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Update On Semin

I just arrived at KCI, and Alexander Semin (sprained right ankle) was on the ice skating alone. He did some hard cuts, took some shots, but left the ice before practice started. I'll try to get an update on his status later.

Jakub Klepis is still here. He's on the ice practicing. Not sure what's up with that, but I'm going to ask him later.

Also, two journalists from Sweden are here for the next week and a half to write stories on Nicklas Backstrom and Michael Nylander. Magnus Hagerborn is from the news service in Galve, Backstrom's hometown. And Henrik Ek is here doing some freelance work.

Update: Semin is now watching practice with a brace on his ankle. But his limp is not as pronounced as it was the other day. I would say he's probable for Friday's opener.

Update:Steve Eminger, who is on injured reserve with a sprained ankle, is practicing. Looks okay to me.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 3, 2007; 10:30 AM ET
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Next: Yet Another Semin Update


Any chance that if Semin can't play this weekend, they sign Klepis to take his place, and then will take a chance with waivers sending him down to Hershey when the time comes. You'd think if the guy preferred to play in Europe rather than the AHL that he'd already be gone.

Posted by: SM | October 3, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

all it shows is that GMGM has a sense of humor. he likes to torture us message-board types.

Posted by: pgreene | October 3, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Do yourself a favor, ask the Swede's about Lutefisk. If they can speak english, you'll be highly amused. It will explain why you don't see any Swedish restaurants. Or is in Finnish?

Posted by: Yummy | October 3, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I think SM is out of his/her mind... Klepis??? Come on!

Posted by: Blank | October 3, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

So what is the deal with Eminger? How long can they stash him on IR with just a sprained ankle? Is a trade in the works?

Posted by: Joe | October 3, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

If I had to guess, Emminger will not be traded. That is not to say that the Caps aren't showcasing some other defender to be shipped off.

If the Caps were trying to trade Emminger I think they'd want to showcase a bit.

Posted by: Yosh | October 3, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I'll go out on a limb and say I'd be very comfortable with Klepis taking Semin's place, if it came down to that. All of the playmaking skills, with none of the attitude, puckhogging, or lazy shifts...I'd be willing to take the chance on a few minor inconsistencies to keep Klepis around a little longer. I feel he's the more responsible player overall, even with his mistakes, and a better reflection of the team identity concept that everyone likes tossing around.

Posted by: faucons | October 3, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Showcase how?
Have him skate behind the net and lose the puck when a forechecker nails him to the endboards?
or he can make a hopeless pass when tryin to exit the zone, right up the middle, on the tape of another team's sniper?

Okay...maybe my sarcasm is a bit harsh, but I have been really disappointed with this kid's development. Maybe because he was pressed into service too quickly and didn't get enough time in the minors. I don't know, but I just don't think he has lived up to expectations.

Flame on if ya need to...

Posted by: pmoravek | October 3, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

bwahahahaha. Thanks for that laugh faucons.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 3, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

faucons, have you ever watched Klepis play? I doubt it!

freakinandpeakin, I will have to join you rolling on the floor faughing

Posted by: Blank | October 3, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Does it surprise anyone else that many of the NHL Previews (Tarik's aside) have the Caps finishing in the bottom half of the league again? Kind of baffles me.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | October 3, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse


You can come back here during the All-Star Break and lay into me if I'm wrong...and I'll be the first to admit it if I am. But...BUT, I really believe that this is the year Emminger will break out. I suppose I don't have anything scientific to base that on, but I think the improved offense/different style of play is going to help him immensely.

CT Caps Fan,

I not only noticed how poor the predictions are, but I've also noticed how little research is done for the previews. Many sites still talk about Clymer being a Caps defender.

Posted by: Yosh | October 3, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

No surprise at all. Yes the caps have talent, however no direction.

Posted by: someone else who knows | October 3, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't put any stock in those pre-season predictions. Those same publications picked the Hurricanes to finish last in 2006 and they won the Cup. Then they picked the Canes to finish first in 2007 and they missed the playoffs. Talk is cheap, it's what they do on the ice that counts.

