Capitals forward Troy Brouwer (above) didn't have kind words for ex-teammate Alex Semin. The two will face each other Tuesday night. (JUSTIN K. ALLER/Getty Images/AFP)
Alexander Semin returns to the U.S. capital Tuesday to do battle with the team he left last summer to join the Carolina Hurricanes as a free agent.
Needless to say, it doesn’t appear the Russian winger will be getting a warm welcome when he enters his former building Tuesday night.
“Some nights you didn’t even know if he was gonna come to the rink,” former Washington Capitals teammate Troy Brouwer told the Washington Post.
“It’s tough to play alongside guys like those because you don’t know what you’re gonna get out of ‘em.”
Semin, who had a breakout year with the Capitals during the 2009-10 season, potting 40 goals in 73 games, scored 212 goals during his seven seasons in Washington, registering 230 assists along the way.
Still, the Russian’s level of commitment – or lack thereof – is well-documented.
In 2011, former Caps winger Matt Bradley told Ottawa’s Team 1200 radio that Semin "doesn’t care".
"When you've got a guy like that, you need him to be your best player, or one of your best players, and when he doesn't show up, you almost get the sense that he wants to be back in Russia,” Bradley said at the time.
Now, another one of Semin’s former teammates is chiming in with similar allegations, going one step further in saying the former standout isn’t all that missed.
“It was tough to lose his scoring ability when he wanted to play,” Brouwer told the Post. “But all in all, I think we’ve been doing well without him.”
Not according to the standings.
Approaching the NHL’s halfway point, the Caps find themselves in last place in their division, six points behind – you guessed it – the division-leading Carolina Hurricanes.