Evgeny Artyukhin: “I have an offer from KHL” (Photo © Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Evgeny Artyukhin in an interview with a Russian newspaper Sport-Express talked about the lack of ice time in Anaheim, said he would do his best to gain the coach’s trust, stated that the other day he got an offer from the KHL but would finish this season in the NHL, and spoke about what the Olympic Games mean to him.
RussianHockeyFans.com offers you a translation of this interview.
– After Nikita Filatov’s departure you became that Russian with the least time on ice in the NHL. Did you think about what’s going on with you in Anaheim? Maybe Andy Carlyle just doesn’t trust you?
– Yeah, maybe there is some distrust. He might be afraid that I will get a penalty in some situations. It’s a tough question. I don’t fully understand the situation myself. But what should I do? I have to be patient, work, wait for my chance and when it comes, prove my worth. Just like in the game against Calgary where the coach noticed how hard I was trying and put me one the ice with the guys from the first and second lines. It didn’t take us long to find some chemistry.
– Have you been trying to understand what does the coach want from you?
– I have to prove my worth with my play and not with my tongue. The season is quite long and when a key player gets injured other players get a chance. This is the moment when the coach’s mind can be changed.
– It’s must be a pity to spend only five minutes on ice. Haven’t you thought about leaving everything in America and moving to Russia where you will certainly have trust?
– I agree, five minutes on ice per game is not enough for me. And yes, thoughts about leaving are popping up in my head from time to time. But I try not to pay any attention to it and focus on the NHL. I want to beleive that my time will come and that one day I will be playing 10 and more minutes a game. I just have to wait for it, I’m sure that all my efforts aren’t useless and they will pay back.
– Do agents from the KHL contact you, knowing about your problems in the North America?
– They do. The other day a KHL team showed interest in me. They said that if I have a desire I can return right now. I thanked them and replied that I will return to Russia one day. But, to all appearances, I’m going to spend the rest of this season in the NHL fullfilling my contract, which expires this summer. And after it I will be open for offers, if I get any – I’m ready to get in talks.
– Let’s talk about something positive. You managed to get into the list of 50 Russian Olympic hopefuls.
– That’s very important for me. Going to Olympics for a European player is like winning the Stanley Cup for a North American. I want to see my dream come true very much.
– Do you know how the coaches of Team Russia want to you use you in the team?
– I suppose they want to use me as a power-forward. There are a lot of such players in the NHL, many teams build their hockey around such players.
– But aren’t they trying to make a fighter of you in Anaheim? Andrei Nazarov number two?
– No, there are toughguys in our team already. But the coach says that I must always play physical hockey, just like I did a year before in Tampa. That’s probably because of my size that they want me to crush everyone and everything.
– Like “Come on big Russian, kick them all”?
– Yes, just like that.
– Participating to the Olympics would raise your reputation in the team?
– For sure! The Olympic Games is a big chance and my intimate dream. Besides it will take place in Canada on smaller rinks where I feel more comfortable.