sniper Alex Semin may have to play a third line checking role for Russia. (Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
Alexander Semin is going home after all.
The player regarded as the most obvious snub when he was left off of Team Russia's original roster earlier this month was chosen this morning to replace the injured Sergei Soin.
Semin, who was called out last week by Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford, has been playing his best hockey of the season since being reunited with his old linemates Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty. He scored three goals over the weekend on a stunning 26 shots.
It'll be interesting to see how Semin is utilized by Russian coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov. Soin was expected to play a checking role on the third line and while Semin has the speed to handle the responsibility, he doesn't have the same type of discipline in his game. That could force some rethinking of the team's line configurations.
This will be Semin's second trip to the Olympics. He played in Vancouver in 2010 and also helped Russia win gold at the '08 and '12 World Championships.