Caps’ Brouwer on Semin: ‘Some nights you didn’t even know if he was gonna come to the rink’

Added Brouwer: Some nights I wish that my lips could build a castle. Some nights I wish they'd just fall off.

Alexander Semin signed a one-year deal this offseason to make the leap from the Washington Capitals to the Carolina Hurricanes, and on Tuesday, he makes his return to the Verizon Center when the Southeast Division rivals clash in Washington for the first time this year.

Or at least, we think he'll be there. Former teammate Troy Brouwer's apparently never sure if Semin's going to show up.

In a recent interview with Katie Carrera that should serve to add some serious fire to Semin's homecoming, Brouwer panned his former teammate's work ethic. From the Washington Post:

“It was tough to lose his scoring ability when he wanted to play,” Brouwer said. “But all in all, I think we’ve been doing well without him.”

[...] “Some nights you didn’t even know if he was gonna come to the rink,” Brouwer said. “It’s tough to play alongside guys like those because you don’t know what you’re gonna get out of ‘em.”

I'd say Brouwer's asking for a bongo solo.

Either that, or someone else may rise to Semin's defence during the game, just as Carolina Hurricanes teammate Tim Brent already has via Twitter, where he vehemently disagreed with Brouwer's impressions.

"Just read Troy Brouwer's comments about Semin," he Tweeted. "I can say on behalf of his teammates that we love having him here, and he has been a big part of our success so far with his consistent play and work ethic. NOT only his scoring ability. I hope he sticks it to them."

Yes, something tells me Semin is coming to the rink for sure Tuesday night.

Now, Brouwer's not saying anything new about Semin (Also recall Marc Crawford and Pierre McGuire's comments about him over the summer). Fair or not (and I'd say not), Semin has a reputation as an occasional coaster. It's a reputation that scared Hurricanes' GM Jim Rutherford away from a longer-term deal this summer.

“We would look at Semin on a short-term basis,” said Rutherford. “We wouldn't want to get locked in to anything, because we've all heard the stories about him. We do like his skill level. It could be that we could bring him in for a year, get to know him and go from there in terms of considering something longer term.”

Thus far, the getting-to-know-you process has been a good one. Semin has 4 goals and 10 assists through his first 17 games, tied for third with Jeff Skinner in production behind the Staal brothers.