The Russian hockey community reacted with pride after four of that country’s legendary players were named to the NHL’s list of Top 100 all-time greats. Along with Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechkin, the list included Pavel Bure, Pavel Datsyuk, and former-Capital Sergei Fedorov.
However, some commentators and former players were upset that more Russian greats didn’t make the cut.
Nikolishin and Evgeny Kuznetsov at a child hospital in Chelyabinsk during the 2009-10 season.
Andrei Nikolishin spent parts of six seasons with the Washington Capitals from 1996-2002. Nikolishin played a crucial role for the only Caps team to make the Stanley Cup Finals in 1997-98. He’s also played with some of the franchise’s biggest (and most controversial) stars including Peter Bondra, Olie Kolzig, and Jaromir Jagr.
When he spoke with Denis Romantsev of the Sports.ru blog Soul Kitchen, Niko touched on a few topics Capitals fans should take interest in. Nikolshin dished on Jagr’s trying years in Washington, saying that the future hall of famer clashed with then-captain Adam Oates. He also talks about his relationship with former Capital defenseman Mikhail Tatarinov, who struggled with alcoholism and spent time in jail for murder after his career ended.
RMNB’s Igor Kleyner has your translation.
Andrei Nikolishin donning a Caps jersey in 2000.
Andrei Nikolishin, who is currently playing in his 21st season of professional hockey, has had a long career. From 1996 to 2002, he was a Washington Capital. In 1998, along with teammates Dale Hunter, Peter Bondra, and Olie Kolzig, he helped the Caps reach their first ever Stanley Cup Final.
When the NHL lockout hit in 2004-05, Niko continued his career in Russia and eventually became a teammate of Evgeny Kuznetsov, playing with the Caps prospect in Traktor Cheylabinsk for two seasons in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
For this reason, Andrei, who now plays for Sokol Kyiv of the Ukrainian Professional Hockey League, was approached by Sportbox.ru to share his thoughts on the KHL playoffs and his former teammate’s decision to stay in Russia another year. My translation of his comments are below.
We finally have another update from Fedor Fedin. It’s been awhile, but it’s for good reason. Since the KHL is about to wrap up the first half of it’s current season, we gave Fedor the tall task of tracking down every KHL player with any Washington Capital ties and asked him to let us know how they’ve been doing – good or bad. So basically if a guy has played for the Capitals in the past (Andrei Nikolishin), played on one of our AHL Affiliated Teams (Brandon Sugden), or been drafted by the team (Dmitri Orlov), they’re on the list. We thought this was a good idea because we honestly miss some of our favorite erstwhile Caps from the past like: Viktor Kozlov, Sergei Fedorov, Richard Zednik, and Chris Simon, and thought this would be a great opportunity for everyone to get caught up. Sadly, that human-ball-of-waste known as Jaromir Jagr is on the list, too, but since he’s one of Fedor’s favorite players on Avangard Omsk, we’re going to let it slide.
Anyways, below the fold is a huge table full of stats and information on all the Former Caps in the KHL.
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