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Member Since 10 Apr 2007
Offline Last Active Nov 05 2008 04:55 PM

Topics I've Started

Datsyuk interview

30 July 2008 - 05:43 AM

it's the offseason so news is slow, thought people might appreciate a short Datsyuk interview

Ok, why about Datsyuk here, in Ovechkin's blog? Well, he is Ovechkin's buddy (and who is not?), Semin chose him as a best NHL player (Oh, well...). But the main thing is that the interview is funny, "I only remember the first shot" :-)

By Pavel Lysenkov, sovsport.ru, July 23, 2008

Last Sunday one of the best hockey players of the world, the Stanley Cup winner Pavel Datsyuk turned 30 years old. But all these compliments can only make the him more shy. Datsyuk is such a modest guy that your correspondent had to spend three days to catch him and to congratulate him on his birthday on behalf of "Soviet Sport". And finally the interview was conducted…

I remember only the first toast.

Q. Pavel Valerievich, do you know that you were born on the International Day of chess players and simultaneously the same day as Peter Forsberg (1973) and on the day when the Americans landed on the Moon (1969)?
A. So many facts, so many events… I am not sure about Americans, I wasn't there with them on the Moon. As of Forsberg... I am very happy. And why do you call me with the middle name? [In Russia it's the same as to say Mr. Datsyuk, my comment]

Q. Just deemed that a player after 30 years is already a veteran. Don't you have the same opinion?
A. I don't care if I am 47 (like Chelios), I only care to be good at playing hockey. In general there are many advantages for veterans. For example, when Scotty Boyman was Detroit's head coach, he announced that during the season he will arrange regular breaks for those who were over 30. Thomas Holmstrom, poor boy, he had his 30th at the end of January. If you could see how happy he was on his birthday.

Q. And NHL has a rule that the players who played more than 600 games in NHL can take a single room when traveling, rather than share it with a roommate.
A. I still haven't reach it up to the standards (Datsyuk has 445 games), but they already gave me that. Now I live alone, in silence and tranquility.

Q. How did you celebrate your birthday?
A. Without the silence and tranquility. Although I am not a big fan of holidays, but still it was the anniversary...I invited all my friends in Yekaterinburg, we went to the restaurant.

Q. Which toast was the most memorable?
A. The first. The rest were in like in the fog.

Q. As of first toast, who wished the health to a birthday boy?
A. It was me. I took the initiative and thanked the comrades for showing up.

We celebrated at Chelios restaurant

Q. How do you spend your summer so far?
A. I am very busy. Here in mid-July I held a week-long hockey clinic for kids from Ekaterinburg. We have invited some coaches from America, eight people responded. I believe that everything went super. The children were very happy, and I liked it. Now I'm going to organize those clinics every year.

Q. Do you want to become a coach?
A.If only someone needs an assistant. To be a kids coach is a very hard work, to which I am not ready yet. First and foremost you need to have a tremendous patience. And I don't always have it.

Q. In June you won your second Stanley Cup. Tell us how this victory was celebrated in Detroit.
A. We became the champions in Pittsburgh. We flew from there and we had a banquet at the airport. The next day we had dinner with the club owner Mike Illitch. And then a victory parade. We were riding in the cars with a cup, I was with my wife and daughter, and the crowd welcomed us.

Q. About 20,000?
A. Are you kidding, a million or more.. We also celebrated at Chris Chelios restaurant, he invited all of us. It was a week long celebration. Darn, what a joyful time it was! And then I flew to the ceremony in Toronto where the trophies were handed to the best players.

Q. You received the Lady Bing Trophy as well as Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward. Where do you keep all these trophies?
A. Why, do you think I have a lot of them? Just three.

Q. But you've got the Lady Bing for the third consecutive year!
A. Do you think I get on the ice in a smoking tuxedo suit? It just happen that I have a few penalty minutes. I respect the opponents. But I can hit if needed. (Datsyuk was one of the leaders in hits in the playoffs for Detroit).

