It took an injury, but a wrong has been righted by Team Russia for the 2014 Sochi Games: Alex Semin, the Carolina Hurricanes’ sniper, will join the roster for next month’s men’s hockey tournament, according to Igor Eronko.
Semin was left off the Russian roster when the team was announced this month, joining Bobby Ryan and Marty St. Louis as the most prominent snubs of the Olympics. But a knee injury to Dynamo Moscow forward Sergei Soin last week opened up a slot and Semin slipped in.
Players like Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin lamented the absence of Semin from the roster, but Russian officials questioned his motivation. But the Hurricanes forward responded to that challenge with 11 points in 12 games, including three goals in his last two games.
Coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov came under some criticism for his decision not to add Semin to the initial roster, with people like Russian hockey analyst Sergey Gimaev claiming it’s the coach’s job to get the most out of his best players.
If we know anything about Semin, it’s that he needs that kick in the backside occasionally. Those three goals in two games came after Carolina GM Jim Rutherford called him out on TV, saying: “He's trying to play an east-west game when the rest of the team is playing a north-south game, and he needs to get his act going pretty soon.”