Blog Entry

Matt Bradley calls out Alexander Semin

Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: August 17, 2011 4:06 pm
SeminBy: Adam Gretz

Matt Bradley, one of the Florida Panthers many offseason additions, appeared on TEAM 1200 radio in Ottawa this week and spent some time talking about his former team -- the Washington Capitals -- and what went wrong in the playoffs last season, particuarly why they were swept in the second round by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The 33-year-old Bradley said there were a few players that didn't show up in the playoffs, and that the locker room may have been a bit too nonchalant and undisciplined. He also added that some of the players that weren't playing well were getting the majority of the ice time.

His strongest words went in the direction of the supremely talented Alexander Semin, basically saying that he doesn't care to be one of the best players in the world (which he certainly has the talent to be).

Said Bradley, “I don’t mind saying Alexander Semin’s name because he’s one guy who has so much talent, he could easily be the best player in the league, and for whatever reason just doesn’t care. When you’ve got a guy like that you need him to be your best player, or one of your best players, and when he dosen’t show up, you almost get the sense that he wants to be back in Russia. That’s tough to win when you’ve got a guy like that who’s supposed to be your best player not being your best player. Or one of your best players."

After scoring 28 goals in 65 regular season games for the Capitals last season, Semin scored three goals in the Capitals five-game series with the New York Rangers in the opening round, before being limited to just one goal and an assist in the four-game series with Tampa Bay. He had just two assists for the Capitals during the first-round exit in 2009-10, but was also a point-per-game player in the playoffs during his first two postseason appearances in 2008 and 2009.

But the focal point of Bradley's comments were last season, where he was also asked if coach Bruce Boudreau maybe stuck with some of his star players a bit too long.

"There were a lot of guys who played well that didn’t probably play as much as they needed to," said Bradley. "But I love Bruce and Bruce is a great coach. He was in a very tough position there because in Washington our top guys are definitely the Stars and the guys that people want to see on the ice, so I totally understand. That just doesn’t happen on our team, it happens on a lot of teams. When you’re paying your top guys a lot of money and those guys carry you through the whole season, and if one of them isn’t going, it’s very hard not to play them. And I understand that’s tough. But I think in the end if you want to win, sometimes you have to sit some of those guys down and maybe send a message and try to get them going."

It wasn't all bad, however, as Bradley said he never worries about Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and insisted that he's "all in" as far as winning. He did add that Ovechkin may need to grow up a little in terms of taking care of himself (perhaps he was referring to this?), but that he also simply wants to win hockey games.

You can listen to the interview in its entirety by clicking here.

Photo: Getty Images

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:44 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 11:36 pm
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Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 4:34 pm

Matt Bradley calls out Alexander Semin

I'm actually glad he said what he said, and I'm sorry he's now gone.  There are people are that are just unmotivated and nothing will ever get them motivated, but maybe, just maybe, if Semin sees more and more people speak like that, he'll actually wake up and become the player he can be.  Frankly, I wish Ovie would knock some sense into him - they are close friends and I have a feeling Ovie might have tried, but Semin might just be the kind that isn't interested and looks at what he does as just a job and nothing else.  He might like sowing or something, not hockey.

Since: Feb 12, 2008
Posted on: August 21, 2011 11:35 am

Matt Bradley calls out Alexander Semin

Imagine that a Pens fan popping off in a Caps thread... btw how's Cindy doing these days? Whats wrong? Still can't seem to get all the cob webs out ?  If I were you i'd quit trolling and be more worried about your "superstar" player more bonk to the noggin and it could be lights out for good.

Bob - i'm not sure why you're all screwed into the ceiling over a few comments by a Caps 4th liner's comments which were pretty tame IMO. You sound pretty bitter for a guy who's team just won the Cup last year.  I get your point about player loyalty and decorum, the biz and all that, but really it wasn't like Bradley really slammed the guy. He just spoke the truth, right or wrong. To me the only people that should even have an opinion on this topic are his ex-teammates, Caps management, and Caps fans.   From what i can see it was a third page story if the Caps have moved on then so should Mr. HockeyBob

Since: Aug 18, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 2:36 am

Matt Bradley calls out Alexander Semin

How about ovefed or the great ate. What a great choice for captain by the Caps.  and Semin got the nerve to call out Crosby. Semin what a joke of a player. He is a loser. And Coach Tubby really leads his team, through the buffet line. You got to love the Caps they just cant figure it out. 