Q. By the way, did you get any offers from KHL?
A. No. I have a contract with Detroit.

Q. As demonstrated in the Radulov's case, it's not going to stop the Russian clubs.
A. I still believe that the NHL is the world's top league. That's why I am interested to play here , to improve my hockey skills there.

Q. When will you bring the Stanley Cup to Russia?
A. On August 11 in Yekaterinburg. I have ambitious plans, but I won't talk about. This is going to be a surprise.


More proof that Ovechkin is basically awesome

26 July 2008 - 12:35 AM

worth the read
As of today Alexander Ovechkin, the best hockey player in the world, is training hard during his off-season training, He is running cross-country crosses in the forest near Novogorsk, the suburb of Moscow. The Washington Capitals forward says that he is now ready to run a marathon at the Olympics. If this is a joke, you are right, but in August Alexander the Great will be in Beijing to root for the basketball team.

While Alex is running cross country somewhere in the forest your correspondent adjusts himself on the hot bench and begins the conversation with Mikhail Viktorovich, Ovechkin's father. Uncle Misha [Michael Ovechkin] is in complete delight. The other day he visited with his son Nizhny Novgorod. And now he believes that the city's infrastructure is not much inferior to America.

"I was stationed there when I was drafted in the army in the 1972-1973", says Ovechkin the Senior. "Back then Nizhny Novgorod was a gray, grim place. When I came back I couldn't believe my eyes. The small local town Lyskovo with population of only 26 thousand people has the hockey arena, the shooting gallery, and the swimming pool. And it is planned to build 16 more similar arenas in Nizhny Novgorod region!

I was crazed when I saw that children in schools are picked by the buses, as it is in the States. The groceries are full of food, the streets are clean. I became a fan of Nizhny Novgorod. Especially because some former Dynamo players like Chubarov, Kharitonov and Troschinsky will be playing for Nizhny Novgorod's Torpedo next season…

Alex went there to work with Alex Kovalev on hockey clinic for kids. The arena was sold out. I went out to have a smoke and asked the local guys what they were thinking about their Governor Valerie Shantsev. They almost applauded, "We won the lottery with him!"

P.L: I think you've exaggerated a bit on America's comparison.

M.O.: Why? In general, we are accustomed to underestimate Russia. For example, when the hockey player arrives to Russia from abroad [or from other Russian club] he gets an apartment, a car, a satellite dish, [all paid by the team] relocation money... In the NHL the player gets $ 100 per diem and he has to take care of himself. Before Alex bought a house in Arlington we were renting an apartment in front of the White House. Two rooms, one bathroom, a kitchen. That's all.

Meanwhile Ovechkin Jr. returns from his cross country race. He takes a sit. Tired, he opens a bottle of mineral water. Next to him is his fitness trainer Dmitri Kapitonov, fresh and ready. No wonder, Kapitonov is a marathoner with experience, he was competing in 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

"I am asking a favor, please don't make pictures of me", says Ovechkin. "The summer vacation is evident. Here it is, the fold on my stomach. Until I'll lose weight, no compromising pictures!" ..."Ok, just kidding. I was never overweight" Alexander smiles. "I have an excellent body, not an extra gram of fat. A washboard stomach... Call this reporting "The weekdays of Ovechkin the bodybuilder"… Hey, Dima, [he turns to Kapitonov] what is next? Hello? Houston?

Do you know that Sidney Crosby is the best hockey player of the year according to ESPN?

A.O.: Congratulation to Crosby. He deserved it. (quickly answers Ovechkin.)

Wait, he didn't play a half of a season. And you got a bunch of trophies, including Hart Trophy for the most valuable player in the NHL. Don't you think it is not fair that on ESPN version Crosby is the best?

He has taken Pittsburgh to the Stanley Cup finals. And in general I can not collect absolutely all of the awards. One shouldn't be so greedy.

