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Posted at 1:03 PM ET, 03/11/2011

Jason Arnott's been talking to Semin

By Dan Steinberg

(By Steve Nesius - Reuters)


Jason Arnott has played five games with the Capitals. In those five games, Alex Semin has three goals, two assists and is a +5, often playing on a line with Arnott. So Thursday, 106.7 The Fan's Holden Kushner asked Arnott if he said something to cause this change in Semin.

"You know what, I've talked to him a lot," Arnott said. "I got to know a little bit about him just coming here from other guys, that he was a little different cat. He's very very talented, but for me, I just don't know if guys took the time enough to talk to him enough and make him feel a part of everything, and also get on him when he does things wrong. I think he needs the corrections and a little more discipline in his game, and he needs to know how important he is to this team to win. So it's just little things. I've been talking to him every day, and communication between linemates, it just helps a lot."

Then Mike Wise joked about Semin only understanding English when he likes the message.

"I think his English is just fine," Arnott said. "There's some things that he doesn't understand here and there, but for the most part he communicates well. You just talk to him like a friend and like a teammate, and hopefully he has enough respect for you that he will listen and give his two cents as well....You can't always be on him about everything. You've got to let him go. He's a talented kid and a special player, and you've got to let him do his thing. He just needs a little guidance here and there, someone to talk to every day and have fun with."

Then Arnott revealed that he was eating lunch with Alex Ovechkin as he did this interview. This after eating dinner with Ovechkin the night before.

"He's got a lot of questions, and he's a great guy," Arnott said. "He's one of the superstars in our league, that really wants to win and wants to learn from older guys and take everything in he can. And it's a pleasure playing with stars like that, because a lot of guys will think they're either too good for the game or too good to learn. And this guy here just wants to suck all the knowledge he can, and he just wants to win. And when you get a guy like that, it's a pleasure.

As for who was picking up the lunch tab, "I'm gonna pay today. He paid for dinner last night," Arnott said.

"We're gonna probably split the bill," Ovechkin chimed in. "When we have one fancier, probably he's gonna pay."

By Dan Steinberg  | March 11, 2011; 1:03 PM ET
Categories:  Caps, Media  
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Comments

That's a nice big middle finger to all the posters who keep knocking Semin for not doing any interviews in English. Arnott's awesome! Thanks for removing part of the mystique about Semin. Great job!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 11, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Say what you want about Smein and Ovechkin. But one thing is clear - these guys want to win pretty bad.

Posted by: SavedByZero | March 11, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Gotta Love Ovi!!

when we have one fancier, probably he's gonna pay

hahah

Posted by: SkinsFanVJ | March 11, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Arnott for working and talking with Semin. He is a fantastic hockey player, who I knew all along spoke English, especially with his teammates. I don't blame Alex for not giving interviews with the media since most of the time all he gets is haressed. Thanks for the insight on Semin! He is an awesome player! GO CAPS!!

Posted by: allforSemin | March 11, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of the loss of Steckel and a 2nd round pick, Arnott has been a fantastic pickup by GMGM

Wideman was a just plain highway robbery, a 3rd and Hauswirth...

great job GMGM!

Posted by: FrankM73 | March 11, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm gonna guess and suggest that it seems like Arnott is surprised by these guys' personalities - that as he's getting to know them, perhaps neither one QUITE lives up/down to his reputation around the league and in the public mind.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | March 11, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

(I woulda been hard-pressed to qualify that observation any more than I did.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | March 11, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Arnott is a steal for GMGM. Might end up being the biggest aquisition in Caps history. The Caps are a different team sonce he arrived and it has nothing to do with the six game streak. On the bench, on the ice, and in the locker room thay are on same page. More hustle, more grit and more accountability.

Posted by: ballgame21 | March 11, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I think so too, stevie - but it's not surprising considering Elias and especially Sykora played some of the best hockey of their lives alongside Arnott, that was NJD'S best line on their Cup run - and if you raise your linemates' play, that's gotta count for something.

As for Semin, well, part of the problem is the guy gets away with stuff on the ice - because he's so effing talented - that got drummed out of the rest of us mortals in Squirts and Pee-Wees. But he's so talented he can get away with it, a lot.