Posted by: b.orr4 | October 3, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Lutefisk is friggin nasty. It's fish preserved with lye -- yes, lye -- then reconstituted and cooked. It's a nightmare.

My wife is Swedish, and that's only one of the nasty things they eat.. another low-light is salt liquorice.

Tarik if you want to help out our new Swedes you can tell them that one of the candy stores at Arundel Mills sells salt liquorice, and so does Ikea. But they don't have all the brands my wife likes. The best selection is at the Swedish Church in New York City, on 48th just east of 5th Avenue.


Posted by: Oneal | October 3, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Eminger could break out if people spelt his name right....

For the guy who said that Klepis is better than Semin...I wonder what Klepis you were watching. Semin is far superior to Klepis in every single aspect of a hockey player.

Thanks for the updates, Tarik. Always greatly appreciated.

Posted by: capsfan28 | October 3, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Tarik -

Can you tell us why the Swedes are all the way over in DC doing interviews on two players for the hapless Caps and the local Washington Post, Times and local TV stations can't leave their offices to do a TEAM story?

It's embarrasing that we have one of the great players ever in their sport on any local team, and we can't get squat. The Swedes seem to think that it's important enough. I know if I want hockey news, I go to Canadian sources. Maybe we should start reading the Galve, Sweden newspaper to find out about the Caps!

Tarik, I love what you're doing, but...

Posted by: Greg S. | October 3, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Most of the previews seem to be cut-paste jobs from last season, they've just flipped Buffalo and NJ for the Rangers and Flyers.

Posted by: tallbear | October 3, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Greg S.,

You sure seem to post here a lot considering how much you appear to dislike this blog. Your right, just stick to Canadian sources. Let them deal with your negativity and useless rants.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I think we should trade Semin for a real Russian hockey player, like Yashin. Now there's a guy who can skate and put the puck in the net. And another thing, Klepis should clearly be our first line center. That kid has more skill than 90% of the team!

Since we were talking complete nonsense anyway...

Posted by: Raber | October 3, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope Semin plays on the home opener.

Posted by: chris | October 3, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Semin for Klepis...are you kidding me? Semin is a tremendous talent; however, he is very lazy and I don't think a lot of people will argue that sentiment. He doesn't like to backcheck, frequently caughs up the puck in center ice putting the defense in awkward situations and does not want to take the time to learn English. On the other hand Klepis has a tendency to stand on the sideboards and dish tape to tape passes to the OTHER team!! There were several times last year that Klepis didn't get the memo he was playing for the Caps not the other team. There's no doubt that Klepis, just like Flash, has the potential of being an NHL player. Maybe the Caps are keeping him around so that he can practice more with the "top dawgs" and develop here instead of Hershey where he skates through everyone. Maybe practicing with the NHL'ers for a while will turn him around and possibly the Caps will offer him a deal later....Who knows. As for the preseason predictions, I don't believe there has ever been a sports columnist, broadcaster or show that has correctly predicted the outcome of a season. We have to remember that this is the NHL and not the WWF. We don't have a clue what is going to happen when a team steps onto the ice, where as wrestling gives you the winner before the event even starts. Lastly, the reason the Swedes are here doing an assignment on Backstrom and Nylander is simply because hockey is a way of life in Sweden. Here in the states, football and baseball are our ways of life or the focus point of our media. Us true, diehard hockey fans would love to see more coverage of the game and more in depth writeups on our home team, but the reality is that we live in a city where hockey means little to nothing to most people and we have to compete with the likes of the Redskins, Wizards, Borioles and now that Nats. I love hockey, I love the work Tarik does for this city and its hockey fans I sincerely believe that Caps are going to be serious contenders this year and not the dirt brushed under the rug like they have been the past few seasons.

Posted by: Mitch | October 3, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I think they need to sit OV to teach him a lesson for not resigning a contract.