Do you know that one American rapper mentions you in his song? He argues that "one Alex Ovechkin is better than twenty Gretsky's".

Is that Eminem? (Sasha smiles). No, I haven't heard about this hit. But Caps fans recently composed a song in my honor.

It has something like, "When he broke his nose, he scored four goals"... to Montreal. And all of it was under a very tough music like Rammstein. Well, exactly, nobody breaks nose while listening to Mozart.

P.L.: Washington already has four Russians, Ovechkin, Semin, Viktor Kozlov, Sergei Fedorov. At two more are in, Simeon Varlamov and Victor Dovgan.

Yes, we'll bypass Detroit with their Russian 5. (Alex smiles)

P.L.: It is happening because of your influence? Does the management consults with you when acquiring new players?

Sometimes I call George McPhee just to hear what's happening. But nobody asks me for any advice. Our superiors have their own heads on their shoulders. I got very excited when we signed a new contract with Fedorov. This is a serious improvement. Generally speaking Washington is almost at no loss, we only lost Matt Cook and we've replaced the goalie. I think that next season we should go further than the first round of playoffs.

P.L.: Where is Fedorov now?

I called him, but his cell was turned off. I think Sergei is somewhere in Miami on the beach relaxing.

P.L.: How will you spend the rest of the summer?

On July 29 I'll be flying along with Dynamo to Peter [St. Petersburg]. It's because Dima now works as a fitness trainer in our club. And I am going to Beijing for three days on August 9th. I was chosen as the face [of Russia?] in the Olympics.

P.L.: Yes, I've already seen the posters with your image on the streets of Moscow. So, you won't train for three days?

Why not? They will release the beach volleyball site for me. They'll cancel the competitions for Ovechkin to jog on the sand… More seriously I am going there to primarily root for the national team. I want to go to basketball games. Masha Kirilenko, the wife of Andrei Kirilenko who is the team's captain, already invited me to go. I think I can catch the games against Iran on August 10 and Croatia on 12th.

"And of course, a marathon", adds Kapitonov."I didn't train Ovechkin for nothing".

P.L.: What did you listen to on your player during this workout?

Ave Maria. There are two girls who sing the pop. They will be the superstars soon. I found their divine music on the Internet and now I only train while listening to them. If you taking an electric chair I recommend it with the music of Ave Maria", jokes Ovechkin.

We should clarify that the "two girls" are Alyonka and Diana, the daughters of Igor Larionov. They sang "Ave Maria" in the Red Square last winter before the hockey game.

P.L.: I noticed a purple scar on your right thigh. Where did you get it?

I was cut in the game against Pittsburgh. I was trying to hit, the opponent put his skate out. I had to leave to the locker room to fix it.

P.L.: And how many games you've missed?

None. The next day we've played against Ottawa and I scored four goals.

P.L.: It is amazing!

Russians don't surrender! :-) And now do you understand why I'd die in the summer while training with Kapitonov? [Because I want to be] more alive than any other living creature in the winter!

Soooo why is Crosby the face of the nhl again?
let me reiterate something
Alexander Ovechkin, an elite athlete, trains to this:

as mentioned those are Iggy's daughters

Top 5 this year?

14 July 2008 - 07:16 PM

I'm getting a bit pumped for the fantasy hockey season and I just thought I'd start some speculation on what people think the top 5 or even top 10 should look like this year.

1. Ovechkin
2. Malkin
3. Zetterberg
4. Datsyuk
5. Crosby
6. Iginla
7. Lecavalier
8. Thornton
9. Hossa
10. Nabokov

I think Zetterberg is probably going to go ahead of Datsyuk in most leagues this year; personally I really think Datsyuk should go ahead as he is generally more consistent, gets injured less, and ends up with a better +/-.

Anyways, am I completely off base here or are most people speculating around the same? Post your lists and we can get into player arguments thumbup.gif

Ken Campbell: Expect Hossa to Stay

07 July 2008 - 05:15 PM

I know this is kind of

but I thought it was interesting that Ken Campbell over at thn thinks Hossa will stay beyond this year.

