|Author: Tatyana Chernova (Sport Today Publication)|
Translated By: Eugene Belashchenko
|Alexander Radulov (Nashville Predators): What kind of a star am I ?! |
Last few months showed that St. Petersburg is once again becoming one of Russiaís hockey centers.†† The effects of the massive restructuring of the club initiated by Gazprom are becoming visisble, as are the effects of the the invitation of a well known American specialist Barry Smith to fill the head coaching post. Now a number of leading Russian players from the NHL do not mind practicing in St. Petersburg.† Yesterday Alexander Radulov (Nashville Predators), one of the young Nashville Predators and Russian national team leaders, told to the Sport publication correspondent about his preseason preparation plans.† What attracted him to this city on the Neva river?
Alexander Radulov answering questions at the NHL Entry Draft after being selected by the Nashville Predators (Photo is a RussianProspects exclusive)
How did you end up in St. Petersburg?
A. Radulov: I am practicing here for the third year.† Now I also bought an apartment together with my brother Igor.† Our parents really likeit here.† I also have a lot of friends here.†† For example, Denis Pakhomov is with HC SKA.†† I also know a number of St. Petersburg soccer players: Arshavin, Denisov, AnyukovÖI am practically in love with this city.†
Maybe itís time for you to change your professional arrangements and move here?
A. Radulov:It is not possible in the near future. Currently I have a contract with Nashville.† I came to St. Petersburg not to play for HC SKA, but beacue I really like the city.†† The people here are great and itís beautiful.
You are already in St. Petersburg, but no one has heard anything from you.†
A. Radulov: I donít know, maybe I am not that noticeable.† Actually, I arrived in St. Petersburg right after the World Championships.† I didnít go anywhere.†
How are you practicing now?
A. Radulov: I donít skate much right now, but I did get on the ice a couple of times. I rested more, but now I started to prepare for the season.†† We are practicing with Sergei Gonchar (Pittsburgh Penguins).†† Soon, Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), Evgeny Malkin, Alexander Semin (Washington Capitals) will join us here.† Maybe Viktor Kozlov (Washington Capitals) too.
Wil you be practicing on SKAís arena or at the Zhdanov waterfront?
A. Radulov: Right now we donít plan on skating as much.† We plan on hitting the ice in the middle of August.† Right now we will have physical preparation on the ďgroundĒ.† Possibly we will be practicing on Dynamoís facility. We have our own physical coach here.
How did you get the idea to get together in St. Petersburgh?
A. Radulov: Sergei Gonchar and Viktor Kozlov (New Jersey Devils) have been practicing here every summer.†† The guys met through them the coach, got to know him and decided to prepare for the season in St.Petersburgh.† In regards to Malkin, he probably decided to join us because Sergei [Gonchar] and him play on the same team.
It seems that St. Petersburgh is becoming a real hockey Mecca?
A. Radulov: I think so.† After Gazprom bought out the team, the hockey started to rise in this city.† The club has become noticeably stronger and is buying star palyers.
Barry Smith said that he will be attracting NHL players to practice with the team.†† Did he mean you?
A. Radulov: Yes. Sergey Gonchar said that Barry will be conducting a training camp in St. Petersburgh.†† I donít know when in August it will happen, but I think that all the guys will take part in it.†† They also said that someone else will join us.
Where did you buy an apartment?
A. Radulov: Not far from the Chernaya Reka station. Here it is not like in Moscow.† The city is very beautiful and then there are all of the waterfronts and canals.
Itís a city for romanticsÖ
A. Radulov: Maybe Ė in any case, my mother likes it here a lot.
In SKA they are conducting an experiment, trying to create a club that is comparable by professionalism to a team in the NHL.† Do you think this is possible?
A. Radulov: Nothing is impossible.† The most important thing is to have the will.
What will be some of the possibly difficulties that Barry Smith will encounter?
A. Radulov: The first difficulty will of course be the language barrier.† But in the Super League there are a number of experts from other countries.
You played at the World Championships.†† What do you think of the bronze medal?
A. Radulov: The bronze medeal is not at all too dull for me.††† I believe it is a success for our team.†† We havenít won anything in a while.†† Yes, it was unfortunate to lose to the Finns in the semifinals.† However, thatís hockey.† I am very happy that I got a chance to make the team and play at the World Championships.
Not many expected you to be called up to the national team.† You ended up being the dark horse on Bykovís team, and are not a real star?
A. Radulov: Not at all Ė what kind of a star am I?! The stars are only in the sky (laughing).†† My path in hockey can not be called easy: I worked hard, went through the junior leagues. Then made the NHL club from the farm team.† Now there is no time to relax.† My principal is to leave the successes in the past.†† With each new day everything has to be proven once again.† I have to live by today.
- Tatyana Chernova (Sport Today Publication)
Related Player Profiles: . S.Gonchar V.Kozlov A.Ovechkin D.Pakhomov A.Radulov A.Semin
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