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Former Capital Bradley: Semin 'just doesn't care'

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TSN.ca Staff
8/18/2011 9:20:38 AM
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Florida Panthers forward Matt Bradley, who spent six seasons with the Washington Capitals before this offseason, had a few choice words for his former team and teammates earlier this week.

Speaking on Ottawa's TEAM 1200 Radio, 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 laid back.

"I think our locker room was maybe a little bit too nonchalant, and guys weren't disciplined the way they should have been," Bradely told TEAM 1200. "Those two things are big things. It wasn't that guys were going out the night before a game, but not being ready to practice or missing practice with questionable injuries and not being focused."

Bradley went on to cite Alexander Semin's lack of output in the post-season as part of the reason for the Capitals' failures the past few seasons, saying he has the potential to be the best player in the league but hasn't performed when it mattered.

"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," Bradley said. "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 doesn'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."

Bradley was also critical of star players getting ice time in the playoffs despite struggling.

"There were a lot of guys who played well that didn't probably play as much as they needed to, but I love Bruce (Boudreau) and Bruce is a great coach and 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," Bradley said. "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 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."

Asked if Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin was all in for winning a Stanley Cup, Bradley had nothing bad to say.

"I never worry about Ovi," he said. "He's an all-in guy. He's young; he makes his mistakes the same as anyone would. I often try to put myself in his position. And you've got to remember, he's 25 years old, he's got a guaranteed $120 million, he's on top of the world, and he still for the most part makes the right decisions.

"Ovi has some growing up to do as far as taking care of himself and things like that, but as far as his want to win, he really does just want to win the games, and he doesn't care if he scores or not. That isn't an act. He's a great guy, great player. I'd never say anything bad about him."

Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau spoke on TSN 1050 Wednesday and initially declined comment on Bradley's remarks, but answered when pressed on what Semin's response may be.

"He's in Siberia. He may not get [word of] it. I don't know," Boudreau told TSN 1050 of Bradley's comments. "By the time training camp comes around, I think it'll die."

Boudreau agreed with Bradley's talent assessment of Semin.

"He's a great player. I always think he's going to have a 50-goal year, before (the season) starts. He's just so talented," he said.

The Capitals finished first in the Southeast Division the past four seasons, winning the Presidents' Trophy in 2009-10, but failed to advance to the Conference final and only got past the first round twice.

Matt Bradley (Photo: Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)
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