They need to cut the team captain to send a message that NO ONE is safe! Even after you score 30 goals and finish a game with a broken upper palette.

Let them start every under achiever (Suds, Eminger, et al) in the first game to give them another chance.

Lets all sit back and enjoy the season. I for one am VERY excited about the direction the team has taken. Sometimes the best decision is not the most popular.


Posted by: Lee | October 3, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"Injured reserve" heheheheheheh

They aint gonna be able to stash him there forever. Someone is going to have to move down or be traded for more prospects.

Posted by: EricS | October 3, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Does any one else think that GMGM and OV should be talking now about a new contract. The roster has been set, and the Caps don't open for another 2 days. I would think now is the time get this done before we get into the season. Tarik, are there any rumors that this is being done?

Posted by: Dean | October 3, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse


"You can come back here during the All-Star Break and lay into me if I'm wrong...and I'll be the first to admit it if I am. But...BUT, I really believe that this is the year Emminger will break out. I suppose I don't have anything scientific to base that on, but I think the improved offense/different style of play is going to help him immensely."

I won't lay into you...I'd be happy for the kid! So far he has just disappointed me. That's all. Like I said...maybe I am being too harsh.

Here's to a break out year from several of the youngsters!


Posted by: pmoravek | October 3, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Mitch | October 3, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse


Minor quibble here (not you, but the Post). The NHL got rid of their old black/orange shield logo after the lockout and went to a new black/silver one. Yet, the Post's hockey section still has the old shield. One could look at that and question how much attention is being given to the sport by the Post based on this. We're into the third season post-lockout.

As to the Caps...interesting that many scribes back home (GTA) think Hanlon will be the first coach fired this year. I would be inclined to agree that what looks like a sure bet in October can often not be the case come April.

Posted by: Patrick | October 3, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

IIRC Tarik said (either on WPL or that Caps Chat thing) that he thinks Ovie really needs an agent to do the contract. His mom seems to want Ovie to be the highest paid player in the NHL. I'm sure we all agree he deserves that, but there is the rest of the team (like Semin) to think about.

Posted by: tallbear | October 3, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Patrick, good point. That and the fact that the NHL preview has outdated logos for every team that changed them post-lockout, save for the Caps.

Posted by: Shmoo | October 3, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Man, if we're nit-picking over logo's we really must be at a loss for things to talk about. Again, the logo changes or lack thereof in the media outlets proves where NHL stands in the eyes of the media. It's sad, but unfortunately true.

Posted by: Mitch | October 3, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Shmoo, Wednesday's paper seems to have the correct changed logos for the Sens, Sharks, Canucks and Tampa. (Boston and Columbus didn't even make the blurb section) I don't even see an NHL shield. Are you referring to a different preview?

Never mind, I noticed the online version.

Posted by: tallbear | October 3, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I really hope Semin can at least play during the home opener. :( :(

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Nice write ups today.
Klepis for've got to be kidding me!!!

Posted by: Melissa | October 3, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I can guarantee you that faucons has seen more of Klepis than any of the other posters has, and when it comes to attitude and playmaking, he's much better than Semin.

Posted by: Westmorland | October 3, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Agreed about the prognosticators knowing nothing. Just can't to see them eat their words.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | October 3, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I'd take Semin's 40+ goals this season over Klepis'... well... anything

Posted by: Blank | October 3, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

oh my god why are people defending the klepis over semin idea, oh wait, its the same guy.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

noname at 1:43...

2 things. First, let me know your name so I don't have to respond like this. Secondly, I'd love to see the Caps win the cup. But to do that, the organization needs to get more money. They can't get the market to look at them, even with killer kids like AO, AS et al, because the local media doesn't cover them. If the media played along ad reported the sports to close the same level as the other major sports, there'd be more interest. That generates more revenues from all sources.

