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Val Nichushkin Interview

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Old
03-28-2016, 11:23 PM
  #1
glovesave_35
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Val Nichushkin Interview

Some Stars fans came across an interview with Nichushkin and a Russian journalist I don't know. Google translate is basically useless for anything other than the basic gist. Any Russian posters who would like to take a crack at translating some highlights? It would be much appreciated.

Interview

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03-28-2016, 11:25 PM
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MB94
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Beat me to it. I literally came here to post the same exact thread lol.

So yeah what he said, would love to get a better understanding of this article because google translation makes this article look really bad for Val and worry us.

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03-29-2016, 01:52 AM
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Atas2000
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Originally Posted by glovesave_35 View Post
Some Stars fans came across an interview with Nichushkin and a Russian journalist I don't know. Google translate is basically useless for anything other than the basic gist. Any Russian posters who would like to take a crack at translating some highlights? It would be much appreciated.

Interview
Stars fans won't like it, but I'll give it a try.

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03-29-2016, 03:50 AM
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It is a digest. I will cut a lot, but try to keep the important part intact.

Quote:
Igor Rabiner - After missing nearly the entire last season do you have fun just being n the ice?

Valeriy Nichushkin - I do, when I get to play. Only it's a rare thing. The last games I play so little I don't break a sweat.

IR- How's your hip?

VN- I did a lot of workouts after games and now it's all good. Better than before.

IR- What was the deal with the inury anyway?

VN- In the summer 2014 during practice there was a pain, then again. The muscle got torn. The pain in the groin area was always dfferent.That's way we couldn't figure out for a long ime what the issue was. After a couple of stints the pain was there again at a different spot. Then it got worse and got to the back. One day I couldn't lift the leg then. The Stars doctor made an x-ray and said: "Don't worry. Your hip is okay.". I don't know why, maybe he wanted me to play. After that we lost another month.

Luckily in the NHl there sucha thing as independent epertise. Thanks to that I flew to New York for a check up and the doctor was:"Are you crazy? You need a surgery.". I stayed in New York and had a surgery there.

IR- You mean the team hadn't anythng to do with the surgery?

VN- Yes, aside from the fact I told them about the surgery of course. A lot of NHL players go to that doc.

IR- When Gonchar was traded was it hard to stay as the onlyRussian on the team?

VN- Of course, Sergey was helping a lot. I can't say it was tough. My language is much beter now, but sometimes I miss somebody to have a heart-to-heart talk. with Sergei it was better of course.

IR- You keep in touch?

VN- Of course. We see each other. His family is in Dallas and he comes visiting.

IR- Gonchar is from Chelyabinsk like you. I've seen a picture of you with the older guys from Chelyabinsk Kuznetsov and Nesterov.

VN- It was at the rookie camp in Washington with Nesterov. Kuzya came over and went out for dinner.

IR- Who are you buddies with in Dallas?

VN- I can't say I'm close with anybody. But with Russians if I'm somewhere or they come, we definitely meet. They are my best friends. I mean, Nester, Kuzya, that's our guys, Chelyaba[Chelyabinsk]!

IR- You commented on Kuznetsov in social networks:"Come on, bro, light it up!". Are you surprised by his game?

VN- No actually. Last season they wouldn't let him play. This season they did. And he is punishing the whole league! I enjoy watching him. Very happy for him. I hope, someday they let me play. I haven't ha d a single game with 20 minutes. 16 at the max. And usually just 10-14. They give me more timeand right away I get chances...

IR- You've had a rough start to the season

VN- Of course. Maybe because I wasn't there in the pre-season. I thought I was ready. Turned out I was wrong. I understand myself: I started the season badly. But I fixed it. Stayed with our conditioning coach after practice, worked out a lot and got in shape.

I talk to coaches now and they say:"You are good in the corners. They can't take the puck from you". So what? I get there once in a game, get out make pass, we don't score and that's it. I ride the pine the rest of the game and can't do anything.

IR- During your first season Jaromir Jagr said you could become the best player in the NHL, SI had you as one of the future stars. Are you now comfortable with the idea the road to the bright future is going to be way longer?

VN- In all honesty, I don't even think about health, only about the game. I don't know what I did to the coach. They don't let me play! As soon as they do I get points. Whatever line they put me on the line just doesn't see any ice. The whole season. Every game by the teth minute I get on the ice for only the second time. I don't know what to do. Nobody can show what he can do like that! You won't score, let alone make progress.

I don't even care about the points. I'm losing confidence. Ipracice. I want to play, but I sit on the bench in the end.

IR- Have you tried to talk to Ruff?

