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Alexander Nikulin's Blog Part II

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Old
07-19-2008, 04:29 PM
  #501
kyle747
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Originally Posted by moz View Post
We don't have him under contract, we just own his rights.

We also own the rights to Emil Sandin, another Swedish forward.
I thought we had drafted an overage swedish player

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07-19-2008, 04:31 PM
  #502
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Originally Posted by kyle747 View Post
I thought we had drafted an overage swedish player
Sandin is 20.

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07-29-2008, 01:42 PM
  #503
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Originally Posted by ThirtyFive View Post
Scored four on my agent.
July 18, 2008.


Yesterday I skated on one of the Moscow rinks. Like I was saying before, everythingís starting unusually early for me this year. By the middle of July Iíve already been through the development camp in Ottawa, working out at a gym prior to that, and now Iím hitting the ice and going to the gym as well. I have a good fitness center right by my house, it has a pool and a wide selection of exercise equipment. So thatís where I train, at my own expense, of course. And hockeyís needed to regain the feel for the ice.

Yesterday I played with amateurs. Although there were other professionals aside from me, a few guys 18-19 years old. Tending the goal was my agent Gennadiy Ushakov. Usually we play on the same team, but this time he was the opposition. Oh well, scored four on him. But Ushakovís good. And could absolutely play in the KHL. So if anyoneís looking for goalies, let me know.

But seriously, goals and assists are completely unimportant in such games. Itís just to get back to form, to remember your skills. Every once in a while you do, of course, get into it, start pushing and shoving with someoneÖ For instance, I almost got hit in the face with a stick yesterday. But thatís hockey. Although, I always thought high shots were not allowed at this level. But I saw the puck flying by heads all the time. Everyoneís firing.

In four days Iím going to St. Petersburg. Thatíll be another independent training camp. Sergei Gonchar, Evgeni Malkin, and I will be preparing for the season using a special training program. I wonít name the athletic trainer (itís honestly too bad that Dmitriy Kapitonov signed a contract with Dynamo and wonít be able to work with usóIíd heard only good things about him), but Iím hearing heís also very professional. The program consists of track and field, gym, weights, and the ice. I will spend there almost a month. Hoping itíll do me good.

Thereís nothing strange about hockey players keeping in shape during their well-earned vacation. I was reading on Sports.ru that the guys from Atlant returned without any extra weight. Truthfully, thatís a serious achievement, but hardly a sensation. After all, they know what they risk.

To say nothing of myself. Iím counting on arriving for the Ottawa training camp in top shape, and that I can stay with the big team. This is why Iím spending my vacation in a way that may seem weird to someone whoís not an athlete, going to the fitness center, to the on-ice training, and to the gym.
this guy needs to make it, he really needs to make it big! its because of nikulin's blog the sens are my favorite team on the east...i'm sure its not something you guys haven't heard before.

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07-30-2008, 02:56 PM
  #504
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Quote:
Originally Posted by param View Post
this guy needs to make it, he really needs to make it big! its because of nikulin's blog the sens are my favorite team on the east...i'm sure its not something you guys haven't heard before.


I wouldn't go that far myself, and I'm one of his biggest fans, perhaps. I'm a die-hard Rangers fan, but when I started doing these translations here almost a year ago now, I instantly fell in love with Niku's candor and his style, and started paying closer attention to the Sens, which was a team I've always liked anyway.

And hey, thanks for bumping the thread. Just checked, and a new entry's been posted today! I'm on it, guys

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07-30-2008, 03:29 PM
  #505
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Lost a tennis match to Malkin.
July 30, 2008.

There are three of us training in St. Petersburg, Sergei Gonchar, Evgeni Malkin, and me. I might soon take to the ice with SKA St. Petersburg, looks like their head coach Barry Smith is fine with that. The problem is I was going to return to Ottawa in the middle of August. Rather, Iím being called to the prospects camp, but I havenít decided what to do yet. The thing is Iím training here in St. Petersburg just as much as I would in Canada, and working with SKA would only do me good. Oh well, I will be calling Ottawaís management to discuss this. Iíll be asking permission to arrive right to the main training camp.

Weíre not losing any time in St. Petersburg. We worked out at the gym. Half an hour of lifting first with the arms and then with the legs. Every day on the treadmill, on which we go for four kilometers each time at a pretty quick tempo. And each day we increase the distance. Then we go to the pool. But on Tuesday there were too many people there, so instead of swimming Evgeni Malkin and I played tennis. He beat me 6-4, but Evgeniís taken tennis lessons in St. Petersburg. So, considering, it wasnít a bad bout at all.

For now weíre working without a trainer, but really with Sergei Gonchar here thatís not essential. I canít stop being amazed by his professionalism. He comes to train with notepads, constantly looking at something there, offering new and needful exercises. Iím gradually learning all of this; Iím sure itíll all come handy in the future. By the way, itís the first time Iím training like this, using these new methods. Iím hoping such a system will bring good results. Iím performing all the tasks, and never attempt to interfere with the course. And itís all very interesting.

