Former Capital Steckel backs Bradley's comments about Semin Staff

8/31/2011 3:20:01 PM

Matt Bradley's recent critique of Alexander Semin and his previous employer is being backed by another former Capital.

New Jersey Devils forward David Steckel, who spent the majority of last season with the Capitals before being traded in February, defended the comments of his former teammate.

Speaking to the Washington media, the 29-year-old did not dispute Bradley's statements, which described a lack of effort from Semin and a lack of discipline from the team on the ice and in the playoffs.

"It's not like he went out and told lies," Steckel told reporters. "(He) didn't really say anything bad about anybody. He just stated what he felt."

Bradley, who signed with the Florida Panthers after six seasons in Washington, caused a stir with comments that he made in an interview with the Team 1200 radio station in Ottawa.

Among the targets of Bradley's words were Semin's effort level and the team's lack of discipline.

"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," said Bradley at the time. "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." 

Steckel believes that Bradley's experience in the league gives him the right to speak his mind on the topic.

"First reaction was like, 'Brads, what did you do?'" said Steckel. "Then I read the transcript and, I mean, it's Brads. It's not like he's somebody breaking into the league telling things that nobody knows about already. He's an elder statesman in the league; he's been around and he's in a different organization now."

Bradley wasn't all negative when he spoke about his former squad. He also shared some praise for the team's superstar, Alexander Ovechkin.

"I never worry about Ovi," said Bradley. "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.

While not willing to respond himself, Steckel once again agreed with Bradley's assessment of the situation.