Carolina Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin will be returning to Washington on Tuesday night for the first time since leaving the Capitals as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason.
In order to begin framing the visit, current members of the Capitals have been asked about what it will be like to face their former teammate. Forward Troy Brouwer believes the team is doing fine without him, via the Washington Times:
"It was tough to lose his scoring ability when he wanted to play," Brouwer said. "But all in all I think we've been doing well without him."
In addition, Brouwer also questioned Semin's work ethic and questioned whether he consistently attempted to win:
"Some nights you didn't even know if he was gonna come to the rink," Brouwer said. "It's tough to play alongside guys like those because you don't know what you're gonna get out of ‘em."
This sentiment echoes comments made by TSN analysts Marc Crawford and Pierre McGuire during a TSN free agency panel. Crawford stated that Semin had "no character," and would be banished to the "Island of misfit toys," as well as referring to him as a "complete loser." McGuire called him "the ultimate coach killer," in addition to calling him a bad teammate.
While Brouwer might believe the Capitals are better off with Semin, it should be noted that the team is currently in last place in the Southeast Division, while the Hurricanes are tied for the division lead with a game in hand.
With regards to the negative opinions of the player's character and work ethic, Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford doesn't seem to have any problem with Semin, courtesy of the Sporting News:
"Boy, he's been a very good player for us,"GM Jim Rutherford told CBC.ca. "He could have five, six goals by now, he's hit so many goal posts. But it's not even the fact he has one goal. He's played the game at both ends of the rink. Players have to focus on him all the time."
"If he's determined to score a goal, he's gonna get his chances. If he's going to play a two-way game, he can play it. He can kill penalties, play the power play. He's been every bit as good as I hoped he'd be."
In addition, current teammate Tim Brent took to twitter to respond to Brouwer's comment and defended Semin as a complete player, as well:
"Just read Troy Brouwer's comments about Semin. I can say on behalf of his teammates that we love having him here, and he has been a big part of our success so far with his consistent play and work ethic. NOT only his scoring ability. I hope he sticks it to them."
In 17 games with the Capitals, Semin has compiled four goals and 10 assists for 14 points.
Originally chosen with the No. 13 overall selection in the 2003 NHL Draft by the Capitals, Semin played in 469 regular season games with the team and recorded 197 goals, 211 assists and 408 points.
More in the NHL:
• New NHL realignment plan works for everybody
• NHL to institute a coach's challenge?
• Evgeni Malkin has a concussion
• Should Rangers be concerned about Rick Nash's injury status?