showed up in Krasnoyarsk, far from a hockey hotbed, to get the full story on why Semin came home. For their trouble, Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetsky Sport and Alexander Rozhkov of Championat.com got personal tours of the city from Sasha on the eve of his debut in the VHL. Semin showed them the rink where he learned to skate, his school, and the apartment building where he grew up.

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Alex Semin

Alex Semin signs autographs for the kids in attendance.

This past Wednesday, Alexander Semin held a workshop for kids of the Sokol Hockey School in Podgorny, a southern Siberian town about 25 miles from his birthplace of Krasnoyarsk. The winger spent the day showing the young players everything from the basics — improving their shooting, skating, and passing — to how to warm-up like an NHL player.

“To become a star,” Semin told the kids, “you need to work hard in training sessions and always give your all in games.” No word on whether Matt Bradley was in attendance.

Later, the 27-year-old held a Q&A with the children and signed autographs for the participants.

During his summers off, Sasha Minor often quietly volunteers his time near Krasnoyarsk — Semin gave away a signed stick the winner of a contest to name the new local ice rink last week, participated in a charity hockey tournament at the beginning of the summer, and even visited a group of orphans during his time off last year.

Below the jump, RMNB’s own Fedor Fedin transcribes Vesti-Krasnoyarsk’s video of the event.

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