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Author: Eugene Belashchenko ( 10/27/2005
NHL's Washington Capitals sue for Alexander Semin

2006 Russian Super League

Alexander Semin skating for Lada Togliatti during the Bashkir President's Cup tournament (Courtesy of Bashkir Press)
The Washington Capitals have escalated their efforts to bring Alexander Semin (Washington Capitals) back to North America. The NHL club filed a lawsuit in a Washington U.S. District Court in regards to the young forward not honoring his legal three year contract. In a press release, the club's general manager George McPhee had the following to say

"We have done everything we could to avoid this step, but we felt we had no choice but to now seek a legal remedy. This filing seeks to compel Alexander Semin's agent and the Russian hockey team Lada Togliatti to return Alex to the Washington Capitals. We made a commitment to Alex when we signed him to a valid three-year contract in 2003, and he should not be playing hockey for another team. His new agent has told us that Alex is under a military obligation in Russia; however Alex is playing professional hockey. We look forward to the resolution of this process so that we can welcome Alex back to the Capitals this season."

Alexander Semin spent the 2004-05 season in Russia with his current club Lada (Togliatti) after failing to report to a lockout AHL assignment. This summer he also switched agents, leaving the International Management Group in favor of Mark Gandler's International Sports Advisors Co. It remains to be seen what will come out of the lawsuit, but it is a common practice in Russia of young players serving out their military obligations as part of a professional hockey club. There is a risk of this incident removing Semin from the Russian Super League and moving him into the army barracks for the remainder of his military term. Fortunately, even if that happens, Semin is likely close to fulfilling his two year obligation to his country.

- Eugene Belashchenko (

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