Sochi bound: Semin added to Russian Olympic team


After initially being snubbed, Alex Semin is going to the Olympics.

The Carolina winger has been added as an injury replacement for the Russian team headed to Sochi, the ‘Canes announced on Tuesday. Semin will replace veteran forward Sergei Soin, who was lost to a knee injury while playing for KHL club CSKA Moscow last week.

Semin, 29, has been productive since returning from a concussion earlier this season, and has 11 points in his last 12 games. That said, he was taken to task by ‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford over the weekend, as Rutherford said Semin “needs to get his act going,” and questioned his “will do to well.”

Semin has represented Russia in a number of international events, including two gold medal-winning teams at the World Championships (2008, ’12) and the ’10 Olympics in Vancouver.



Report: Russia’s Soin (injured) to miss Olympics, replacement to be named soon


Veteran Russian forward Sergei Soin will reportedly miss the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi with an injury, according to, paving the way for a replacement forward to make the roster.

Soin, 31, was hurt while playing for KHL Dynamo Moscow last week. Originally Colorado’s second-round pick (50th overall) at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, he’s spent his entire professional career playing in Russia, establishing himself as a speedy checking forward.

Soin was one of the 14 forwards named to the Olympic squad two weeks ago, getting the nod over a number of NHL forwards — including the likes of Carolina’s Alex Semin, Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov, New Jersey’s Andrei Loktionov and Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov.

At first glance, Semin appears to be a strong replacement candidate. He’s been very good for the ‘Canes since returning from a concussion, and has 11 points in his last 12 games.

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.

Ovechkin, Malkin headline Russian Olympic team; Semin, Gonchar snubbed


The host nation has named its Olympic roster and, as expected, it’s loaded up front.

Led by Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin and reigning NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin, Russia trotted out a star-studded group on Tuesday, though there were some omissions that caught the hockey world by surprise.

Carolina’s Alex Semin — playing very well of late, and a member of the ’10 Olympic squad — won’t be playing in Sochi, nor will veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar.

Other notable omissions from the Russian roster include Florida’s Dmitry Kulikov, Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov and New Jersey’s Anton Volchenkov.

As for those that made the team…

Russia embraced its youth by selecting 18-year-old Dallas rookie Valeri Nichushkin and 22-year-old Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko. They’ll be joined by 25-year-old Viktor Tikhonov, a former first-round pick (Phoenix, 2008) that’s currently playing for SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.

In goal, the Russians made no surprises by going with Sergei Bobrovsky and Semyon Varlamov. The third spot went to Alexander Yeryomenko, a 33-year-old KHL veteran.

On defense, the team went NHL-heavy with six of eight blueliners coming from North America. They include Edmonton’s Anton Belov, Montreal’s Alexei Emelin and Andrei Markov, Columbus’ Nikita Nikitin and Fedor Tyutin, and Los Angeles’ Slava Voynov.

It is at forward, though, where the Russians are most dangerous. In addition to the aforementioned Datsyuk-Malkin-Ovechkin trio, the club also features Nichushkin, Tarasenko, Artem Anisimov, Nikolai Kulemin and Ilya Kovalchuk.

Here is the full roster, per TSN:

Goalkeepers: Sergei Bobrovsky, Semyon Varlamov, Alexander Yeryomenko.

Defenders: Anton Belov, Alexei Emelin, Andrei Markov, Evgeny Medvedev, Nikita Nikitin, Ilya Nikulin, Fedor Tyutin, Slava Voynov.

Forwards: Artem Anisimov, Pavel Datsyuk, Denis Kokarev, Ilya Kovalchuk, Nikolai Kulemin, Evgeni Malkin, Valeri Nichushkin, Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Popov, Alexander Radulov, Sergei Soin, Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexei Tereshenko, Viktor Tikhonov.

UPDATE: Team Russia lost Denis Kokarev and Sergei Soin and replaced them with forwards Alexander Svitov and Alex Semin.

After 12-game absence, Semin (concussion) returns for ‘Canes

The Carolina Hurricanes have activated Alex Semin off injured reserve after he missed the past 12 games recovering from a concussion.

According to 99.9 The Fan Carolina, Semin will suit up tonight in Calgary and play on a line with Riley Nash and Jiri Tlusty.

Semin, 29, last played in a 4-2 defeat in St. Louis on Nov. 16 — a game he was forced from after taking a high hit from Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo:

This isn’t Semin’s first experience with concussions. Last season, the ‘Canes shut him down for the final two games of the year with a similar ailment, though circumstances were somewhat different as he actually played a whopping 23:10 against the Islanders (and said he felt “OK” afterward) before Carolina ruled him out.

The Russian sniper had a great first year in Carolina, scoring 44 points in 44 games and earning a five-year, $35 million contract extension.

This season has been a disappointment, however, as Semin has just three goals and nine points through 20 games.