Alex Semin

Semin’s agent: “He needed a fresh start”


After seven eventful seasons, many felt that Alexander Semin’s time with the Washington Capitals had run its course.

Semin’s agent Mark Gandler advanced such a sentiment while reflecting on Semin’s one-year contract with Stephen Whyno.

“For Alex professionally he needed a fresh start,” Gandler said. “He needed short-handed time, he needed to be in the last minute of the game on the ice, if he deserves it. He wants to have basically an extended role … And I think this fresh start is going to be very helpful for people to see what Alex brings to the table when they isolate sort of the spotlight on him.”

Semin seemed to be a polarizing force among Capitals fans, yet Gandler claims that fans treated Semin “like gold.”

Gandler states that the Hurricanes have stated their “intentions” to use Semin in all situations, including shorthanded time. Gandler admits that Semin has some work to do, though.

“I think he needs to stay consistent, not to get frustrated. Just worry about doing his thing and do what he does best, which is shoot the puck, make plays, play defense, backcheck,” Gandler said. “That is probably the biggest change that he’d need to make.”

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?