I guess it was a big day for Russian NHL players speaking, although for very different reasons.
In Colorado, Valeri Nichushkin spoke for the first time since leaving the team in Seattle during the first round of the playoffs. He didn’t exactly have much to say, though.
Meanwhile, former Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov became the first Russian NHL player to speak out against the war in Ukraine, and he did not hold back one bit.
All that and more in this Friday edition of Evan’s Daily.
Colorado Hockey Now
Valeri Nichushkin spoke to the media for the first time since he left the team in Seattle back in April. Did he have much to say? Not really, but you can watch it all here.
One guy who had a lot to say was Jonathan Drouin. He was great to talk to, and seems genuinely excited for a fresh start. Perhaps most importantly, he’s finally healthy.
My recap for day one of training camp, including a player who caught my eye, the impressive third line, and Jared Bednar’s comments on how important size up front is.
Nikita Zadorov Speaks Out
Full disclosure for anyone who didn’t already know – I’m a huge Nikita Zadorov fan. I always liked him as a player but he was so fun to cover. He always spoke his mind, and gave great quotes. He’s the type of player the NHL should market more, but never would because they don’t know how to market anyone.
Well, he’s reached a whole new level of speaking his mind, as he’s become the first Russian NHL player to speak out against the war in Ukraine. You can watch the entire interview here with English subtitles, but some of the quotes to come out of it are crazy, especially when you consider how silent the majority of Russians in the league have been. Z deserves credit for speaking out, because not everyone is willing to do so for fear of retribution. Z, of course, has spoken out against the war in the past with an Instagram post that stated “NO WAR.” Turns out, that came to be because Russian players couldn’t come to an agreement on a statement.
“We divided into two camps,” he said. “Propaganda camp and sane camp.”
“I spoke out before, and continue now. I hope someone will hear my words and will think otherwise.”
It’s a long interview, but really good. I’d recommend giving it a watch if you have time. This article has a lot of quotes from the interview as well.
So, respect to Zadorov. You may agree or disagree with what he says, but he’s got balls for saying what he did. It can’t be easy to speak out when you have friends and family still back in Russia. We’ll see if anyone backs him up.
National Hockey Now
Why Mark Pysyk chose the Pittsburg Penguins over other NHL teams.
A bad San Jose Sharks team could start the season without Logan Couture
Sean Couturier is healthy and survived day one with John Tortorella
Alex Newhook made a strong first impression in Montreal.
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