Semin left off Olympic team because he ‘didn’t play as we expected,’ says coach


Alex Semin was one of the surprise omissions from the Russian Olympic team but, to hear head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov explain it, the Carolina forward’s play simply wasn’t up to par this season.

“We knew that this decision will surprise a lot of people,” Bilyaletdinov said, per R-Sport. “But we watched a lot of games. I saw him several times. We came to the opinion that for now he doesn’t make it onto the roster. He didn’t play as we expected, that’s why we made this decision.”

Semin, 29, is having a down season after scoring 44 points in 44 games during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign. He has just six goals and 18 points through 34 contests, missing extensive time with a concussion — but he has played well of late, scoring nine points in his last 12 games.

The interesting wrinkle here, though, is that Semin was one of Bilyaletdinov’s biggest supporters following Russia’s told medal win at the 2012 World Hockey Championships.

“This is really super. The dicipline is perfect,” Semin said, per RIA. “In Bilyaletdinov’s team the most important thing to play strictly in defense, to lose the puck less and to play more in the zone.

“To play at a hundred percent always.”

The gold was Russia’s first since 2009, and Semin played a big role for the Russians after falling out of favor in Washington, averaging just 16:47 TOI per game.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit
Leave a comment

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.