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Author: Alexander Lyutikov (Sports Newspaper)
Translated By: RussianProspects
Date: 07/23/2004
Yegor Shastin : " My dad and I try not to talk about hockey"

....About four years ago, the newspaper’s photo archives were being turned upside down. Someone was screaming in the phone: " Do you have a " contemplating" photo of Egor Shastin? I am telling you " contemplating" ! Finally, we found a photo where he is " contemplating" , as requested. We put up a headline " To go to the NHL or not to go?" – And then we swiped the sweat off the forehead. The article was ready for print.

This time there wasn’t as much running around. After Avangard’s last practice prior to the departure for the preseason preparations in Switzerland, our photo correspondent took all of five photographs of Shastin Jr. All of the same " contemplating" individual. The only thing is, we had to put a different header on this one....

After a season with Sibir, where if not everything, a lot of things worked out for Egor, he transferred back to Avangard, something he could have actually done earlier, during the last season. However, Sibir’s coaches did not allow him to leave, afraid to break up the powerful line of Andrei Subbotin – Ravil Yakubov – Egor Shastin. But if he did return earlier, he would have already been the champion of Russia. When we asked him about this lost opportunity – we heard in return: " Why should I regret it? I’ll have my chance to win – I came back to Omsk for the gold medals" . It appears that he is completely honest with his answer.

Egor, was your return to Avangard a surprise to you?
E. Shastin: Not really, everything was leading up to that. I was being called back to Omsk last season too. The only thing was, Sibir’s management was against it and they did not let me leave. They said: " Sorry Egor, but we can’t agree to that. After the season, you are welcome to leave" . I knew with 99% confidence that I would end up with Avangard this summer. So, it wasn’t any surprise.

So, they paid attention to you in Omsk.
E. Shastin: I guess so.

Were you happy that they did not forget about you and still remembered?
E. Shastin: Of course, but why talk about it now? Yes, it was nice that my game in Sibir did not go unnoticed by Omsk. It was great that they called me back. It is also nice to play at home. But nothing more than that. I had enough time for being happy, now it’s time for serious work.

Could you have guessed a year or two ago that you would be back in Omsk?
E. Shastin: That’s the thing – no. I am not the one to argue, hockey players usually answer such questions by talking about the unpredictable fate, and regarding the old saying " Here today, elsewhere tomorrow" . But, believe me; I did not think that I would be back with Avangard. My career wasn’t coming together as I wanted it to.

In Novosibirsk you had all the ice time, always a place in the lineup, but in Omsk....
E. Shastin: Competition?

E. Shastin: Has it ever hurt anyone? Point me out just one hockey player! When there are several great players competing for one spot in the roster, then there is the constant competition and fighting for a spot in the lineup, fight for survival. This is great, don’t you think?

The other matter is whether you will play or not...
E. Shastin: Here, everything depends on the hockey player. Only the strongest go out on the ice. No one guaranteed me a spot in the lineup in Novosibirsk. Self calmness only hurts the player.

You probably don’t consider the last season a loss.
E. Shastin: You are right. I got a lot of ice time, gained confidence and experience. I would say I gained a lot. I started the season on the same line with Mikhnov, and then I was transferred to the line with Yakubov and Subbotin. To be honest, I felt a lot more comfortable on the last line. Ravil and Andrei really helped me a lot – supported me and taught me a lot.

Sibir didn’t perform all that well this past season.
E. Shastin: I agree, but we played the end game really well, and you can’t take that away. But we did not have the stability throughout the season. At times we were hot, another time we were cold, just like play swings. It’s tough to tell what kept us away from stability, and caused the let downs. But our team wasn’t all that bad...

The coaching staff was changed, maybe that was the reason?
E. Shastin: Well, look at this: instead of Golubovich came Semenov and nothing, by the overall account, changed much. Nothing! He did not change around the lines, and did not rehash the whole roster. He left everything as it was and for that I am personally thankful to him. Everything was the same, and we got a bit of luck. Regarding everything else, it was still the same Sibir, with all the same players and all the same game.

How did Novosibirsk take the team missing the playoffs?
E. Shastin: With understanding. Everyone saw that the team was really trying and fought hard. But not much worked out for us. No one made a tragedy from this.

Where did you spend your vacation?
E. Shastin: In Kiev.

I thought you would name some kind of a far away island.
E. Shastin: Why? I liked it well enough in Ukraine.

Avangard will spend the first preseason tournament in Switzerland, which is almost your second home. Will you show your teammates around?
E. Shastin: We are not going there to sight see, but to work. Though, I am not arguing, there are beautiful places there. Switzerland is a quiet, calm country. You live there and you don’t think much regarding some of the outside problems. It’s a very fitting place for a preseason training camp.

I can’t not ask this question. Is it tough to play on a club where one of the coaches is your father?
E. Shastin: Well, I can say a lot of generalities. I can say " yeah, it’s tough. The practice continues all day – on the ice and at home." But I won’t do that. Why lie? It’s not tough, but it’s also not easy. It’s doesn’t really have much significance. At practices our relationship can be described as that between coach and player, not father and son. It can’t be any other way. You can write it just like that: I don’t get any " special" advice at home. First of all, I live by myself. Secondly, my father and I try to talk less about hockey. Sometimes it works.

Alexander Lyutikov (" Sports Newspaper" )

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