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Author: Olga Romanyuk (Football/Hockey Newspaper)
Translated By: Eugene Belashchenko
Date: 10/18/2005
Vadim Khomitsky (Dallas Stars) Interview Part 2: This is hockey, and there is no mercy here!

2006 Russian Super League

CSKA defensemen Vadim Khomitsky (Dallas Stars) and Trakhanov are looking on from the bench
IT'S BETTER NOT TO ARGUE WITH THE REFS
What is the situation in the Super League after the departure of the NHLers?
V. Khomitsky: To a large extension, nothing much has changed. Of course we lost impact players who delivered results. But the new generation is growing up and isn't much worse. Also, with or without the NHLers, we have a different brand of hockey than over there.

Here many complained that they are hit a lot, while over there the whistle blows after a minor infraction.
V. Khomitsky: If everything works out for me, I will also play over there physically, but cleanly. There everything gets blown down - the hooks and the interference. Here, everything depends on the referee.

Are there referees who regard you with loyalty and those who look at you differently?
V. Khomitsky: No. Sometimes there are undeserved penalties. However, the opponent often sees the same things in their direction. If the referee made a decision, it's better not to argue. Still, in one of the home games I could restrain myself and I was penalized for 10 minutes. From my perspective it was inability to hold back, but my team then fought for me.

Does it disappoint you that so few fans attend CSKA games?
V. Khomitsky: Let there be few fans, but they exist and the do go. They love us and we love them too.

One of your fans still remembers how you gave her an apple.
V. Khomitsky: A female fane? Apple? I don't remember that. Really? I try to treat everyone well. They wait after the games, support us when we lose. Thanks to all of them.

How does it feel when you lose?
V. Khomitsky: If you can't do anything about, it's better to just forget about it as fast as possible. Why keep it in your head? You need to always march forward with the thoughts of victory.

The invitation to the national team is just such a step forward.
V. Khomitsky: It is a move to a different level. It adds to your confidence. The stimulus is there to play in every game for the national team as I have for CSKA.

What line do you play on?
V. Khomitsky: If I get out there in the fourth defensive pairing, I continue to compete.

But to play the first line is way better right?
V. Khomitsky: That is true. But it's the coach's decision. It is fortunate to play on any line on the national team.

Were you disappointed that Kulyash went instead of you to the Sweden Games in February?
V. Khomitsky: I was disappointed, but that's life and I was injured.

THE OWNER OF THE CREASE

On the ice, what do you like to do best?
V. Khomitsky: I am a defensive player, so I like to hit and take things apart.

You like the tear things down, not build them up?
V. Khomitsky: (Smiling) It's different each time. Sometimes I get turned around that my head spins. Or if I get hit next to the boards, then you better hold on!

Well, in the game you are especially good against the boards.
V. Khomitsky: I like the power game. You know, when we play on the smaller rinks during the friendly games, I truly feel very comfortable. There is less space over there, more collisions, and everything is a lot more fun.

Do you go consciously go for a hit each time? How you put Malkin into the boards a while back....
V. Khomitsky: It was simply a game incident, when I needed to play well.

What didn't you settle on with Kharitonov?
V. Khomitsky: He hit me with the puck in the ear. Then he skated by and asked "Are you ok?".

Does your body hurt after games?
V. Khomitsky: It hurts, but what can you do? There is no time to relax. It's not that I specifically went after Malkin. I could have played differently, but...I don't know. Simply, the next time the forward will think twice: should I go up there or not?

Did you ever have to actually break a forward?
V. Khomitsky: It did two years ago with Dudarev, who is now in Kazan. We played against Sibir at home. He was streaking down while looking at the ice. I made two steps towards him, and hit him with the shoulder on the head. He had a serious concussion and was carried off the ice. Again, this was only a game episode.

Were you ever worried?
V. Khomitsky: No, never. It's my job. This is hockey, and there is no mercy here. If you show weakness once, you will be quickly torn apart. Those playing against also play rough. So, I respond to them in favor.

Were you ever an instigator of a fight?
V. Khomitsky: Everything happened. Though, there was little fun in it.

Are you for or against fights in hockey?
V. Khomitsky: Why not? They are unavoidable when people are sorting out some score or for example in the crease. The crease is my home. If someone tries to get in there, I am sorry, but I am the owner and you will get it on the head.

But there are those who try to get in and aren't afraid of the angry keeper.
V. Khomitsky: Of course there are. Malkin is very determined. It is very important to play well against Sushinsky. You hit him, but he still makes it through. Platonov is also like that, Zaripov...It's tough to play against them, but also interesting.

Alexadner Yudin said at one point that he kept a "black journal". You probably have an entire notebook?
V. Khomitsky: Not at all (laughing). I get out there and play against anyone. I don't have any lists: Ovechkin, Kovalchuk... I play against anyone as I should. Yudin was the one and only enforcer in our league. To the large amount, we don't have others like him.

But there are others like you. By the way, what are you still doing with CSKA?
V. Khomitsky: Hahaha. I don't answer prevocational questions! I like it here in CSKA. Last season I had a very serious offer from Kazan. I weighted it, but chose not to take it. Maybe I just got used to Moscow.

But your career with CSKA appears not to be ending?
V. Khomitsky: My agents handle issues like that and I don't get into their business. It's a serious company Global Sports Consulting. They handle the negotiation with the team's management and I am satisfied with that. They figure everything out to the smallest things, leaving me out of it. Even if I needed to vacation somewhere in the summer, I called them and then simply came by and got the tickets. Last year I went to Cuba and liked it a lot - see through ocean, white sand, quiet. The only thing is that the country is very poor.

What do you mean?
V. Khomitsky: The people there live in houses without windows. The houses are like that and the climate allows it. As I understood they live on the account of tourists like me. It was very queit and relaxing there.

Turning back from Cuba to your hockey potential: you were drafted by Dallas in the NHL draft, although it was all the way back in 2000.
V. Khomitsky: I need to continue developing, so that I could achieve something significant. It is especially important for me to prove myself over there. However, with Dallas things have gotten quiet. I was supposed to attend camp, but decided that at that moment I was a bit too raw for the NHL. Since then it has been quiet.

What do you mean "raw"?
V. Khomitsky: Little experience. And I also need to gain some muscle.

Maybe it would have been better for you to play as a forward? Defensement tend to be bigger guys. Look at Seluyanov, Bulin, Ryabikin...
V. Khomitsky: Yeah, and lately I actually lost a little weight (laughing). My first coach in Vosskresensk told me "You are so angry Vadik. You skate around and hit everyone. That is why you will be a defenseman". But I also want to score in every game in a way that I wouldn't allow any goals either.

Are you often at home?
V. Khomitsky: Earlier it was more often. My parents continue to live in Vosskresensk, and I have my place there too in Khimkah. It's about 15 minutes to CSKA from there without congestion.

Do your parents have any relation to the sport?
V. Khomitsky: No one played any sport in my family. My mom is a chief accountant, while my dad is a driver. He works on a truck, transporting plastic windows. My younger brother decided to follow my path. He is a funny guy. He reminds of me a lot. He is shorter than me and is very white. I always worry for him. Right now I am going to watch his game with the Silver Sharks.

- Written By: Olga Romanyuk (Football/Hockey Newspaper)
- Translated By: Eugene Belashchenko (RussianProspects.com)

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