VN- I tried. Every time I talk to the coaches they are all like "you are so good" and that's it. And then it all continues.sometimes we have a talk, I get ice time, score some points, get confident and then after a day off I'm on the bench again.

I don't know waht to do. Maybe they let me play in the playoffs? Everyday I hope, but then the game starts and I'm cold again. The only time I get to skate is during commercial breaks. It's frustrating.

IR- Is it more compfortable to play with Benn and Seguin?

VN- I don't care with whom I play. Just give me ice time.

IR- In your first season you went out to dinnerwith Ruff. How is it now?

VN- We don't talk, only with the GM.
to be contnued...

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03-29-2016, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atas2000 View Post
It is a digest. I will cut a lot, but try to keep the important part intact.

to be contnued...
Wow. Thanks a lot.

If you don't mind can I copy/paste your translation on another Stars board?

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03-30-2016, 02:32 PM
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There are some guys of Lindy Ruff's era that just didn't trust Russians. I have always thought Ruff was one of those guys. He says all the right things, but it doesn't get translated into action. When he was with Buffalo, a very long time, there were few if any Russians on the roster. I think its a cultural thing.

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03-30-2016, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
There are some guys of Lindy Ruff's era that just didn't trust Russians. I have always thought Ruff was one of those guys. He says all the right things, but it doesn't get translated into action. When he was with Buffalo, a very long time, there were few if any Russians on the roster. I think its a cultural thing.
How is 14 minutes of icetime that bad for a 20/21 year old whos been injured for awhile though? Its certainly enough to show whether or not you deserve more. Plus Dallas is pretty deep its pretty good icetime.

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03-30-2016, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by wings5 View Post
How is 14 minutes of icetime that bad for a 20/21 year old whos been injured for awhile though? Its certainly enough to show whether or not you deserve more. Plus Dallas is pretty deep its pretty good icetime.
I don't disagree with what you are saying, particularly if a player is not producing. Nichushkin seems to be suggesting that communication between himself and Ruff is not working, and that can be for any number of reasons - not necessarlly Ruff's fault. At the same time, Ruff is asking him to become the player that fits into a 4th line role, and that won't likely work for Nichushkin.

Nichushkin is big, fast, strong and a great skater, but he's not particularly a great playmaker. To be effective, he needs someone who can feed him the puck, and he's mostly been skating with grinders. Both teams might benefit from him being traded.

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03-30-2016, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
I don't disagree with what you are saying, particularly if a player is not producing. Nichushkin seems to be suggesting that communication between himself and Ruff is not working, and that can be for any number of reasons - not necessarlly Ruff's fault. At the same time, Ruff is asking him to become the player that fits into a 4th line role, and that won't likely work for Nichushkin.

Nichushkin is big, fast, strong and a great skater, but he's not particularly a great playmaker. To be effective, he needs someone who can feed him the puck, and he's mostly been skating with grinders. Both teams might benefit from him being traded.
Wrong. Val's most consistsnt linemate has been Spezza this year, and by a big margin. His second has been Janmark.

Also Val's playmaking has improved to the point I am pretty impressed with it. Although production wise, it's been a lost year, his overall game has improved. He is becoming a 200 foot player who can make some pretty surreal passes at times.

He just needs a fresh start. Whether it's with a new team or a new season. I am hoping he sticks with us. I am a big fan of his game.

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03-30-2016, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MB94 View Post
Wrong. Val's most consistsnt linemate has been Spezza this year, and by a big margin. His second has been Janmark.

Also Val's playmaking has improved to the point I am pretty impressed with it. Although production wise, it's been a lost year, his overall game has improved. He is becoming a 200 foot player who can make some pretty surreal passes at times.

He just needs a fresh start. Whether it's with a new team or a new season. I am hoping he sticks with us. I am a big fan of his game.
Spezza is a 30-goal scorer, so I'm pretty sure he's not putting the puck on anyone else's stick. As I said, Russian players have a history of not fitting in with Ruff, which makes me worry both for Nichushkin and Guryanov. I think Ruff and the GM aren't on the same page on Russian players.

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04-01-2016, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
Spezza is a 30-goal scorer, so I'm pretty sure he's not putting the puck on anyone else's stick. As I said, Russian players have a history of not fitting in with Ruff, which makes me worry both for Nichushkin and Guryanov. I think Ruff and the GM aren't on the same page on Russian players.
Our GM Nill, loves Russian players and has great success with them. Prior to joining us in 2013, he was with Detroit for 20 years. Or something like that. If anything, it's Ruff. Nill in his first 3 drafts with us, has drafted 2 Russians with or 1st picks. I heard about Ruff's history with Russians already, but he has been pretty good with Val tbh. He is giving him a lot of chances to succeed since day 1. Sometimes he'll make questionable moves that hurts Val, but for the most part, Val has been treated pretty well as an 18-21 year old here. The injury was a big setback.