Every day we start working at 11 AM and we get back home around 4 PM. Gonchar says this is only the beginning stage; itíll get tougher. Weíll have track and field. The first oneís Wednesday, when weíll likely run for 10 kilometers.

Some say itís time to hit the ice, but Gonchar says itís still early. Thereís logic in his words: in Russia the season is starting already in September, but in the NHL only training camps open then. Also, a special trainer is coming to St. Petersburg, specializing in on-ice training. Heíll be working with us on speed and skating. I must say Iíve never worked within this system. We hadnít run for a long time in the CSKA, instead we had uphill running and the ice. You donít know about uphill running? Itís when you have to run up a mound, which is timed.

Our only day off is Sunday. My girlfriend comes from Moscow, we go to the movies, stroll around St. Petersburg. Though Nevsky Prospekt is being repaired, so there isnít anything to see there now.

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07-30-2008, 03:29 PM
  #506
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By the way, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nevsky_Prospekt

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07-30-2008, 05:25 PM
  #507
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Thanks for the translation as always thirtyfive.

It looks like he's asking to skip over the rookie camp (usually starts in early Sept) and just show up for the main training camp (mid Sept), but that's a terrible idea. He's not doing himself any favours by trying to get exemption/special status, everyone, including your Spezzas and Crosbys, have to go to rookie camp.

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07-30-2008, 05:48 PM
  #508
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wow, he really seems to lack the understanding of what kind of training is necessary to be successful in the NHL. Seeing that he doesn't have a roster spot, you'd think he would have a better understanding and realize that he should be attending everything the Sens ask of him. I wish he would have stayed in Ottawa to see what Alfie, Fisher put themselves through to be ready for the season.

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07-30-2008, 06:23 PM
  #509
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moz View Post
Thanks for the translation as always thirtyfive.

It looks like he's asking to skip over the rookie camp (usually starts in early Sept) and just show up for the main training camp (mid Sept), but that's a terrible idea. He's not doing himself any favours by trying to get exemption/special status, everyone, including your Spezzas and Crosbys, have to go to rookie camp.
i have a mixed opinion about this. If he's skipping it but training hard, i dont really have a problem with it.

The biggest problem, IMO, is that he might be hurting himself. If he comes in for rookie camp, his jetlag will all be gone by main camp, and he'll allready be into a couple days of NHL training. If he flies over for main camp, he could look bad the first couple of days. That is critical, seeing as training camp will be cut a bit short due to the trip to sweden.

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07-30-2008, 06:27 PM
  #510
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I think you guys are overreacting to that comment. He is clearly training up a storm ATM, which is the key. The rookie camp is probably a good idea for him as it gets his game into the coaches head, but it's not like he wants to be sitting on his ass in Bermuda or something. He is clearly putting in a full offseasons work, which is a critical step to make the jump to the NHL. More strength, more speed and more stamina make for a much better hockey player.

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07-30-2008, 06:42 PM
  #511
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Egil View Post
I think you guys are overreacting to that comment. He is clearly training up a storm ATM, which is the key. The rookie camp is probably a good idea for him as it gets his game into the coaches head, but it's not like he wants to be sitting on his ass in Bermuda or something. He is clearly putting in a full offseasons work, which is a critical step to make the jump to the NHL. More strength, more speed and more stamina make for a much better hockey player.
The over reaction isn't because Sens fans feel slighted he wouldn't want to be here it's because we want him to succeed and that doesn't seem like a good idea.

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07-30-2008, 07:19 PM
  #512
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Originally Posted by Shawnanigans View Post
The over reaction isn't because Sens fans feel slighted he wouldn't want to be here it's because we want him to succeed and that doesn't seem like a good idea.
Exactly. I'm not overly concerned that his on-ice performance will suffer, and I believe he is training hard, but making it to the NHL is about far, far more that. Nikulin needs to show Bryan Murray and co. that he is 100% committed to the Ottawa Senators, values being a member of this club and will jump over every hurdle and then some to make a good impression with management and his teammates. Wanting to skip out on an essential part of the development process, however justified in Nikulin's mind, would leave a bad taste in the mouth of everyone involved. You need to establish yourself as a valuable member of this organisation through your actions on and off the ice, and this wouldn't be the way of doing it.

I think most of us feel a special connection of a sort to Nikulin, and are encouraged by everything he has done so far in attempt to earn a spot on the roster. It would be disappointing to see his position in the organisation set back by an ill thought-out, however well meaning, attempt to start the preseason.

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07-30-2008, 08:25 PM
  #513
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He said he would call Ottawa management I am pretty sure that Ottawa management would quite clearly state that he HAS to be at prospect camp. None the less, great entry and thanks alot ThirtyFive. I really like the fact that he is training with Gonchar and Malkin. Sounds like he is getting some great training down. Oh man, I can't wait to see the battles at camp this year between Zubov, Nikulin, Regin and co

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07-30-2008, 09:27 PM
  #514
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You'd think that Gonchar would have advised him to attend the rookie camp....

