Steckel not surprised by Semin criticism

August, 31, 2011
8/31/11
5:04
PM ET
New Jersey Devils forward David Steckel was on the ice with his old team, the Washington Capitals, on Wednesday and took the time to support some controversial comments by another former Capital.

Steckel told The Washington Post that Matt Bradley's comments to an Ottawa radio show about Alexander Semin were "nothing that shocking at all."

"It's not like he went out and told lies," Steckel told reporters, according to the report. "[Bradley] didn't really say anything bad about anybody. He just stated what he felt."

Earlier this month, Bradley said Semin was part of the reason the Capitals were not successful in the postseason.

"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 just for whatever reason, just doesn't care," Bradley said on Ottawa's TEAM 1200 radio show.

"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."

Bradley played six seasons in Washington before signing with the Panthers in the offseason.

"First reaction was like, 'Brads, what did you do?'" Steckel said, according to The Post. "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."

Steckel was traded to the Devils at the trade deadline but was involved in one of the biggest hits of the season: a collision with Sidney Crosby in the Winter Classic that is believed to have caused Crosby's concussion.

"I see the ticker. It's unfortunate," Steckel said. "I had no intent to injure him. I feel just as bad as anybody. I don't want to see anybody out of the game for that long. It's bad enough with everything that's going around with other guys [and] head [injuries]. It's just so uncertain. I feel bad. I wish him the best. I don't wish that upon anybody."

Crosby has played only one game since the Winter Classic, where he was again hit in the head, and is still suffering symptoms from the concussion.

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