Recently, Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov was interviewed by the Russian show “Hockey of Russia”, taking part in their video column “Without a Helmet.” Basically, the premise of the segment is that a helmet full of printed out questions are sent in by the viewers. The helmet is then handed to an unsuspecting player who must pick questions out and answer them one by one. Some questions require serious responses while others are more playful.
The Russian commentator on the program introduces Kuznetsov as “the most popular young player in Russia, maybe even in the world.” He goes on to say that the 18-year old is so fondly recieved in his home country because of his openness with the press and his witty retorts. Let’s file this video as circumstantial evidence.
After the jump, we have included a full transcript of the interview including context to some of the questions and defintions of a few of the Russian words. For example, we don’t expect any of you to know what “ZAGS” is. Enjoy!
Question: Is it true that the real reason the team was taken off the flight was not declaring your gold medals at the customs?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: No, that’s not the reason. I think everybody knows by now what the real reason was.
Question: What is the difference between losiny [Ed note: footless tights] and leggings?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: I am probably not the right person to answer this one. I think leggings are made of leather, and losiny are from a different material. Right? Oh well, whatever!
Question: Is it true you are getting married this summer, and if so, are you really going to wear your gold medal around your neck when you go to ZAGS [Ed note: English equivalent is the courthouse. It's where Russians go to register their mariages.]? And what’s going to be on your bride’s neck?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: Yes, I am really getting married this summer. No, I am not going to wear the medal on my neck in ZAGS– and don’t know what my bride will wear on hers. But I am wearing the medal for my wedding night!
Question: The dumbest question you get asked by women.
Evgeny Kuznetsov: “How old are you?” Drives me completely nuts.
Question: What was the last book you have read? Was it by any chance the first one?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: It’s about Apocalypse. Maybe it was my first one – and the last one as well. I haven’t finished it yet.
Question: Can you recall any tractor names?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: I just know one: Traktor Chelyabinsk. I don’t know any specific models.
Question: What else, besides playing hockey, are you good at?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: ::long pause:: Basically, nothing. I sing. At home. When no one is around.
Question: Zhenya, do you think the captain of Team Finland has managed to untie his laces by now? [Ed note: Before the FIN-RUS game in the World Junior Championships, Sami Vatanen, the captain of the Finnish team, said that Russia had no chance against them. After the loss, Kuznetsov was asked about that and said: "He hasn't come up from the locker room yet, right? He's probably having a hard time untying his laces."]
Evgeny Kuznetsov: ::laughs:: I think he is getting close. Probably got some help.
Question: On a tractor, where is the blade, and where is the bucket?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: The blade is in the back, and the bucket is in the front.
Question: Drinking beer without vodka is like throwing your money to the wind?
Evgeny Kuznetsov: I don’t drink vodka, and I don’t drink beer. I am an athlete, hockey players do not drink. Wrong question. And no, they did not throw us off that flight because we were drunk.
Question: How many lucky $%^ bastards play hockey in Chelyabinsk? [Ed note: After the semi-finals game against Sweden where Kuznetsov had two goals - including the game-winner - Kuz met with reporters and uttered this phrase. It can be heard around the 1:20 mark.]
Evgeny Kuznetsov: I guess I am the only one! I jokingly said it once – and now everybody calls me that.
This is Evgeny Kuznetsov from Traktor Chelyabinsk, and… NEVER MIX YOUR BEER WITH VODKA!
Translation and video editing by Igor Kleyner; additional reporting by Ian Oland.