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07-18-2008, 10:59 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Country: Ukraine
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New Zhitnik Interview

Attempted to translate and clean up and cut out as much as I could, Steph, if you want to correct parts by all means.

Do your children play sports?
Already five years. They are fascinated by tennis, they are trained each day.

Who are their idols?
My son, Maxim (10 y/o) likes Rafael Nadal, and my daughter Alina (9 y/o) prefers the Russian tennis players Sharapova and Dementieva.

And you?
Yes, in last two years I took it up. Very good sport for the physical training of an athlete. Try running for two hours on a little court, you get tired as much as hockey, if not more.

On to the hockey: had time to become bored during the holidays?
Hinting at my visit into Brovary? If you want to play at a high level, you have to be willing to train in the middle of the summer. It is pleasant that my first club, Sokol, which I played 80-90 games for, has allowed the kids to play.

This past season, frankly, did not turn out well - only 8pts in 65 games for Atlanta. Do years take a toll?
We ruined the start of the season, so Bob Hartley was removed and GM Don Waddell appointed himself head coach. With his arrival my ice time was reduced to 8-12 minutes a game, and then I completely was taken off the roster. For a hockey player who has never played less than 20 minutes, this decision by Waddell came as kind of a shock.

It is understandable that the GM of Atlanta was not obligated to play you, but didn't you attempt to learn what cause the problem that took you off the roster?
Waddell wanted to rebuild...on the whole, there was no animosity between himself and I.

What is your current status?
I had another year under contract, but the management of Atlanta made the decision to buy me out, compensating me 2/3rds the sum of the money promised in the agreement. I think, with the situation between me and Atlanta, this was the best solution for both of us.

What plans do you have for the rest of your career?
There are three: to play in the KHL, NHL, or to retire!

Do you want to follow an example of Vasiliy Bobrovnikova, who became a coach?

No, not at the present. I don't plan to hang up my skates just yet. I feel that I still have a year or two left to make an impact at the professional level. I think I will continue my career: the only question is where.

How does your family impact your decision?

If I was young and unmarried, possibly, I would have made decisions differently, and in my case, I believe it would be better to stay in America, where my children were born. By the way, Maxim and Alina for the last 4 years attended 3 different schools. For this reason, I would prefer not to play in Europe. Recently I've been traveling a lot. (in the last year, Zhitnik has played for 3 different teams)

It's fashionable to for players to finish their careers where they started. Will you retire with Sokil?
Time will show. Especially with Kiev now having serious competition with their defensemen!

Last edited by Metallian*: 07-19-2008 at 01:30 AM.
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