Thursday, in conjunction with Gillette and Sportbox.ru, Alex Ovechkin answered fourteen and a half minutes worth of awesome, fan-submitted questions in Russian. Since Igor felt sorry for all his fellow Caps fans who happen to be “Russian-challenged,” he dedicated his entire evening to translating this video for us.
Past the jump, the Russian Machine talks about his new shaving habits, his driving style and even offers tips on how to steal someone’s girlfriend! Now why would he know anything about that?
Hi everybody, the fans, and everybody else who is watching. Thanks to all for the questions, there are a lot of questions here, unfortunately I won’t be able to answer all of them, just some of them, because if I were to answer all of these questions we’d be here forever.
Q. – When did you first go on the ice with a stick in your hands, and who influenced you to become a hockey player?
A. – The first time I got on the ice was when I was about seven or eight years old. Maybe, even nine. My parents, my family were the influence. They kept their eyes on me, gave me advice and made sure I did not do all those stupid things that kids tend to do at an early age if they are not watched properly. But everybody has their own way. You have to follow your own path.
Q. – Do you spend a lot of time on taking care of yourself? Are you paying a lot of attention to how you look? Do you prefer a particular style in clothing?
A. – I think everybody has to take care of their looks. If you are dirty, unkempt and unattractive, people who are close to you will not want to interact with you. You’ll become an embarrassment to the society. So, you always have to shower, brush your teeth, shave and simply take care of yourself. And as for the clothing style, I have my own style. It’s very simple — wear anything you are comfortable in.
Q. – I like this girl, we are coworkers, but she has a boyfriend. What is the course of action? It would be awesome to receive advice from Alexander the Great.
A. – Well, I don’t know. Actually, I do know, I just don’t know if you want to follow this path. It’s rather simple. You need to catch her boyfriend in a corner, a dark one, cripple him and then you become her boyfriend! Just kidding! It’s a difficult situation. It depends on what kind of relationship she has with him. Is she in love with him? A lot depends on her. But I think you have to be proactive and make the first step. Not sure how to say this but when you make your moves, when you show your interest, the girls like it. So I think you cannot be too self-conscious.
Q. – Alex, are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals?
A. – Yes, I am superstitious. But one of my superstitions is not to tell anybody what they are. I think every person has some cockroaches crawling in his head. So yes, I have my superstitions, but I am not sharing them with anybody. I think, though, that you must be professional in whatever you do and then you will be successful.
Q. – What kind of car do you have?
A. – I have a lot of cars. Six. Mercedes and BMW’s are almost all of them.
Q. – Which one of your trophies is the most important to you?
A. – The World Championship.
Q. – Alex, if you could ask the goldfish for one wish, what would that be?
A. – Very simple: let everyone have good health.
Q. – How is shaving with Gillette?
A. – I think it’s great. I have very sensitive skin and just look at me. Everything is good!
Q. – I have read that when you were a kid, your idol was Mario Lemieux and you tried to replicate what he did. Do you get a chance to talk to your childhood idol now?
A. – Yes, he was, and still remains one of the best hockey players ever . And when you are a kid, I think it’s good to idolize someone and try to imitate him. But when you grow up and become a professional, you need your own approach to the game and your own style.
Q. – How is your relationship with Kovalchuk?
A. – Excellent. We write and talk on the phone. We are friends.
Q. – Have you ever played on a frozen river or a pond?
A. – Of course I have. We actually made the ice on the rink by ourselves, with other kids. We had a little rink where I lived in the Rechnoy Vokzal area.
Q. – Alex, does your girlfriend prefer to kiss you when you are clean-shaven or with stubble?
A. – Of course she likes to kiss me more now when I am clean-shaved! I used to not shave very often, but now I do and everything is good!
Q. – Would you like for your son to play hockey?
A. – Well, the son needs to be born first, then we’ll worry about that.
Q. – Which of the social networks are you on?
A. – One of them. Which one? I cannot tell you.
Q. – Do you like to drive? How would you characterize your driving style?
A. – I love to drive. My driving style is rather aggressive, so if you happen to see my car… well, sorry.
Q. – How many children would you like to have in the future?
A. – The more the better.
Q. – How often do you use Gillette products and do you prefer to play clean-shaven or not?
A. – I have been using Gillette ever since I started shaving. Why did I not shave before? Because I have very sensitive skin. But now my face is perfectly fine. And as far as playing shaven or not, it doesn’t make any difference. It’s sort of like superstitions. It all depends on what is in your head.
Q. – Why do you think there are so few rookies and other players with Russian passports in the NHL this season? Do you think it’s a problem for Russian hockey?
A. – I wouldn’t say it’s a problem or not a problem. It all starts at an early age. Do the kids want to play hockey or not? There could be many answers to this question. It’s a problem and not a problem.
Q. – How is the German Sheppard Gera doing? Is she in America or in Russia? Are there any other pets in your house?
A. – Gera is here in America with me. She is one year and two months old. She is very smart, but also very sly, so when we go back to Russia, we’ll have to train her.
Q. – Who is the best tough guy in the NHL now?
A. – Boogard from the Rangers. He is just very big and strong. The second best I think is D.J. King — he has never been knocked down. But I think Donald Brashear was the best.
Q. – Do you remember your first goal? At what age?
A. – No, I don’t remember.
Q. – Alex, who are the five players that would be on your dream team? Who would you like to play with?
A. – Patrick Roy in goal. Lidstrom and Fetisov on defense. Forwards: Gretzky and Lemieux. And me!
Q. – Why did you choose the number eight?
A. – Very simple answer. It was my mom’s number. She was a professional basketball player, so there were no other options for me.
Q. – Will the tradition of not shaving during the Stanley Cup playoffs be broken?
A. – Well, the thing is it’s not that much of a tradition at this point. Some don’t shave, others do. It’s a matter of personal choice. We’ll see when it’s playoffs time.
Q. – A movie about you, your family and your house was released in America. Tell me how one can buy it in Russia?
A. – Yes, it was released in America, but you can buy it on NHL.com.
Q. – Do you like to make commercials and would you like to act in a movie?
A. – In fact, it is a lot of fun. But it takes a lot of time. So for now, my task is to be a hockey player and not a showman, an actor. In the future, anything is possible.
Q. – How many sticks did you break last year?
A. – I use three sticks every game, so it’s about two hundred. Two hundred broken sticks. Imagine how much money the NHL spends on me!
Thank you. And now the winner of the best question contest: I hope you meet that girl, and you will be together and happy. I hope this shirt helps you out, when you show up at work wearing it. She’ll say wow! Oh, don’t forget to shave! So she’ll say, “Wow, what do I need that old boyfriend for? I’ll have a new one, in a new shirt!”