On Thursday afternoon it was announced that Alexander Semin had signed with the Carolina Hurricanes. Reactions to the news was different depending on who you asked: some people were happy you weren't going to be taking those ever so famous stick penalties with us, some were shocked that a team would pay you 7 million dollars a year, and some were crushed that you would be "rocking the red" with another team.
My reaction was a little different. I became a frequent watcher of the Caps in 2006. I was 10 years old and my father finally convinced me to start watching hockey. At that point, you could say the team wasnt very good. The Caps finished 14th in the Eastern Conference with only 70 points that season.
The phrase of the time was "Wait until this young Caps team grows up," but quite frankly, Washington DC was tired of waiting. And thankfully, the waiting was soon over. Just one year later the Caps won the 2007-08 Southeast Division title.
The Caps team was carried by 4 fledgling snipers...four "young guns"... Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, and Mr. Alexander Semin, for whom I write the following letter:
Dear Alexander Valerevich Semin,
Around 2 PM yesterday, it was announced that you would be moving on from the Caps. Your new home would be Raleigh, North Carolina, to play for the Hurricanes.
The joy that your Capitals teams of the past 4 years brought me was indescribable. A lot of that joy came from watching you play. The goals, the assists, the stick penalties, the division titles and the President's Trophy, all lit up my life.
This past season, however, was different for you. You scored a career low in goals and the thought that you "don't try" was brought to a new level thanks to your ex-teammate Matt Bradley, and the fact that you were a little careless with your stick in the offensive zone. Many people lost faith in you.
I however, did not.
Sure I got angry a few times like everyone else, but I knew for a fact that you cared much more then people thought. It was a shame how it all ended for you in DC after all the great memories you provided for myself and the fans.
You could call me "Bad Melissa" because I don't care. I don't care about the stick penalties. I don't care about the perception of your attitude. I care about the times when hope was lost and you were there to help bring it back to DC. For that I am forever grateful.
I'm going to miss you on the ice in a Caps sweater, but I hope you have fun down in Carolina. Just don't score on the Caps when you guys play each other...please :) And most importantly, THANK YOU for everything you have done for the team I love.
Hopefully you understand how I feel about the former Caps forward. And hopefully some of the new players can fill the void that he left behind. Let's Go Caps!
Written by Melissa B, Caps Basketball's BROLO correspondent. You can find her on Twitter @Unibrouw