He reminds me a bit of a young Alexei Kovalev with the NYR, who thrived alongside Messier and Graves - but who Colin Campbell had absolutely no clue how to handle. It wasn't until Kovalex went to Pitt and played with Jarg and Lemieux that he blossomed into a world-class, elite player. As Mario said, more than once, let the puck do the work - if two guys are on you, well, do the math - somewhere, a teammate's open.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | March 11, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Love that guy!!

Posted by: joshu1 | March 11, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Since he came here, every time I've seen a shot of Arnott on the bench, His jaw is moving and he's leaning into a team mate's ear...their head nodding....

Posted by: arioch666 | March 11, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Since he came here, every time I've seen a shot of Arnott on the bench, His jaw is moving and he's leaning into a team mate's ear...their head nodding....

Posted by: arioch666 | March 11, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Wants to take this opportunity to throw a big middle finger at all the posters who have been bashing George McPhee all season. Three years ago he gets Fedorov, Cooke and Huet, this year Arnott and Wideman. Sounds like the guy knows what he's doing, and has a pulse on what his team needs.

Well done, George, well done.

Posted by: jcreech1 | March 11, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Wants to take this opportunity to throw a big middle finger at all the posters who have been bashing George McPhee all season. Three years ago he gets Fedorov, Cooke and Huet, this year Arnott and Wideman. Sounds like the guy knows what he's doing, and has a pulse on what his team needs.

Well done, George, well done.

Posted by: jcreech1 | March 11, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Semin's nickname = Captain Hook. In all seriousness, Arnott was a great pick-up.

Posted by: 08WashCaps19 | March 11, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

this dude wants another shot at a cup. god help him if he's gonna let his teammates' play stop him.

keep it up, jason!

Posted by: j762 | March 11, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

The sad thing is that all you folks will be on here next year saying how terrible Arnott is, and GMGM should be fired for picking him up, blah blah blah...

None of us has any actual insight on any of this. But we sure like to talk.

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | March 11, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I understand Semin not wanting to talk to the press pretty well. There is a huge difference between being able to communicate and speaking another language fluently. I have lived in Korea for 12 years and I can communicate pretty well in Korean or what some might call Konglish. Would I want to get interviewed in Korean??? Hell no!!! The chance that I would get it right would be a helleva lot slimmer than the chance that I would get it wrong. You also have to remember you can't compare Semin to Ovie in handling the press and speaking English which to many is our expectations.. Ovie grew up in a pretty worldly environment in Moscow with his internationally famous mom...Semin did not...

Posted by: mikehauter | March 11, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

In the NHL, like the other three major professional North American sports, the talent level from team to team is fairly close. Yes, there are teams top-heavy with superstars and teams in the midst of rebuilding, but all have talent. The big difference is in team chemistry. I think we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg with what Arnott brings to the locker room. He is mentoring the young talent and is a coach on the ice. Regardless of what happens this post season, I really hope Arnott comes back for another season with the Caps. I truly think he can lead the young core of this team to the next level.

Posted by: prestoj | March 11, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I've said it all long year, the Caps need leadership. And now, they have it. Arnott is a leader and is making everyone around him better, god help the rest of the league if Semin continues his recent play. GO CAPS!!

Posted by: gs12 | March 11, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The way Arnott identifies things — both positive and negative — that need to be said and breaks through apparent "walls" to communicate his message so quickly after joining the team ... I hope he plays another year or two for the Caps, and I have no idea what he wants to do after he retires, but this guy has "coach" written all over him.

Posted by: DC2Dallas | March 11, 2011 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Arnott is a steal for GMGM. Might end up being the biggest aquisition in Caps history. The Caps are a different team sonce he arrived and it has nothing to do with the six game streak. On the bench, on the ice, and in the locker room thay are on same page. More hustle, more grit and more accountability.

Posted by: ballgame21 | March 11, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the sentiment, but the biggest acquisition in Caps history was getting Rod Langway almost 3 decades ago. The team went from being a door mat to being very competitive immediately.

Posted by: randysbailin | March 12, 2011 7:46 AM | Report abuse

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