Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's none and done for Semin at the Worlds

Per Mike Vogel, Alexander Semin has been dismissed from the Russian National team. Semin was cut because the flight he had scheduled into Moscow would not arrive until after the team's deadline for players to report to training camp. Semin was unable to switch his flight reservations in time to comply with coach Sergei Nemchinov's timeline, and thus will not play in the tournament.

Although at first glance this seems terribly unfair, the Russian team has had issues in recent years with players who seemed either indifferent or uninterested in playing for their country. Russian hockey officials have repeatedly stated that they only want players who want to represent their country.

While Semin seems to have the desire to play for the team, Nemchinov believed he had to stick to his guns and set an example by suspending Semin, even though he admitted the team would miss Semin's offensive ability.

While Nemchinov's actions may have been for the long term good of the Russian hockey program, there is no doubt that Semin's suspension from the team does nothing but hurt their chances at the World Championships. It's a shame that things had to unfold this way, especially since Semin seemed to be looking forward to playing in the tournament.

One can only wonder what effect cutting Semin will have on the morale of Caps teammate Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Russian team.

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