Nonetheless, I like the fact that he is doing his training with such high caliber players. If he does make the team this year, we can be sure he'll be in great shape. Thanks again thirtyfive for the post.

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07-30-2008, 09:30 PM
  #515
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Originally Posted by Shawnanigans View Post
The over reaction isn't because Sens fans feel slighted he wouldn't want to be here it's because we want him to succeed and that doesn't seem like a good idea.
Just so you know I am a Sens fan and only a Sens fan.

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07-30-2008, 10:12 PM
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Hmm i never came to this thread before but first overall, i like the idea that Nikulin is training with malkin and Gonchar... Imagien all day long, those guys might be sharing some impressions, some advices. They are going to motivate him. It can only be good for Alexander... unless they hate each others

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07-31-2008, 05:54 AM
  #517
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I would want him to be at the Rookie camp. He is no different than anyone else, and should not expect that he is. How would that sit with his team mates if they had to go through all the drills and enduring what is a difficult camp, without Nikulin? To be part of the team, you have to go through things with the team. Even if you are training as hard, or harder, elsewhere - it still isn't AS a team.

I know, he isn't asking to skip the whole training camp thing, but it is a bad precedent to set IMO and I am not in favour of it personally, even if he is learning from the likes of Malkin & Gonchar.

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07-31-2008, 07:01 AM
  #518
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heh heh, we nuked pittsburgh's 2nd and 3rd best players.

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07-31-2008, 08:51 AM
  #519
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My overall concern is that I think he should be looking at getting more direction from the Sens. He should be following a training plan from them, but it doesn't look like he is.

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07-31-2008, 10:36 AM
  #520
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Originally Posted by Sexytime Explosion View Post
My overall concern is that I think he should be looking at getting more direction from the Sens. He should be following a training plan from them, but it doesn't look like he is.
I mentioned this in an earlier post myself - I can't understand what they taught him last year in Bingo. It sure wasn't how to train that's for sure! I also can't believe that guys making the coin they are don't have a pro trainer.....Gonchar probably learned from playing with some of the top players and trainers he's worked with and it's sounds like he's driving the bus for their training. But his program will be customized for himself not for a kid like Nikulin.

Malkin's conditionimng is not where it should be - it was pitiful in his rookie season, he often seemed winded to me that year and for him not to have a full time trainer in the off season is just crazy when he has that new contract. And let me tell you, you can get a WORLD class trainer in Russia if you go looking.

It amazes me that in the home of modern training - Russia - these guys are so cavalier and our organization doesn't seem to be doing a great job of orientation and preparing Nikulin for a pro career.
I guess that shows how bad Muckler had let the minor league system slip and how much work the Murray clan still has to do ?

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07-31-2008, 12:18 PM
  #521
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I have a problem with Nikulin missing the rookie camp too. For me the issue is he would be giving up a great opportunity. If he can dominate against other rookies then he creates a very positive impression. And then if he struggles a bit in the main camp the team will still have justification for an attitude like "Don't worry. It will come. This guy will continue to get better."

If, on the other hand, he just shows up for the main camp and struggles a bit then they won't have any recent positive memories. He'll just look like he's not an NHLer. Not that they'll give up on him, but he could easily move down a slot or two on their Bingo Call-up List.

I don't think it's arrogance. He's a smart guy. He just doesn't seem to be thinking about anything except the work. Perceptions are important. It's like he's a hockey geek. Socially unaware.

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07-31-2008, 12:49 PM
  #522
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A big concern I have is that he's not really blended in well with his teammates. First the language barrier was the issue, so that's excusable. But after watching him at development camp, it doesn't seem like he's really made any good friends with the exception of Zubov. Coming over for the prospect tourny would have been a great way to demonstrate some leadership skills and get heavily involved in the team aspect of organization.

I'm also concerned that he's taking training methods and techniques from Gonchar. I'd much prefer him to isolate his weaknesses and work on those, rather than just doing what the other guys are doing. Sad.

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07-31-2008, 03:05 PM
  #523
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There's no doubt that if management asks him to come to the camp he will. What's most interesting to me is the continued lack of communication from the organisation to the player--presumably this is the case with all their prospects unless they make a specific attempt (ala Cody Bass and Ilya Zubov this summer) to stick around & take advantage of the resources here. Clearly they aren't reading his blog on a regular basis or they'd be aware of the issue.

Incidentally, for those commenting on his seeming distance from the other players at the development camp: what interests me is that he still badly wants to be a Sen even though he's apparently only befriended Zubov and (judging by his early blogs) Kaspars Daugavins.

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07-31-2008, 03:20 PM
  #524
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I hope he is here for the prospect tourney... I've got tickets to go see them play the Toronto prospects!

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08-01-2008, 11:22 AM
  #525
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It just occurred to me that Malkin was the one that undressed Nukes at center ice during Alex's first NHL game and scored that breakaway goal. Kinda ironic.

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