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“I was unconscious for a minute, my memory was a little lost.” Great interview with the newcomer to Traktor

Date: September 29, 2023 Time: 12:38:09

The best moments in the modern history of Metallurg are associated with the trio Mozyakin, Kovarzh and Zaripov. However, we must not forget about the defenders who dispersed their attacks. “AND [Крис] Lee and Vitya Antipin are two cores, they do a lot of work,” said Andrei Razin about the five, who gave Metallurg two Gagarin Cups.

Thanks to his success with Metallurg, Viktor Antipin played three times for the Russian national team at the World Cup and received an invitation to the NHL, but in recent years his career has slowed down slightly. The defender changed several clubs and in the summer he moved to Traktor: in the preseason he stood out for his beautiful goals and his active participation in the attack. In an exclusive interview with Championship, the hockey player once again recalled the main moments of his career.

“Any hockey parent is obligated to put their child on the ice.”

— A model question: did your father-player want you to follow in his footsteps, or did you want to do it, watching him? – Of course I wanted to, but I don’t even remember how I got into skating. I think any hockey parent is obligated to put his child on the ice, and then whatever the child’s desire is. He wanted it so much, I liked it, that’s why everything turned out like this.

— Another common question: when your father is a hockey player, how much do you hear about cronyism? – No, I didn’t hear it and I didn’t have it either. I didn’t even play in the youth team, I didn’t particularly stand out, I had already developed at 17-18 years old.

—After the start of your professional career, did your father give you advice as a coach? — Of course, he helped me with advice, he tries to watch every game. We call each other, we discuss the issues, he gives the external vision of it, with his experience and knowledge he helps a lot.

— In his first year in the KHL, a super team came to Magnitka: Malkin, Kulemin, Gonchar. Did you learn a lot from them? – They are all professionals and talented, of course. Malkin set an example of talent, Kolya Kulemin impressed with his work, Gonchar impressed with his professionalism and experience.

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— Did Gonchar give valuable advice on how to play the position? – Of course yes, most of us play together, he suggested in some moments of the game. You came back from your shift and Sergei was able to tell you how you could play in a certain situation, it was very valuable advice. I was also lucky to start that season with Oleg Tverdovsky, an experienced player, he helped me with his advice, for which I am very grateful.

Victor Antipin (No. 9)

Photo: Andrei Golovanov, foto.khl.ru

— Can you point to any of the stars as a role model? – Of course, Gonchar, Tverdovsky. Zhenya Biryukov himself, with his experience, played almost his entire career in Magnitogorsk, a pillar of the defense.

“Keenan did everything in the locker room his way, even moving the trash cans”

—What was the strength of the Mozyakin-Kovarzh-Zaripov troika? “I think they’ve already said a lot about how they complemented each other.” Their understanding of the game was very good, they were on the same page, high hockey IQ, they are very smart players.

—What kind of coach is Paul Maurice, with whom you worked in your first season? — This was the first foreign coach I worked with, so everything was new to me. This is a serious specialist who has achieved a lot in the NHL. Like all foreigners, he always paid attention to small details. He stressed consistency and tactics.

—Is working with Mike Keenan extreme or more like legends? — No, it’s not extreme, but it’s a different hockey mentality. It was very interesting, especially at the beginning of my career. It had a more psychological effect on the players. What I remember is how he paid attention to every little detail. I remember we flew to Khabarovsk for seven hours and every hour he walked around the cabin of the plane and gave the players a bottle of water to drink. Even in the street locker room, he did everything his way, moving the trash can, moving the table in the other direction, it all happened.

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“Bure did not come to the meeting. I told the players, “If you tell anyone, you’ll be kicked off the team.”

—Didn’t he throw trash cans at you? — With garbage, no, but I broke my sticks during training. The shortest practice of my career was with Keenan: We went out, something was off a bit, the passes were inaccurate. He broke his stick, we skated for 10 minutes and he kicked us all off the ice. If we compare Keenan with Maurice himself, then Mike is more of a motivator, he worked more psychologically with the players.

mike keenan

Photo: Vladimir Bezzubov, photo.khl.ru

—Why didn’t it work for Josef Jandacz in Russia? “I can’t say why it didn’t work out, but I felt comfortable working with him.” He gave freedom to the players. He is closer to our work mentality.

“Evander Kane is a fun guy and he took me to the airport.”

— When you went to the NHL, were there other options besides Buffalo? — There were two specific possibilities: “Calgary” and “Buffalo”, but “Buffalo”, in my opinion, gave more opportunities for the game.