I'm not peeved with Tarik at all. He does yeoman's work giving us what he can as quickly as he can. I'm upset with the basic media coverage - or lack thereof. Look at the Philly Inquirer last year. The worst they've ever been and they still received phenominal daily coverage. We can barely find room for Tarik's reporting.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 3, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

turmoil already in Leafs land? Raycroft is getting the start over Toskala. :)

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | October 3, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

nice rite-ups 2 day. glad to have you back working for us fans full time.

Posted by: livinit | October 3, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Hershey loses 5-4 to Wilkes-Barre..

Bourque gets 2 goals and 1 assist.


Posted by: Oneal | October 3, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Great points Greg S.
I agree with you on all points; however it's not totally a money problem. There is talent on the ice. Ted needs to get a legitimate front office and coach to direct these guys. Until then this team will continue to flounder. Let's face it, the Dick Patrick/GMGM experiment is a failure. How can anyone say they have done a good job during their tenure? Notice I only asked for someone to say a "good job". This area did support this team at one time, and I hope it will again. However, people in this area want quality, not gimmicks.

Posted by: someone else who knows | October 3, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

do you think the guy saying Klepis over semin IS Klepis, because i can't think of any other reason. and i have too much faith in humanity to believe that someone honestly thinks that. no aufence to Klepis, but that's like taking suage water over Carona.

Posted by: DC FURY | October 3, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Puckguru | October 3, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

someone else who knows...let me put 2 of your quotes here.

"There is talent on the ice."
"Let's face it, the Dick Patrick/GMGM experiment is a failure."

It's GMGM's job to put talent on the ice. You just said there IS talent on the ice. I'm confused how it is a failure. Look up and down this roster and it's got GMGM's name on nearly every single player (for better or worse).

Now, it's also part of GMGM's job to make sure the right coach is behind the bench. I still don't see how some people are so sure that Hanlon will fail based on his past performance. To me, Hanlon OVER achieved every season to date. If the Caps end up with 70-85 points this season, then yes, I'd think he gets the boot.

I guess I am just confused how in one breath people seem relatively happy with the team on the ice, and then the next complain about how poor the team is run.

Posted by: Jeff | October 4, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

What Jeff said.

Posted by: HolyOlie | October 4, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Also, the Times has their full season preview up.

Posted by: HolyOlie | October 4, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I also agree 100% with what Jeff said. Though I also believe that Hanlon's job relies on a strong first half of the season. If the team struggles out of the gate/isn't meshing by early January I think both Hanlon and GMGM will be updating their resumes.

Let me just add, in the same breath, that I am optimistic about this year. Not saying the Cup should be packed and labeled with a DC mailing address, but there will be a significant improvement this year.

Posted by: Yosh | October 4, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Some of you are just insane! I'm so sick of all the Semin bashing. If he hates to backcheck so much, why did he have one of the better +- ratings on the team last year? Sure, he takes a shift off every now and then, but you know what? Everyone does. I remember going to a couple games last season when I didn't even notice Ovie being on the ice. Does that mean we should trade him for a puck bag (Klepis) too? I don't think so. We'll see how you all feel about him when he's wrapping up a 50G 85PT season. That's more points than Klepis would ever get in a career BTW! Lazy...puckhog....doesn't care....blah blah blah. Muppets!

Posted by: jwh37 | October 4, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Everyone here knows how I feel about Semin's SKILLS. I think he has more natural skill than OV, but that's not what I want to go into right now.

There were definitely instances were Semin was not playing full speed, has seemed to sorta drift around with minimal interest, and many times when he has shown to be a puckhog. All that said, I am not sure how much I can blame him.

He is a gifted passer, but if you had some of the guys on your line that he had last season, can you blame him for trying to make it happen himself (when the team isn't going anywhere, so the games don't matter)? No question he, at times, wasn't on the same page with the coaching staff, but I think we'll see more of his true colors this season.

Just like Hanlon and GMGM trying to prove they belong here, I think Semin needs to show he bought into this team also. There's no question the kid can score and put up points -- but if he doesn't mesh with his teammates I wouldn't be all that surprised if he ends up signing a huge contract elsewhere as a RFA and the Caps accepting the draft picks for him.

