"Young Russian players come over and it's a tough sled for them," says Heward. "It's tough for them to start out their NHL careers in a different culture, not being able to speak English and going to a struggling team.
But Alexander Ovechkin is an anomaly.
He came in and just wanted to be one of the guys. He wanted to learn English. He wanted to go out and have dinner with the guys. He wanted to be around hockey 24 hours per day and that's pretty impressive for a young kid. As long as the team can keep him grounded, Alex is going to be a fantastic player for many seasons in this league. He is going to be a dynamic marketing tool for the NHL and the Washington Capitals for a long time."
If there's a stereotype of a Russian (player), Alex doesn't fit in at all.
As of Semin, he is another Kovalev... unless Alex will change him.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Komsomolskaya Pravda May 2, 2006
Interview with Alex Ovechkin
Q. Sasha(it's a nickname for Alexander in Russian), now you returned home in the rank of superstar. But year ago was it scary to go across the ocean?
A. Frankly speaking, yes. I feared that I will be lost among the great players, will end somewhere in the farm club and they will forget about me. Even my Mom considered that it was necessary to spend another year in the super-league to get stronger. At the family council we made the iron decision that I will play for Omsk Avanguard. I already started training in Omsk when my agent and GM of Washington Capitals called and they started to bomb me with iron arguments in favor of NHL. I was making excuses when the call dropped. I started to think it over and I thought "I want to change my life, dammit. I want to challenge myself. I want to be great player finally!" When McPhee called again, he was certainly surprised to hear from me "Yes". I left and the fairy tale began, into which I still cannot believe up to now.
Q. Is that true that your famous mirror vizor helps to trick the goalies? Allegedly they can't see your eyes and it makes hard to guess where you will shoot the puck.
A.No, it's just easier to look at chicks on the stands (laughing). Actually I simply love to be different by something. For example, I lace boots with yellow laces, and at the Olympiad I painted my skates into the Russian tricolor...
(Translated with the help of AltaVista Babel Fish)
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