Slava Malamud interviewed Ovechkin after he became the Captain (Jan. 11, 2010)
Do you remember when you were last time the captain?
In the juniors, when we lost. I was injured. This was in 2003, I think.
Will the duties of the Captain weigh on you? You'll have to talk to the referees, for example...
And what to talk to them about? If they make a decision, then, as a rule, they won't change it. We have guys who can talk in the locker room, and if it will be necessary for me to say something, I'll do that. Off the ice I was and will be the same Ovechkin like before.
Have you ever had to make the speech in the locker room?
Yes, last year when we played Pittsburgh in the playoffs. But there is nothing special about it. In our team anyone can say what he wants.
Do you know the count on Russian Captains in the NHL?
I am third.
No, you are the nineth.
I was told that I was the third ...
Someone apparently was concealed from you.
Yes, probably. Kovalchuk sent me a text message, "Congratulations, deserved, good luck." I text to him too.
Photo by Natalia Shmeleva
Semin said that maybe you didn't really need to be a captain's letter because all of these additional duties can detract you from the game.
That's ok. I have the experience tot talk to the referees, when I was an assistant captain, so it won't be hard.
What does it mean for you to be an ideal captain?
Most importantly that the guys should respect you and listen. Not like when you start talking and someone looks up, someone picking his nose, it is not so pleasant.
Boudreau said that Clark did more than that among other things, he was an organizer. But you won't ring up the kids and invite them to events, will you?
No, we have someone to do it. I will be a relieved captain.
The head coach of the national juniour team Plushev recently accused his captain Filatov on the failure. Is the role of the captain really so important?
I don't think that one player can affect the outcome. Of course, if you are captain, you must do certain things, but do not blame everything on Filatov. Maybe he was influenced by the pressure, and maybe him being the leader had influenced the opponent. We had the same situation, the leader is shadowed by two players and sometimes the inexperienced player doesn't know how to deal with it.
Well, this is probably also the burden of captaincy, to collect the cones after the defeat.
Yes, anything can happen, but one person shouldn't be blamed.
Knuble just said he was glad your captaincy because now you have to buy a dinner for the team.
I am sure that the check will be huge.