Russian Machine Never Breaks

Alex Semin applies to graduate program at Russian university signaling potential end of hockey career

Has the first player from the Caps’ Young Guns retired from hockey? No, but it appears likely soon.

Former Capitals forward Alex Semin has applied to be in a full-time master’s degree program in Metallurgy of Non-Ferrous Metals at Siberian Federal University. The Russian website was the first to report the news.

Semin’s main focus will be on the Theory and Technology of Non-Ferrous Metallurgy. The university says that students in this program work with both resources at the school and with employees currently working in the metallurgy industry. Metallurgy, just like any specialty field in Materials Sciences, is a very challenging and difficult area of science and technology.

Last week, Semin posed for photos at the college located in his hometown of Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

“Alexander Semin: entrant SFU. We are strengthening the university hockey team!” the Instagram post jokes. “The famous sportsman applied to the Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals and Materials Science program.” reported that Semin will take the entrance exam on Tuesday, August 1. Semin must answer three questions in writing. In total, 11 topics and 30 questions are offered. Applicant’s knowledge is expected in subjects such as metal ingot crystallization, refining of metal alloys, and pressurized die casting. To have a chance to be admitted, you must register a score higher than 41 points out of 100. Official order for enrollment of admitted applicants will be issued on August 11.

The cost of the program is 76,781 rubles ($1,279.61 USD) per semester. Semin, however, would not have to pay his tuition, as his name appears only on the list of applicants with fully-funded positions.

Over the offseason, Semin was not offered a contract by another KHL club, including his former team Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Semin was one of the KHL’s top 40 goal-scorers in the regular season, tallying 16 goals in 58 KHL games. But in the KHL playoffs, Semin disappeared, registering only two points in 18 games.

After going goal-less in 23-straight games, fans and journalists, according to, nicknamed Semin The Champion of Penalties. In almost every one of those games, Semin went to the penalty box for a minor penalty.

In May, Metallurg Magnitogorsk announced that Semin would not return to the team and that management of the club did not want to renew his contract. The team’s official website thanked Semin for his time in the organization and wished him good luck in the future.

If the 33-year-old Semin is admitted to the university, his hockey career will likely be over, as a program such as the one Semin is applying for requires full-time attendance and is not compatible with an ongoing professional hockey career.

Additional reporting by Ian Oland and Igor Kleyner. Translations by Igor Kleyner.

Headline photo: @sfuniversity