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Author: Roman Abramov (Championat Publication)
Translated By: Sergei Schveitser
Date: 09/20/2007
Sergei Gaiduchenko (Florida Panthers): It's better to play for HC Metallurg

2008 Super LeagueSo far this season, Sergei Gaiduchenko (Florida Panthers) has been Metallurg Novokuznetsk’s top player and this is despite the fact that he is only eighteen years old and is just getting used to the Superleague.  The “steelers” head coach Sergey Nikolaev has also been pleased with the team’s latest acquisition and has mentioned Gayduchenko’s play in all of his interviews.

Last season you were a late cut from Russia’s U18 World Championship team.  What happened?
S. Gayduchenko:  Miskhat Fakhrutdinov, our team head coach, told me that he counts on me as the starting goalie, but my citizenship came into play.  I have only had a Russian passport for less than two years and I can play for the national team at an official tournament only next year after June 24.

This means that you will have to miss the next world juniors?
S. Gayduchenko:  Yes, but the team has Varlamov and Bobrovsky.

How is your relationship with Sergei?
S. Gayduchenko:  He is a friend of mine and we talk a lot both on the ice and off it.

Sergei, you were born in Kiev which is considered to be a soccer city.
S. Gayduchenko:  I began playing ion a children’s team at the “Ldinka” hockey school.  My first coach was Anatoly Donika who was a famous Sokol defenseman.  When I got an invitation from Yaroslavl, I decided to move there.  I played for Lokomotiv’s junior teams and spent the last season with their farm club.  I was only called up to the main team a few times and didn’t get any ice time.

Team Ukraine managers are now trying to get the goalkeeper Gayduchenko to play for Ukraine’s national team.
S. Gayduchenko:  I heard some rumours about it, but I want to play for Russia.

Your first outstanding game this season came against Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and ten days later you looked very strong in Omsk too.
S. Gayduchenko:  Thank you for the compliments, I tried my best, but my teammates and fans helped me a lot.  I’m happy that we won those games.

Sergey Alekseevich Nikolaev often talks about Vitaly Samoylov’s work.  Samoylov is an Olympic champion and is responsible for working with goalkeepers at Metallurg.
S. Gayduchenko:  Yes, I enjoy working with Vitaly.  We spend a lot of time together on gamedays, he’s a very good psychiatrist and always prepares me for games.  It turned out that he couldn’t be at the game against Dynamo and that was my worst game of the season as I let in two weak goals and my team lost.

Before that game, however, there was a game with HK MVD in Balashikha, where according to witnesses, you saved your team many times during the second and third periods.
S. Gayduchenko:  But that’s my job! (Laughs)

You spent over five years in the system of Yaroslavl’s local team.  Did anybody work with you personally there?
S. Gayduchenko:  Sergei Kotov is the goaltending coach there and he helped me quiet a bit.  I came to Yaroslavl when I was very young and was playing while standing up (smirks), but he set me straight and taught me how to play properly.  We often talk on the phone now.

Is it possible that in November, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl managers will remember about the goalkeeper Sergei Gayduchenko and bring him back to Yaroslavl?
S. Gayduchenko:  I doubt that will happen.  Yaroslavl has Yegor Podomatsky and Semen Varlamov (Washington Capitals) returned from the Superseries in Canada.  What am I going to do there?  Play for the second team or go on loan to the High League?

It’s better to play for Metallurg Novokuznetsk…
S. Gayduchenko:  I think so too.

Related Player Profiles: . S.Gaiduchenko Y.Podomatsky S.Varlamov
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