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Author: Gennady Zyryanov (Sport Attack (Novosibirsk Newspaper))
Translated By: Sergei Chveitser
Date: 05/15/2006
Sergei Soin (Colorado Avalanche): I didn't go to America because I wasn’t confident in myself.

2006 Russian Super League

Sergei Soin's 2000-01 Soviet Wings club hockey card
Original Publication Date: February 22nd, 2006

The Cherepovets Severstal 23 year old forward Sergei Soin is a World Junior Champion. It was him who scored the overtime winning goal against Finland in the semi finals that took team Russia to the gold medal winning final in 2002.

It all happened thanks to TV. When he was 6 year old, the future centre forward was impressed with broadcasts of big wins by the Soviet teams and begged his parents to sign him up for a hockey team. The Soviet Wings were chosen as the team to go to. Sergei practiced in Setun for 10 years and largely stood out among his teammates, which is why at 16, he avoided the farm club and got invited straight to the main team by Sergei Kotov who was the Wings' coach at the time. At first, Soin didn't get a lot of ice time but in his 2nd year, he played in every game and was getting more and more ice time. The team's inconsistent play, the coaching revolving door, relegation to a lower division and financial problems caused Sergei to change teams. In 2003, with a hand from the Soviet hockey legend Tikhonov, Soin became an army man with CSKA.

As he was dreaming of a legitimate top line, the experienced coach placed his newcomer on the same line with Andrei Razin and Sergei Mozyakin but the line was short lived as the players couldn't click together. Viktor Vasiljevich then made up a new trio of Soin-Pronin-Emeleev and while the latter changed lines a few times, the combination of Soin-Pronin stayed together for quiet a while.

"Under the leadership of Viktor Vasiljevic, time wasn't wasted" admits Sergei, "Every day I spent with this great coach enriched me with more hockey knowledge which is a priceless experience. Besides hockey, Tikhonov also has a lot to teach about life in general."

What went wrong with Bykov?
S. Soin:
At first, I was hampered by injuries that took me out of game action and it took a lot of time to rehabilitate. I actually still experience a lot of back pain till this day. Secondly, it seems that Vyacheslav Arkadjevich didn't see the kind of hockey player in me who he would want to rely on in his coaching career with his childhood team. It actually didn't just relate to me. Every coach has a different hockey vision and I guess Pronin, Emeleev and I didn't fit into his plans as he released our whole line from the team.

By the end of the 2002 season, Plyushev took over the national team reigns from Boris Mikhailov and began rebuilding the team by inviting a lot of players from the gold medal winning junior team, Sergei being one of them. Soin took part in Eurotour, during which, for the first time in a couple years, the Russians managed to beat the Czechs more than once, but the World Championships were a disaster as the team finished 7th. On the national team, Sergei mostly played with his teammate Oleg Saprykin and the partnership with Plyuschev continued at club level.

During last off-season, Vladimir Anatoljevich didn't forget about me when he took over Severstal. Thanks to his confidence in me, I spent a lot of time on the ice, made a lot of assists, but didn't score a lot myself. I think the team expected more of me, but I seem to have lost my confidence recently. Our team is fairly young and I felt comfortable from the get-go thanks to my partners Arekaev and Piskunov who are skilled and experienced, except that we don't score a lot. That said, we began the season on a high note but that was followed by a lengthy winless streak. Most of our games ended in ties. We have 9 of those, but we also have twice as many losses and we only average about 2 goals per game. In general, our team plays fairly even with everyone as we don't lose to anyone by big scores with the exception of the away game at Magnitogorsk. On the other hand, we played rather bad against the teams that are below us in the standings. We will try to improve our play in the coming games so that we can get a more comfortable opponent in the playoffs and advance to the next round.

At the 2000 NHL draft, you were picked by Colorado but your NHL career never materialized.
S. Soin:
I didn't go to America because I wasn't confident in myself. In addition to that, the Avalanche training camp was at the same time as the Wings' and I was afraid I would lose my spot on the roster. I knew that I wouldn't make the NHL right away and didn't want to start from the farm club. It's better to play on the main team than be in an unknown place overseas.

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