Personally, I think he can put up a monster season and silence a lot of his critics about the flaws in his game. But it's easy to say that before the season starts and when you have high hopes for the season.

I really hope that Tarik gets to do that Semin interview -- I'm very curious to see what his mindset is going into the season.

Posted by: Jeff | October 4, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Holy Molly, Jeff and HolyOlie!
First, I agree w/ you Yosh, but think it will happen before January.
Talent, yes you better have some talent if you want to be in the league. Can I give GMGM the credit for putting that talent on the ice? Yes I can. However, if you're wrong 90% of the time, you're still right 10% of the time. I guess that 10% is what we have been seeing. Can you guys actually say you're satisfied with the 10 year performance of this club? GMGM and DPat took over in '97, and yes the club went to the finals that year. But that was David Poile's team. At the trade deadline GMGM made his first of many deadline moves sending Cote for Jeff "can't play tonight I got a head ache" Brown and young legs/scorers Zednik and Bullis for T. Linden and Zubie. Yes, Zubie worked out, the other two---nothing. It was basically a three for one deal. Now to be fair nobody expected the team to get that far, but that move cost them a chance. And look at how many chances they have had to get back to the cup since then. How many times did you hear when a quality Capital player was traded at the deadline or sometime prior, (Hunter, Gonchar, Konowalchuk, Bondra) to name a few "we need to make some moves and would like to give the player a chance to move on and maybe get a cup." Did anyone once ask themselves, if the club was doing its job maybe these guys wouldn't have had to be moved in order win? Now, the result of the past trade deadline fire sales is the talent which is on the ice. The team received prospects and high draft picks. Is it the caliber of talent that should be on the ice? Remember OV came in the way of implosion and a fortunate bounce of a ping pong ball. OV fell on their lap, he doesn't count, who else is lighting it up? Semin is exciting to watch, but how long will he be here? Fehr, drafted ahead of C.Perry (from Dale Hunter's London Knights Team), R. Getzlav, and M. Richards. Alzner, sent home from his first camp within four days, picked ahead of S. Gagner (another Dale Hunter London Knight) now playing in the NHL.
My feeling is this area deserves better, but I'm sure your blog boys are content. We'll see how it goes, something should change. BTW, it was great to see the games last night. HOCKEY'S BACK!

Posted by: someone else who knows | October 4, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

There's a new thread, but I just wanted to make a quick comment (ok, it turned out not to be very quick) in response to your post, someone.

I get your point, that there were bad moves in addition to some of the better ones made over the last 5-10 years. That said, sometimes striving to be average won't get the job done. Yes, there was a firesale and the new talent is a result of that. Not all teams would have gotten rid of nearly all of the talent, fully accepting the fact that a few lean years were going to follow as a result. The Caps made the playoffs years in a row, but never were able to make any real noise (minus the one Finals run).

Tearing the team down and starting all over was a risky move, but I think things look a lot better for the future than they did leading into the lockout. Is there a lot of work left to be done? Without question...but, with the team shaped the way it is there is cap flexibility and assets within the organization that will allow those moves to be made, rather than just having your 23 pro players and hoping they get the job done.

Oh, and while we "lucked out" in getting OV, we got shafted with the Crosby draft. It all balances out. And excluding OV and Semin (trying to argue he shouldn't be counted because he may not be here for long is an absolutely terrible argument, by the way), that still leaves plenty of quality players the Caps drafted. Gordon, Green, Pettinger, Schultz, Flash... And then consider the rest of the roster and how Clark, Jurcina, and Morrisonn were all essentially steals, Steckel was another teams "failed 1st rounder", etc.

Do these players all need to prove a lot? Absolutely...but hey, you are the one who said there was a lot of skill here -- and there is. Now it's a matter of putting it all together to get the team where we all want them to be.

Posted by: Jeff | October 4, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

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