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.