Maybe behind closed doors Ruff hasn't been there for Val, but I do think if he is going to succeed here, another Russian on this team would go a long way. He has all the tools in the toolbox to succeed, it's just a matter of confidence and being comfortable.

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04-02-2016, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MB94 View Post
Our GM Nill, loves Russian players and has great success with them. Prior to joining us in 2013, he was with Detroit for 20 years. Or something like that. If anything, it's Ruff. Nill in his first 3 drafts with us, has drafted 2 Russians with or 1st picks. I heard about Ruff's history with Russians already, but he has been pretty good with Val tbh. He is giving him a lot of chances to succeed since day 1. Sometimes he'll make questionable moves that hurts Val, but for the most part, Val has been treated pretty well as an 18-21 year old here. The injury was a big setback.

Maybe behind closed doors Ruff hasn't been there for Val, but I do think if he is going to succeed here, another Russian on this team would go a long way. He has all the tools in the toolbox to succeed, it's just a matter of confidence and being comfortable.
That is why I am saying that they aren't on the same page. But Ruff is the coach, not Nill. He is the guy who makes day-to-day playing decisions. He is the guy who pairs up linemates, not Nill. And Dallas may go into the playoffs with home-ice advantage, so its not likely Nill would intervene in Ruff's coaching decisions.

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04-03-2016, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by glovesave_35 View Post
Wow. Thanks a lot.

If you don't mind can I copy/paste your translation on another Stars board?
Sorry for the long interruption. Was really burried at work. But now I'm sick and at home with time on my hands. So let's complete the thing FWIW. You can of course put it on another board if you want. That's what it's for, so people can read it.

Quote:
IR- At the start of the season he wasn't giving you icetime and was quoted "Nichushkin thinks too much on the ice"

VN- I'm happy for the guys. We have a great team. But when you sit on the bench for one game, two, three, you start thinking about yourself. I want to play! The guys also see that you are nervous, and the coach. How should I stay calm? Do they expect me to enjoy life?

IR- You once said:"There were moments when I wanted to get pissed with everyone"

VN- Well, that's the last stage, when you stop working and stop caring. I'm never like that. I train till the end, I try to prove that I belong. But when you prove it for weeks and then they call up guys from the minors and they get more icetime than you... it's not a nice feeling. You work hard the third season and he trusts more to the guy who's called up from the minors the first time. That are the moments when you get bitter.

IR- Could it be because your ELC runs out and they want to lower your value?

VN- I never ever thought about that. If that is true - it's sad. But I don't think it is that way. It's just they do not trust me. I don't even know why. I do everything the coach asks of me, especially on the defence. I never blocked that many shots! I clean up after everybody, hurry back, but nothing changes.

IR- Do you feel like a better player now compared to the time when you came over?

VN- That's what's most upsetting! Compaed to when I came I know I knew nothing then. I am physically stronger now, understand the game better. But they don't give a chance to prove it.

IR- Were there any hints about a new contract?

VN- That's the agent's job. I don't think about it. But if it goes on like that I'm not sure if I want to stay in Dallas, no matter what money they offer me. I want to play! What is the point in staying if the guys from the minors get more icetime than me? I mean the coach clearly lets me know that he trusts anybody but me.

IR- If you don't want to stay would you only consider the NHL or is the KHL an option?

VN- Maybe. Because Dallas owns my rights and could hold on to me. Maybe I'll have to play in Russia then. Because again here the coach shows me he doesn't trust me. I'm tired of hitting the wall.

[here is alot of stuff about where he lives in Dallas and the charity poker tournament. It think Dalls fans know more aboit it, so there is no need translating it as it is probably more interesting to russian readers]

IR- Can Dallas win the Cup?

VN- I hope so. We understand that we can do it. When we play our game, give it all, stay disciplined - everything works for us. But there are games...

IR- Are you upset you are not on the list of 16 for the World Cup?

VN- No, honestly, I didn't think about that. I understood my season is not very good. If they let me play and I show what I can, then I can be on the NT. Why should a coach take a guy who barely plays for his team? There is no logic to it. I understand the decision.

IR- Do you hope to play in the World Cup?

VN- First of all I hope they let me play and I can show what I can do. Then it's up to the coach to decide. If he sees I can play the game he needs, I think he will pick me.