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: August 18, 2011 6:00 pm

Matt Bradley calls out Alexander Semin

Bob, I think "d-bag" is a little harsh
Fair enough, but I'll stick with d-bag.  I understand why people will defend him as he hasn't done anything to warrant much criticism in the past.   I don't disagree with anything he said, and my "inner meathead hockey-fan" loves that he spoke his true feelings.  That being said, here's some expanded explanation on why he's now a d-bag in my book:

He backdoored a fellow NHLPA member publically in a contract year, he wouldn't want anybody doing that to him or anybody else
He slammed the coach (tried poor attempt to smooth it over) about how he coached the postseason
Implied the organization was at fault for tolerating a player like Semin
Put his agent on the spot as gms will have to question how well he handles his players and how they'll make an organization look, (won't matter in FLA, but it would matter in MTL, CHI, DET, etc.).   Image has effects on contracts.
No player wants dirty laundry aired out and they certainly don't want to worry about what they do with their teammates present.
He's only been gone 6 weeks from the team and he acts like a selfish ungrateful immature player.

I read that he was told he was going to get an offer from the Caps months before but hadn't received one, for his agent to go public with a statement about it may have meant he was disappointed.   Anyway, all his bashing of Semin appeared to do was to make Bradley appear selfish, whiny about not getting a contract there, and unprofessional.   No need for a player to say stuff like that, especially in Semin's case where everybody pretty much assumes it already.   It probably won't matter with the NHLPA, but it's just another reason to make the players look like unprofessional idiots going into CBA negotiations.  

The NHLPA should verbally (maybe physically) give Bradley some poundings, or they should keep their mouths shut when the owners walk all over them next CBA.   He could have done all that in a few years when he retired, he didn't accomplish anything professionally except vent some hurt feelings and disappointment imo.  Dale Tallon is very loyal (too loyal imo) to players, so he will be coddled there.

Since: Feb 12, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2011 10:36 am

Matt Bradley calls out Alexander Semin

Tallon signed him as a "high-character" guy.   LOL, trash a fellow NHLPA member going into a contract year.   What a azz-hat.   Of course he was probably reinforcing a belief.   I wish he told us how much he told Semin when he was there.   I enjoy that he criticized BB's use of the stars and then said what a great coach he was, lol.    Bradley gets massive d-bag points from me, even if he told the truth.   At least he's going to Florida with little media attention, but I'm sure his teammates will be excited about being with a guy that's going to air-out the dirty laundry without even being pressed hard to do so.   Bradley, thanks for telling you honest opinion, but you're a d-bag
Bob, I think "d-bag" is a little harsh and should be reserved for players like Sean Avery or Mike Cooke. First off you're not even a Caps fan.  Second as a long time Caps fan I can tell you Brads is a high character guy on the ice and in the locker room.  Although not the biggest guy or best fighter in the world you could always count on Brads to step in and drop the gloves if another team was taking cheap shots at our first or second liners (e.g. Ovie and Semin).  While I can see your point about "airing out dirty laundry" after you leave a team, but I don't think he said anything that was over the line or off base.  As far as the "caste system" comment, I think his comments were spot on. In order to take it to the next level and win a championship you need the entire team to be "all in" and not allow a select few players feel they are exempt from certain activities just because of "who they are".  That sets a bad precedent for the rest of the guys who seriously want to win a Cup. It kills chemistry when other players see guys taking nights off or being let out of practices. To that I think Bradley should have called out Mike Green in a similar manner but I'm sure he didn't for obvious reasons.   

Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2011 9:44 am

Matt Bradley calls out Alexander Semin

You really didn't ask that question did you? If a 3rd or 4th line player calls out a star on that team he's only going to be seeing more bench time. Did you actually read the article? A smart person has to look at how his comments are going to effect his career and the team, what you suggest wouldn't have helped Matt Bradley out one bit given the way that management coddles their stars in Washington and lets them do whatever they want. Bad management and coaching is the problem with the Capitals. If a coach is not in control of a team, but a few players are, you're never going to win anything.

Since: Sep 14, 2009
Posted on: August 18, 2011 1:03 am

Matt Bradley calls out Alexander Semin

He is a severely lazy player...nuff said

Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: August 17, 2011 9:01 pm

Matt Bradley calls out Alexander Semin

While you may be hard pressed to argue the validity of Bradley's comments, they were still chicken sh!t. Why didnt he speak out immediately after the playoffs? If he is still making light of it today, it was obviously on his mind then. Still comes across as bitter to me.

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