Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Semin Signs With Washington

One significant story that received little media fare in North America is that of Alexander Semin. Semin is a Washington first round draft pick who played in the NHL in 2003/04. During the lockout, he decided to go back to Russia to play. Since he was eligible for demotion to the minors, Washington demoted him to the AHL. Semin didn't report since he claimed he had been locked out. Washington responded by trying to impose fines and with legal action. The courts did not force Semin to report to Washington (which they clearly could not have done - an American court couldn't force a player to pursue employment in USA instead of Russia) suggesting that maybe arbitration would be a more suitable method to come to resolution. The Russian Ice Hockey Federation, which has been without a player transfer deal with the NHL all season fought back by trying to demand that Alexander Ovechkin should be returned to Russia but this trumped up case failed.

This case appears to be concluded now. Alexander Semin has signed a new two year contract with Washington. He will report to training camp next season. He is a talented young player who may be helpful to that Capitals rebuilding plans. The previous contract and fines appear to have all been forgotten.

Here is TSN's pro-NHL version of this story.

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