Evgeny Kuznetsov released an article on The Players Tribune today and let me be the first to tell you it's absolutely phenomenal. You can (and should!) read the whole article but I've included five of the best revelations from the piece below.
1. He started playing hockey because of the celebrations
For me, it start when I’m little boy. I tell you one of my very first memories. My dad take me to the rink, and I see this older guy score goal, and he do a really cool celebration. Slide around on his knees, you know? I say to myself, I want to do that. This looks so fun.
2. He didn't see a computer for the first time until he was 14
When I got older, maybe 14 years old, I finally got to see a computer for first time. YouTube was everything. I get to see how Wayne Gretzky play, how Red Machine play. I get to see how Alexei Kovalev, Ilya Kovalchuk and Ovi play. For me, Kovalev is the best. Nobody even close to his skill. You can ask any player who ever play with him, or ever see him on the ice, and they tell you the same thing. Kovalev was unbelievable.
3. He and Alexander Semin bribed a security guard so they could night skate
The big problem was the rink was closed at night. We still want to skate. But I came up with a plan with Semin.
We would save some money and go buy some Coca-Cola and take it to the security guard as a little gift, and he would open the gate for us.
4. He calls Brooks Orpik dad
Everybody friends. Like, even this guy Brooks Orpik. He’s totally different from me. But he became my friend. He’s a little older, so we call him Batya. It’s like "father" in Russian.
5. He watches "Family Feud" every day
For me, it’s same hockey. Same since I was a little boy. I just want to play hockey, come home. Watch the Family Feud, go to bed. Wake up, play hockey again. That’s perfect for me. The only difference is that now I have a family who I must take care of as well — and they mean the most to me.
Bonus takeaway: When are we going to get Joe Thornton to write something for the Players Tribune? We've already got a great Paul Martin piece, sure, but I'd love to get some insight from Jumbo himself.