If you haven't heard there's a new hockey league in Russia called MHL and it's the abbreviation from Junior (Molodezhnaya) Hockey League. The very first game was between Dynamo and Red Army (6:2) where Alex Ovechkin debuted in a new role as a hockey commentator. Joe Beninati might have to look for a new job... :-)
A day before that he was interviewed by the great Pavel Lysenkov from Sovetsky Sport where he gave some advices to the young players...
After the first MHL game became a history Ovechkin gave his autographs to young fans and was interviewed by Dinara Kafiskina from SportsDaily.ru:
Sacha, how do you like idea of a youth league?
Of course it's great. Now the young kids know that there is such a league and will try to get in. And thanks to those people who came up with idea of such a league. Definitely now in our country a new little stars will shine and one day they will grow into a real stars. If there was such a league when I started to play hockey, I would definitely want to get in.
What are your impression in general from what you have seen?
It was a stupendous pleasure to watch it. You could see how hard the kids wanted to win and how they were striving to get noticed.
And what, by the way, did you want when you started to play hockey?
I had hockey in my head since childhood. Actually it's the same now. And, frankly, I dreamed of getting to the NHL. As you can see my dream came true. Seems like I've lived up to my expectations (smiles).
Alex Ovechkin works as commentator of the first MHL game between Dynamo and Red Army (6:2), September 4, 2009. Photo by Sergei Pankratiev
Today you have excelled in the new role. Together with Sergei Gimaev you were commenting the game for two periods live on Sport channel. Did you like it?
This incidentally, was my first experience as a commentator. [tj - not true, couple of years ago Ovie was a commentator at a soccer game, this is how he met Victoria Lopyreva] I must admit, I liked it very much. It was very interesting. And, I think, it was interesting for the fans when they hear from people who understand hockey.
I remember in one of our conversations you said that if you wouldn't be a hockey player, you would be a journalist...
You're right, I really did say that. But for now, let me continue to play hockey, but then we'll see. If something, I'll ask for your help (smiles).
From a side it seemed that you've already had some experience in the journalism business. During these two periods you simply were talking non-stop...
Why to be silent? If I was allowed into to this important business, you have to justify the trust (smiles).
Sounds like Ovie really did well, one fan at SovSport.ru site said that Ovechkin was surprisingly good as a commentator. Ovie for President! :-)
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