First Matt Bradley. Then David Steckel. Who's next, Andrew Gordon?
Reporters caught up with David Steckel this morning, who was at Kettler getting some skating in with former teammates. While Stecks didn't really add anything to Bradley's comments of a couple weeks ago criticizing Alexander Semin, he certainly didn't disagree with anything Bradley said. “It's not like he went out and told lies,” Steckel told the gathered media.
I didn't find Steckel's comments to be inflammatory, not in the nature that Bradley's were. Steckel was prompted by whatever media were present to comment on the situation and he gave an honest appraisal. He could have simply said, "No comment," but the people that are roasting Steckel on the message boards and on Twitter this morning for saying anything probably would have roasted him for saying nothing.
For me, this is what it amounts to: nothing. Everyone -- the team, fans, media, league, his national team coaches, everyone -- knows who Alexander Semin is. He's the great enigma, able to dominate or disappear from games seemingly at whim. He also brings a lot of criticism on himself by not talking to the media, and when he does so only in his native language, sheltered from harsh questioning by the language barrier.
It's entirely possible the wall Semin surrounds himself with is contributing to the new-found criticism by former teammates as well. It might even be a subconscious thing, but it's a lot easier to make comments about a guy you know won't defend himself.
The Capitals remain convinced that Semin's talent and production is worth the expense and effort to reveal that talent. Maybe that opinion will change some day. But what appears certain won't change is Alexander Semin.