There must be times when Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland closes the door to his office, leans back in his chair and laughs uproariously at jokes only he gets.

Take his recent signing of Marian Hossa, for example. Because it was only for one year, there are people out there who believe this is a one-off; that Hossa will make his best run for a Stanley Cup before chasing riches somewhere else and Detroit simply won’t be able to make room for him under the salary cap along with their pantheon of superstars.

Poor, gullible slobs.

In a hockey world rife with uncertainty, you can take this one to the bank: if Hossa turns out to be a good fit with the Red Wings, he will be in Detroit beyond next season and for many more to come.

There is absolutely no way Holland makes this deal exclusively with the 2008-09 season in mind. When Holland makes a deal of any magnitude, it must serve two purposes –that is make the Red Wings a better team in the short-term and a better team in the long-term. And there is no way Holland would have made the deal if he hadn’t already figured out there’s a good chance he’ll be able to get Hossa in the fold on a multi-year deal after next season.

Holland already knows Hossa is ripe to take a hometown discount because if it had only been about the money, he would’ve never accepted the terms Holland presented. (Which, consequently, is the same deal he would have given Mats Sundin, which says a little something about Sundin’s real desire to play for a team under pressure to win, wouldn’t you say?)

By signing Hossa to this deal, Holland has already gained valuable insight into Hossa’s psyche and that being part of a program that is not only committed to winning, but to doing what it takes to win, is important to him. Holland knows in the end he’ll be able to get Hossa to agree to a long-term deal for money comparable to what Nicklas Lidstrom makes.

In fact, Holland learned a ton about Hossa when he hinted to Hossa he might be able to offer him more money, but said he’d have to call Lidstrom first to see whether it was all right with the captain that he was not the highest-paid player on the team. Hossa responded by saying not to worry about the call – that he’d happily accept the $7.4 million Lidstrom is making.

Nothing Holland does is without a purpose and by putting Hossa in the position of usurping the team’s top-paid player and watching how he responded, gave Holland a key psychological chip for future bargaining.

And Holland will fit Hossa under the salary cap simply because he can. Holland has long been a believer that in order to thrive under the cap system, you keep your core players under contract and fill in the rest of your cap with affordable players from within the system or affordable veterans from Europe or around the league who will take less money for a shot at the Stanley Cup.

Holland has long believed one-third of your roster can account for two-thirds of your cap. So let’s assume for a moment, the salary cap rises to $62 million for 2009-10, based on the increments in which it has risen since it was imposed.

Let’s also assume Hossa and Henrik Zetterberg agree to long-term deals worth $8 million each. Add in Pavel Datsyuk at $6.7 million and Johan Franzen at $3 million and you’ve got $25.7 million accounted for already. Lidstrom comes in a $7.4 million on the last year of his deal and is joined on defense by Brian Rafalski at $6 million, Brad Stuart at $3.75 million and Niklas Kronwall at $3 million, while No. 1 goalie Chris Osgood comes in at $1.4 million.

That’s $47.25 million for nine players, which is a little more than one-third of the roster. That leaves almost $15 million for 14 players, which will be difficult, but not impossible considering the core of the team is already under contract. The rest of the parts are interchangeable. They may have to trade one of their defensemen to make it work, but it can certainly be done with some creative thinking.

And the Red Wings have that in abundance. It helps, of course, that they always seem able to unearth players such as Darren Helm or Jonathan Ericsson, young serviceable guys who can make a tangible contribution and do so at bargain basement prices.

The Red Wings have grasped and understood the cap system better than any other team in the league and they have the ability to develop and find players who can supplement their core. That’s why Marian Hossa will be a Red Wing long beyond next season.

You can count on it.

itt We predict posters reactions to a Wings playoff loss

27 March 2008 - 11:50 PM

Well it's obviously because we don't have enough North American players.