Question and Answer Session with Former Washington Capital, Alexander Semin

HC Vityaz of the KHL typically conducts “Ask a Question” sessions during each off-season, where fans can submit questions to a designated player. This week their Captain and former Washington Capital Alexander Semin answered questions. Many of the questions and answers were transcribed and published on the Vityaz website and their social media on June 10.

Semin is currently back in his native Krasnoyarsk, and while taking a break from working out, answered questions asked by Vityaz fans. The questions covered several topics, including hockey idols from childhood, former Capitals teammates, injuries, and former coaches. This is part one of a two-part post.

Questions from Alexey Moiseev

AM: Who were your idols in childhood?
AS: Pavel Bure and Sergey Fedorov.

AM: How did you like having Backstrom and Ovechkin as teammates?
AS: Two very talented players! It’s nice to be on the ice with those guys, and playing with them is a pleasure. The level of these guys is the highest!

Questions from Stefan Cosmos

SC: Alexander, do you communicate with any of the Washington players?
AS: With [Dmitry] Orlov, [Evgeny] Zhenya Kuznetsov and [Alexander] Sasha Ovechkin.

SC: Wouldn’t it be great to play for the national team?
AS: Everyone wants to play on the team! I’m not an exception. If I were invited, I’d go

Questions from Vadim Sellivanov

VS: Why did you beat Marc Staal of the New York Rangers with your palms in a fight?
AS: Everybody still wants to talk about this!

VS: How do hockey players relax between games and on airline flights?
AS: Yes, as usual, they go about their business. Walking and relaxation in the hotel rooms. Of course, when you are alone on the road, no one bothers you. At home, in any case, there are children. And you need to pay attention to them.

Questions from Olya Bikineeva

OB: How do you mentally prepare for games in a special way?
AS: Everyone prepares differently Everyone has their own rituals, and disclosing them makes no sense.

OB: Why did you change your number from #32 to #28?
AS: When I left Russia for the NHL in 2006, I played in Khimik near Moscow under #32. But Washington had retired that number in honor of Dale Hunter. His jersey hung from the arches of our arena. So I chose 28 since it was free.

OB: Which of the coaches were you most comfortable to play under, maybe helping you learning something new?
AS: All coaches of the highest level teams are unique in their own way. And everyone needs to complete tasks and get a positive result. Therefore, I will talk about those I played under during the years where I was growing up.

Sergei Mikhailovich Frolov in Krasnoyarsk was my first coach, I think he taught me a lot, when it was not yet clear whether I would become a hockey player. Alexander Stepanovich Glazkov was my coach on my youth team in Chelyabinsk. Pyotr Vorobyov, of course, taught me at a young age and at the time when I started to become a man.

Thanks to all of them …

OB: How has your recovery from your operation gone? Has everything returned to normal?
AS: There is a process of rehabilitation. Gradually, everything gets back to normal.

OB: I think many fans would like to see interviews with you more often this season. We know that you do not like it, but still, at least sometimes. Also, Health to you and your loved ones.
AS: Once a year I normally give an interview. [He smiles]

Questions from Victoria Seleva

VS: Alexander, how do you motivate yourself after a difficult match?
AS: Relax and get ready. What to motivate yourself after the game? Well, before the game, it’s a must! How? I will not say!

VS: Which sport would you prefer if not hockey?
AS: I have been doing hockey all my life, how else? I can play all kinds of games and love them! Soccer, of course! But I am not interested in extreme sports.

VS: Do you use any tricks in the game?
AS: Yes! But how could it be otherwise?

Questions from Elena Pogibeleva

EP: Hello, Alexander! I wholeheartedly sympathize with you since the time of the legendary World Cup 2008. I am happy to ask my question. How do you prefer to spend your vacation? And what movies are you watching? Thank you, good luck in the new season, we love you!
AS: I do not watch movies since there is no time. I like to hang out with my children. My wife and I walk with them together at our house in Krasnoyarsk. We travel with our family to recreation centers, together with friends, sometimes we manage to get out there and go fishing.

Questions from Lisa Zelenina

LZ: What are you looking forward to? We are waiting for hockey and games of our beloved Vityaz!
AS: I can’t answer so quickly. This is a very difficult question. I also really look forward to going out on the ice and meeting with the whole team.

LZ: How do you quarantine?
AS: I am recovering [from injury], and, as I already answered, I am spending time with my family.”

Questions from Zhenya Matyukhin

ZM: I remember when I was 5 years old, I watched the 2008 World Championship Final with Canada. What feelings did you experience after such a hard victory? By the way, you’ve been my idol since I was 5 years old, you even found your sweater in the city from the Carolina era!
AS: Joy and fatigue. I did not immediately deeply understand what that victory meant. I only realized the magnitude after flying home five days later.

Questions from Dmitry Balamutov

DB: Alexander, what is the most memorable game and goal in your career?
AS: I do not have any. I’m convinced those are yet to come!

DB: If you were now back in the NHL, what club would you like to play for?
AS: Why dream of what’s behind?”

Questions from Stas Firstov

SF: Alexander, do you remember who passed you the puck in the 2008 World Championships when you scored a goal in the final against the Canadian team?
AS: There were two goals. Ovechkin passed me the puck for the first one, the second bounced off the board after a shot from Kostya Korneev.

Questions from Petrov Maxim

PM: Alexander, good afternoon. What were your first emotions and thoughts after that game winning goal in the 2008 World Championships final?
AS: The game was very emotional, the guys gave all their strength for victory. And we were able to fully enjoy it!

{For 15 years, prior to that, the Russian team did not win the World Championships. They had only won Silver in 2002 in Gothenburg.].

[VIDEO! Be sure to take a look! Goals of Alexander Semin in the final of the 2008 World Cup with Canada

These were the first two goals of the Russian team in the 2008 final. And the second – after Canadian Patrick Sharp was in the penalty box for a slash to Semin’s hands.

And the third goal of the Russians in that final from Alexei Tereshchenko, with an assist from Alexander Semin!

And you need to see the moment of joy of Alexander and the whole team at 6:40!]

PM: Are you sorry to miss the 2007 World Championships in Moscow?
AS: No, I’m not sorry about anything. Generally I do not like feeling regret.

Questions from Anya Podlesnaya

AP:  Hello, Alexander, I will be glad if you answer! If a goal is scored with your head, will it be counted? Have you had this?
AS: No, I have not.

AP: Psychological attitude or physical? What is more important for you?
AS: Everything is important, but psychological attitude is more important.

AP: Do hockey players watch hockey games on TV? Are you looking for them?
AS: I see everything, any hockey is interesting to me, especially when there is nothing else to do. When I have other work to do, I do that

AP:What does hockey mean to you besides sports?
AS Pleasure.

Questions from Slava Propustitin

SP: Alexander, who, in your opinion is the best hockey player in the world at the moment?
AS: Ovechkin.

Questions from Andrey Abramov

AA: How long do you think you’ll stay in Vityaz?
AS: Not everything depends on me. If I get contract offer, I will play!

Questions from Andrey Vershinin

AV: Are there any plans to start a coaching career after completing a player’s career?
AS: I have not thought about it yet!

After the last question and answer, Alexander resumes his workout. The original interview in its entirety is here.

By Diane Doyle

About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
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