Speedy Russian forward Alexander Syomin, a star of both the NHL and KHL, recently announced his surprise retirement from Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL, instead opting to return to his education, ironically in the study of metallurgy.
Syomin began his pro career with Traktor Chelyabinsk, before joining the Washington Capitals in 2003. He would spend the next two seasons in Russia, due to both the 2004-05 lockout and a military conscription issue that prevented his U.S. return. But Syomin would rejoin Washington full time in 2006, adding significant firepower to a stacked Capitals squad, spending six seasons notching 187 goals and 386 points, including five 25+ goal seasons. Syomin signed with Carolina as a free agent in 2012, but saw his production drop off substantially, netting only 41 goals over three seasons. After a comeback attempt in Montreal that lasted just 15 games in 2014, Syomin returned to Russia, spending two seasons with Metallurg, winning the Gagarin Cup in 2016.
Syomin has a unique distinction of playing for the senior national team before the junior team, joining Russia at the 2003 Worlds in Finland before playing at the 2004 World Juniors. Syomin would play at five more World Championships, winning a pair of Golds (2008, 2012), a Silver (2010) and Bronze (2005) medal, in addition to suiting up for both the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, netting 35 points in 48 games with The Big Red Machine.
Despite his accolades with the Russian team, Syomin only held the IHLC three times in his career, first on the 2005-06 Euro Hockey Tour, followed by the opening at the 2008 Worlds (which was held until the final), and at the final of the 2012 tournament. We wish Alexander and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!