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Boudreau: Semin’s ‘an enigma, wrapped in something’

Nov 15, 2013, 1:12 PM EDT

BoudreauSemin Getty Images

Much was made of the complex relationship between Bruce Boudreau and Alex Semin during their time together in Washington.

Now, with the two set to meet tonight — Boudreau’s Ducks take on Semin’s Canes in Carolina — the veteran bench boss tried to explain Semin in classic Boudreauian terms.

“There’s a saying about Alex,” Boudreau said, as per the Raleigh News & Observer. “He’s an enigma wrapped in something, wrapped in something else.”

Boudreau, as straight a shooter as there is, has always been blunt when  in describing Semin, the guy that was both a 40-goal scorer and healthy scratch in Washington. Semin’s play can be erratic and Boudreau has no problem saying it, which led to acrimony and perception the two never got along.

Not exactly accurate, according to Boudreau. (Boudreau actually sold the ‘Canes on signing Semin.)

“[Semin] can show flashes of absolute brilliance one minute,” he explained. “Then you’re going, ‘What are you doing?’ the next.

“But a tremendously skilled player. He can beat you on his own when he’s on.”

Unfortunately for Carolina, Semin hasn’t been on much this season. He has just three goals through 18 games and is on pace for 14, which would be his lowest full-season total since his rookie campaign (Semin scored 13 in last year’s lockout-shortened campaign).

What’s more, his playmaking ability seems to have fallen off as well. He has just five assists this season, a far cry from the 31 he had a year ago. That total placed him second on the team, trailing only captain Eric Staal (who had 35).

  1. storminator16 - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Semin started the season slow, but has been looking like himself as late. Tlusty started slow as well. However, Eric Staal is bringing that entire line down, big time. That guy always get a pass and it drives me nuts.

  2. dcfan4life - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    I think Semin is a classic case of a super skilled player who just isnt motivated each night. It takes a lot of work to make it in the NHL, then more work to succeed, then even more work to be great. I think Semin gave up after some moderate success and now is just relying on his raw skill to succeed. And thats just not cutting it. As fans we dont understand sometimes how professional athletes, like most people, hate their jobs. Semin, im willing to bet, is one of those athletes.

    • 19to77 - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      He got his big $35m contract and now there’s nothing really left to motivate him with. Trade? Whatever, still loaded. Buyout? Eh, he’ll still find a new team within a month (and also still be loaded). What’s left to dangle in front of this guy to get him to go?

      • curioustraveler13 - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        The opportunity to win the Stanley cup. If that doesn’t drive every player in the NHL to be better then they have no business playing in the NHL. You could make more $ tax free in Russia. Competition is what drives every professional athlete.

      • dcfan4life - Nov 15, 2013 at 6:06 PM

        Competition, cmon man, its the money. Countless times we see players sign huge contracts and then shut it down. Don’t tell me you think every athlete in professional sports plays for competition and winning. Most play for money, thats why few take less money to play on great teams.

      • curioustraveler13 - Nov 15, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        If they play for the money why don’t they play for the KHL where it pays more, and is tax free?

      • dcfan4life - Nov 16, 2013 at 5:11 AM

        Because none of it is guaranteed. The KHL pays more but has no laws in place to force owners to payout an entire contract the way the NHL does. If a team folds in the KHL, the players contracts are done. If a team folds in the NHL, the league picks up the tab, usually taking over the team. Thats a big difference. Not to mention the sponsors in the US can be huge for side money. Yes, playing in the US is still about money, always has been, always will be.

  3. patthehockeyfan - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Boudrea’s ‘enigma’ comment attributed to Winston Churchill: “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”
    Speech broadcast on 1939-10-01

    • ibieiniid - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      Bruce Boudreau: Linguistic literary genius? Or giant infant? You decide.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:37 PM

        patthehockeyfan: Observant, informational super-commenter? Or just a simple hockey fan named Pat? I decide the former.

      • patthehockeyfan - Nov 15, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        Thanks, ibieiniid. Maybe a little of both, with emphasis on the latter.

        Honestly? When I first read the headline, I swear I read the words, “Boudreau: Semin’s an enema wrapped in something.” I swear.

        So much for your description: observant. Sorry about that.

  4. lizardlickk - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    We know what Semin is

    • ibieiniid - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE! But we let ‘em off the hook.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        wow, Youtube link fail. thumbssssssss away.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 15, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        nobody likes Chevelle tho?

        was it a lie that Semin’s a humanoid? not so “fail” after all, eh?

  5. muckleflugga - Nov 15, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    boudreau’s a straight shooter, and a class act

    there’s something about talent coming out of or through toronto that makes them and it the real goods

    burke, quenneville, carlyle…mayor ford?

    might have been imlach’s legacy or ballard himself, but they all speak their minds with little regard for political correctness

    it’s soooo refreshing in a world of scripted response and canned cliches

    cat for dinner, anyone…?

  6. therealjr - Nov 15, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Silly Canes. Everyone in the building saw this coming except for you guys.

    • storminator16 - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      He hasn’t played bad. He started the season injured and has actually picked up his play the past month. Its Eric Staal. Watch the games.

  7. babykaby - Nov 16, 2013 at 6:19 AM

    Bruce can talk all he wants about the achievements, or lack there of, of other people, but he should first look in the mirror and ask himself why he can’t get his teams to the final show. All the big names and super skilled players he has had on his teams and yet, he can’t coach them to the finals. Tsk, tsk Bruce, keep talking, Karma will always be a bi&ch.

  8. storminator16 - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    You folks leaving comments are ignorant. I will never understand this gross dislike of Alex Semin. Watch the games. He is easily the best player on the Canes most nights.

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