CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Alexander Semin
Alexander SeminPosition: Right Wing
HtWt: 6-2, 209Games: 77
Penalty Minutes: 56
Average Ice Time: 16:47
Contract Status: Unrestricted Free Agent 6.7 million cap hit in 2011-12
Strengths: One of the most gifted offensive players in the NHL. Extremely strong on the puck. Has a quick, hard release and is extremely accurate with his shot. Breakaway speed. In Game 7 in New York, Semin tried taking over the game with several offensive bursts, but when he was denied early his energy tailed off.
Weaknesses: Since he first arrived in Washington in 2003, Semin was characterized as aloof and selfish and he did little to change those perceptions in his seven seasons with the Capitals. Former teammates described him as a divisive force in the locker room. His penchant for taking selfish or lazy penalties he took 28 of them this season made him unpopular with his coaches and he was benched for long stretches by Dale Hunter.
Memorable Moment on the ice: With 62 seconds remaining and the Capitals clinging to a one-goal lead in a game they needed to clinch the playoffs in the next-to-last game of the season, Semin sent the crowd into a frenzy when he calmly lifted a backhander over Florida Panthers goalie Jose Theodore. It was a play only a handful of players in the NHL can make and Semin did it with incredible ease.
Memorable Moment off the ice: On April 2, Semin was walking out of the visitors dressing room at the Tampa Bay Times Forum following a 4-2 loss to the Lightning when he was handed a post-game scoresheet. It showed that he scored one goal and assisted on another in 14:11 of ice time. Semin scanned the sheet and grumbled, in English, Fourteen minutes. Wow! He then crumpled up the score sheet and threw it in a trash can.
2012-13 Expectations: After re-signing Semin to consecutive one-year contracts the Capitals appear willing to let the enigmatic Russian test free agency and sign with another NHL team. Two years ago, Semin averaged 19:07 in ice time and finished with 40 goals, 84 points and a plus-36 rating. Last year he averaged 18:04 in ice time, recorded 28 goals and 54 points and was a plus-22. And this season he he averaged 16:47 of ice time, and finished the season second on the Capitals in goals 21 and points 54 and tied for fourth in plus-minus plus-9. If Semin is given more ice time and an increased role with another team, hes capable of hitting the 30-goal and 70-point mark.