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Ovechkin and Semin will play for Russia in World Championships

May 13, 2012, 6:37 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin AP

For years, it seemed like Alexander Semin and Alex Ovechkin would be inexorably linked. Both are committed to playing for Russian during international tournaments and cut their teeth in the NHL with the Washington Capitals. Tarik El-Bashir reports that the dangling duo will represent Russia in the 2012 World Hockey Championships after losing to the New York Rangers in Game 7 on Saturday, so the tradition continues … for now.

Going forward, Semin and Ovechkin might only play on the same side – or even in the same league – when they play for Russia, though. While Ovechkin is locked down for the rest of his prime with Washington, Semin faces an uncertain future as an unrestricted free agent.

It’s hard to imagine the Capitals signing him again after handing him two one-year deals, especially since the team is shifting to a defensive-minded system that even his greatest defenders would agree doesn’t amplify his skill set. Any number of NHL teams might be interested in acquiring his services (and thus ignoring possibly unfair criticisms about how much he “cares”), but with the new provisions introduced by the KHL, there are probably a few teams in his native country who might entice him with home cooking and tax breaks as well.

Overall, the courtship of Semin might be awfully interesting, but almost every reasonable sign suggests that he’ll be seeing a lot less of Ovechkin in the near future.

Then again, a lot can change between now and July 1.

  1. crazemastercraze - May 13, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    great for russia. now they can see first hand how ovechkin stops skating when the puck isn’t on his stick and watches the action on the ice like he’s a spectator in the stands. at least in this tournament he’ll be doing it for free and not be paid as the most expensive spectator in history!

  2. babykaby - May 14, 2012 at 4:35 AM

    Semin only wanted one year deals. George McPhee has stated that on a number of occassions. If I know that then why don’t the authors of these stupid articles know that? If you want to pretend to be a reporter, at least make an effort to get the full story instead of presenting misguided information. Stop making it sound like Semin was only offered one year deals when that wasn’t the case at all.

  3. watermelon1 - May 14, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    If Ovechkin only skates when he has the puck on his stick… Then how come I always see him laying guys out with clean checks? How come I see him battling in front of the net to screen the opposing goalie and get position for rebounds?

    Ovechkin hasn’t gotten worse, his team is just that bad and other teams have realized they can focus their entire defense on Ovechkin which makes it a LOT harder for him to dominate.

    Besides Backstrom and holtby… The capitals could clean house and probably end up with a better team. Chimera and knuckle are nice role fillers. They have absolutely no defenseman that anyone would notice missing if they all left.

    • govtminion - May 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      And that sums it up perfectly. Shut up Ovechkin, likely win hockey game. Semin shows up when he feels like it- which isn’t much. Backstrom is a very good center, but streaky. Brooks Laich is a beast of a player, so that’s a guy I’d want to keep. Other than that… defense is terrible (and yes, that includes Green), goaltending is shaky at best with Neuvirth being a backup-level goalie, Holtby still being too early to say if this was a quirk or the real deal, and Vokoun almost certainly leaving town… this team just isn’t very good unfortunately. They beat the Bruins in seven, and that was impressive. Taking the Rangers to seven, also surprising. But other than a handful of key players, this team could be scrapped and rebuilt much better than it is right now.

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