—Was Jack Eichel already captain at that time? “It seems like he wasn’t captain yet that season.” But he is a leader both on the ice and in the locker room, he was the main star of the team. I remember him only on the positive side, both as a teammate and as a player. He could always give his opinion in the locker room.

-What is Evander Kane like in real life? – There is a lot of talk about him, some situations arose with him. But I only have positive memories, he helped me, he took me to the airport and back, he was a friendly guy. He is not toxic.

— You ended your NHL career after getting hit by Scott Hartnell, which is still scary to see… – I have no memories, I lost consciousness, it did not remain in my memory, I can only judge from the video. I was probably unconscious for a minute, my memory was lost a little after the hit and I don’t remember this moment.

The rights to the video belong to Rogers Media Inc. You can watch the video on Sportsnet’s YouTube channel.

“Didn’t Scott apologize later?” – They took me to the hospital, he did not have the opportunity to do this. He conveyed his apology through the boys. No complaints, this is hockey, it’s my fault that I exposed myself to the blow, he was completing his maneuver, it was a coincidence that my jaw hit the gap where the glass ends and the backboard begins.

— Were there any problems in the first games after recovery? — There were 10 games left at the end of the season, so there was time to recover.

— Did “Buffalo” not present a proposal to extend the contract? – As such, there were no special conversations, nor specific proposals.

“The departure of the Canadian anthem at the 2015 World Cup is a technical issue”

— You have three medals in the World Championship, but no gold. Which of the losses was the most offensive? — Of course, in Prague 2015 we played well and reached the final, especially since we suffered such a disappointing 1-6 defeat. Maybe then we burned out, we had a good roster, almost all the available players from the NHL arrived. Perhaps of the three tournaments it was the best opportunity to become world champion.

-What was the reason for leaving the Canadian anthem after that final? – A technical point, no one warned that there would be an anthem, so someone left, someone stayed – there was no deliberate disrespect.

– If it weren’t for the trip to Buffalo, we could have made the Olympic team. Isn’t it a shame for the lost gold? — Honestly, I don’t regret it. If you regret it, you can go crazy. Maybe, maybe, he would have the opportunity to play for the national team, but that is not a fact. It happened the way it happened and I don’t regret anything.

Viktor Antipin at the 2015 World Cup

Photo: RIA Novosti

— When Magnitka fired his job, Ilya Vorobyov said that with the released money they would hire 10 people. Wasn’t it offensive to read it? —The truth is that I haven’t read it. The management there changed, we had a failed season, a salary cap was also introduced, many things had to change, they had to part ways with me.

– Was it difficult at SKA with its constant rotation? – I think this affects the players, but I didn’t have this, I played almost all the games, except those in which I was sick with Covid. Of course, it affects a large number of players.

– Why was the segment in Vityaz so short, two months in total? – Yes, in November they changed me to Salavat, without my participation it happened. “SY” approached the management of “Vityaz” with an exchange proposal, and only at the end they asked me if I agreed, and I agreed. Apparently, the deal suited everyone.

“Tractor wants to take advantage of my strengths”

– If a person looks at his statistics from the outside, he will see a decrease. Which is the reason? – I dont even know. I played almost all my life in Magnitogorsk, except for one year in Buffalo, then the SKA had a new team and new needs, which influenced. Then I changed teams every year and it took its toll on me.

– Did any of the coaches try to make you a “homebody”? — There were no specific attempts, but each coach has his own vision of the game, his own demands, his own system of how to do what is required, there was no such thing that any of the coaches demanded to play only defense.

— In the off-season there were rumors that Amur was giving you a lot of money. This is true? —Just rumors, there was no concrete proposal.

Viktor Antipin as part of Salavat Yulaev

Photo: RIA Novosti

—Why did you choose Chelyabinsk now? — There was a desire to see me on the team, there was a proposal and a concrete conversation. Traktor wanted to play to my strengths, which I haven’t shown in recent seasons. The main thing is that there was interest in my services.

— Already in the preseason there were some nice goals from you and more contributions to the attack. – Now hockey is such that you have to play both attack and defense, it is no longer possible to simply take the puck and throw it outside the zone or just play in someone else’s zone. I try to play both here and there. If there is such an opportunity, then I try to connect to the attack, play outside the area, I must take advantage of it. This is not prohibited, but it cannot be done to the detriment of the defense.

How does Anvar Gatiyatulin fit into the team and convey what he wants to see? – This is an authorized trainer, everyone knows this very well. We spend a lot of time on all the components of the game, we have worked all the schemes and systems down to the smallest detail, they tell us how to play at each moment of the game, they show us a video.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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