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09-19-2007, 07:15 PM
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Ottawa reminds me of Yaroslavl.
September 19, 2007.

A day’s schedule, as I wrote before, is very democratic here. The ice at 10, then the gym, and from then on you’re free. What am I doing? Well, nothing in particular. After lunch a mandatory nap. Then I either just stay in the hotel room, or we go out. Once in a while we have sushi with Ilja Zubov, there’s a restaurant close by the arena.

I watch television, talk to my girlfriend on the phone, and browse the Internet. I’m following how the guys from CSKA are doing. I see they lost the last two games. But that’s all right, I’m sure it will be fine as they play on. It’s very tough to keep in touch with friends. I send text messages to Sergei Shirokov but they either don’t get there or get there too late. And my girlfriend complains about it. It’s like there are no messages for a long time and then a lot of them come. Tried phoning Denis Kulyash. No result.

I’m watching the sports channels on TV, obviously. Especially the one where they broadcast football, baseball, and hockey. I like football the most. I even understand the rules now. There is action, collisions, battles. Not rooting for any team yet, haven’t really sorted out what teams there are.

But baseball looks a lot more interesting in short segments. If you’re watching the whole game it becomes boring. Nobody’s running anywhere, everything is slow. I almost fell asleep once trying to follow a game.

I don’t go to the movies. What would I do there with my bad English? When it’ll get a bit better, then I’ll go, if there’s going to be a good movie out. I’ve already located a theater nearby.

I’ve been to Ottawa itself, but can’t get out there very often, because it’s thirty minutes by car from where we are based. What can I say, it’s a quiet city. Lots of small buildings. As far as Russian cities, it probably looks like Yaroslavl. Lifestyle is calm. Nothing like Moscow, especially as far as prices. After the Russian capital everything everywhere appears underpriced. But I won’t be getting a car yet. I don’t even need one here. We get picked up from the hotel on a minibus.

I haven’t met anyone from the organization. There hasn’t been any need and there are no unsolved problems. The only thing I have to do is apply for a credit card. But my agent is helping with that. I didn’t get a paycheck from Ottawa yet. The first one’s expected in October.

Another detail that’s different in Ottawa from Russian teams is that there are no team meals. You have to figure out yourself where to have lunch or dinner. Looks like it’s different on the road. But in the locker room during practices we have everything: coffee, tea, cocktails, fruit.

And we don’t worry about the equipment here also. We have two locker rooms. One adjacent to the ice, another adjacent to the gym. After practice you don’t think about your things. The next day they’re washed and in your locker. Maybe someday they’ll figure that out in Russia, too.

Reporters haven’t approached me yet, and I wouldn’t have anything to say to them. But obviously there are reporters present during practices. They come into the locker room after we’re done and interview Spezza, Heatley. I was told it’s the norm to be interviewed prior to a game in the NHL during morning practice. I haven’t had to do it yet, but I’m not used to talking to reporters before games. I mean, everyone prepares for a game differently. I like to concentrate beforehand.

Even though I was told they pull pranks on rookies here, that hasn’t happened to me yet. Most likely it will happen when the main roster for the season is settled. But Ilja Zubov has been a victim of a prank already. They put shaving cream into his towel and he got it all over himself. A typical American joke. Moderately funny and absolutely harmless.

And also I was scared into believing that in Ottawa they have a bad attitude towards Russians. I haven’t felt that yet. If you work hard and give it your all, then probably nobody cares about your nationality.

Last edited by ThirtyFive: 01-02-2008 at 01:07 PM.
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