evgeny-kuznetsov-univer

When the Washington Capitals used their 1st round draft pick to select Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, his puck skills and potential as a future NHL star were already recognized by the hockey world. His off-ice talents were not nearly as well known. Since he became a Capitals prospect, RMNB has been bringing our readers attention to Zhenya’s dabbling in areas as diverse as real estate and pop singing. And now we present to you Evgeny Kuznetsov, the sitcom star.

Stanislav Yarushin, the lead actor in a very popular Russian TV comedy series “Univer – The New Dorm” is a good friend of Kuznetsov. As he tells Sovetsky Sport, the plot for one of the show’s new episodes called for a famous athlete. At first the show offered the role to FC Zenit St Petersburg and Russia National Team star striker Alexander Kerzhakov, who declined the invitation. Then, according to Yarushin, they reached out to a “famous hockey player, Worlds champion” who didn’t even bother to return the call. So it was time for Kuzya to come to the rescue of his old friend, and with Traktor’s head coach Valery Belousov’s permission to trade his stick and skates for the bright studio lights for one day, Evgeny found himself making his small-screen debut.

Here’s the entire episode. Kuznetsov’s headbutt is at the 19:35 mark. (Video via TNT)

The plot called for Kuzya to basically play himself, with one important distinction – his character in the show is Evgeny Kuznetsov, a rising hockey star for Traktor and Team Russia, who is dating a knockout ditzy blond – which is exactly what a 20-year old millionaire would be doing had THIS not happened. The blond is a history major, and failing miserably at it (she thinks Mausoleum is the answer to “What was Lenin’s summer residence?” question on the test).

Once her history instructor (and a big hockey fan) realizes who the blond’s boyfriend is, her fortunes quickly turn for the better – hoping to score a couple of tickets for the upcoming Canada vs. Russia game, the professor showers praise on the pretty ignoramus, even encouraging her to think about graduate school.

He overplays his hand though, as the naïve bimbo rushes to pick her dissertation subject (“Lice infestation in England and France”) and dumps her boyfriend to make sure nothing impedes her illustrious future scientific career. Dejected Kuzya relays the news to the professor. Realizing that his whole ticket scheme relies on the beautiful couple staying together, he rushes to the blonde’s side to clear the misunderstanding, but struggles to get his explanation across due to the girl’s aforementioned lack of brain power. Frustrated, the professor drops all pretense and shouts at the blond, “You are dumb!” – at which point Kuzya, who had just walked in with a bouquet of flowers, takes offense, puts down the flowers, and head-butts the hapless mediator.

evgeny-kuznetsov-headbutt

GIF by welshhockeyfan

Oh, he also scores two goals against Canadians the next day.

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  • http://twitter.com/SlavaMalamud Slava Malamud

    The second goal is on an assist from Ovechkin, no less. How is this not in the headline? IGOR!

  • http://twitter.com/IgorKleyner Igor Kleyner

    They don’t let me write headlines – every time I try, it comes out three paragraphs long. @IanOland says “bad for business”.
    Regardless, I found myself only being able to pay attention while the bimbo was in the frame.

  • http://twitter.com/SlavaMalamud Slava Malamud

    Yes, in Russia titles are usually short. What’s behind them, though, must be at least 500,000 words. Usually comprising two or more tomes.