Here is an interview from Evgeni Malkin, courtesy of Sport.ru. Malkin sounds like a player who has no intentions of bolting for the KHL when his contract ends in three years.
From Sports.ru: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin spoke about the additional education he has been getting, compared the broadcasts of the NHL and the KHL, and said that the North American league surpasses its Kontinental counterpart in every aspect.
«Some people gave me an advice, saying hockey is not the most important thing in life, Malkin said. You have to be educated. To read, to train your speech. If it yields results, why not try it. Last year I have been taking lessons. The disciplines were speech and spelling. Spending an hour a day for that isn’t very difficult. You should know how to write correctly in Russian. I regret very much that I didn’t have enough time for that earlier, that I missed so much at school. But that was my choice. I chose hockey – and many, I believe, would like to live like I live now or to play hockey like I do. Naturally, I’m not the cleverest or the most educated one – I’m just an ordinary, normal guy.»
«Did you watch any KHL games?»
«Last year I came home and turned on the rebroadcasted final on the TV. To say the truth, I don’t know if it’s because they shoot it like that, but when you watch the NHL the game is so fast and it all looks and sounds so good! When I turn on the TV and watch an NHL match, I can’t believe how fast they run. And when I’m on the ice myself it all feels normal. On the screen the KHL looks absolutely different – maybe, because of the length of the broadcast, or, maybe, because of its quality. When the same players come to Russia, they play in the same way, run in the same way, but it all looks different. And it gets a bit boring on the TV.
«Hockey in the NHL is more spectacular, more interesting. NHL is now ahead in all aspects. Maybe, not in salaries, but in all the rest it’s for sure: in atmosphere, in stadiums, in spectators. After all, when you are supported by 20 thousand, it’s not the same as when there are only 3 thousand.
«How much should they offer so you would return? Twice as much? Three times more?»
«I’ve never thought of that, really. But, once again, should I really come here to earn zillions and play in half-empty arenas? I don’t want that, it’s wrong. I hope the KHL will succeed in what they aim for and they will manage to increase the interest to hockey. But until the KHL matches the NHL, the guys will not return,» stated Malkin in an interview with ProSport magazine.
*Thanks to Alexander Tkach of sports.ru for sending this over to us.*