IR- When you were at the NT camp Znarok said: "Nichushkin has matured". Do you feel the same?

VN- I think if they treated me like that right away I would pack my things and woud be gone by now. On the other hand I understand that would not exactly make me look better. I train and will try to prove that I belong no mater what. It's most improtant to be honest with oneself. I think I got smarter in that department.

IR- Was it tough being left off he WC roster?

VN- Back then I was upset of course, but the coaches thought that my health is more important. Right now my leg is okay and I see it was the right thing to do. I'm young, I'll get my chance.

IR- Was your leg hurting?

VN- Yes. The story was I got called up because Nail Yakupov couldn't come. The regular season was over and nobody called me. I stopped practicing. Haven't practiced in 5 days. And then I get a call: Valera, if you want you can come, but don't be upset if you get scratched.

The latter I didn't care about. I packed in two hours and got on the flight. The team wasn't there yet, so I practiced on my own for two days, but still that break wasn't nice. Practice on the NT is tough. It think that's why my leg started hurtng again.

IR- If Dallas is out of the playoffs and you get a call to come to Moscow for the WC?

VN- I will always come to the NT, no matter what. Some guys are weary of playing when their contract runs out. I will never think about that.

IR- You surely know what the Dynamo GM Safronov said that your agent wanted 2 Million just to think about you staying in Russia

VN- I don't rememer anythng like it. We only talked about me going to the NHL draft right away and if I fit in I would go to the NHL and if not I would return. I've never spoken about any sums of money. Maybe the agent did.

IR- Safronov says it was your agent.

VN- I don't know. I never planned on staying in Russia.

IR- If you stayed with Traktor would it affect your decision?

VN- Traktor is my home. I sure hope to come back and play for them someday. But back then I wanted to make the NHL. The trade just made it easier. The Stars or Dynamo both were just new teams to me.

IR- Have you made new friends at the Olympics in Sochi?

VN- All guys are great! I'm in touch with everybody, especially with Artem Anisimov. We've been working out together in the summer.

IR- Did you enjoy scoring against New Jersey on your birthday?

VN- Of course, t was great, especally with my mom watching.


Last edited by Atas2000: 04-03-2016 at 01:50 PM.
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04-04-2016, 12:17 AM
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Thanks Atas, that really helps clear it all up and make it much more readable than the terrible Google translation. Btw, it looks like the local Dallas sports station picked up on your translation because they did a segment about Nichushkin (and this interview) and I was able to read along verbatim with what they were reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
Spezza is a 30-goal scorer, so I'm pretty sure he's not putting the puck on anyone else's stick. As I said, Russian players have a history of not fitting in with Ruff, which makes me worry both for Nichushkin and Guryanov. I think Ruff and the GM aren't on the same page on Russian players.
You can't change the story. First, you said Nichushkin can't be asked to play with grinders on the 4th line. Then, after being told he has played mostly with Spezza this season he isn't a good fit for Nichushkin's game. Despite that, Spezza scoring 30 goals this year says more about his work on the PP and adapting his game to still produce offense without much support from his linemates than it does about style of play.

Spezza is a pass first player. If you watch him he is always trying to hold onto the puck or dangle a guy to open up a passing lane for a shooter. The problem is that other than Sharp he hasn't had a shooting threat on his line all season. Spezza is definitely not the problem, he would have more assists (and maybe fewer goals) if he had more ice time with competent shooters.




After reading the entirety of the interview now, I have to say I'm really disappointed. I'm a little disappointed in Ruff and the coaching staff if we believe Nichushkin's side of things. At the very least, whether or not that is how things have gone down that is how he feels and it appears to not be a productive relationship.

Mostly though, it's disappointing to read an interview of a player who doesn't seem to realize how good the chances he's been given are. I believe him when he says he trains hard and works hard to get better. He has improved in his back-checking and is overall a better player defensively than when he came over. That is to say, he went from very weak to passable in that regard. He skates back hard and breaks up plays every once in a while but his work away from the puck in his own zone leaves a lot to be desired. (*I think this is the biggest disconnect between player and coach. Player thinks he's working his ass off on D and the coach sees a player a little lost when defending when the other team has full possession.)

The problems that persist with his game are pretty simple. He doesn't have much of a varied offensive skill set. His shot is nothing to write home about. You probably wouldn't need to use all of one hand to count the number of goals he's scored with any kind of shot from further than about 10 feet out (this is also part of why Spezza can't get the most out of him). His playmaking is not bad, and he has a few pretty sweet feeds in his assist total, but it's not a major or consistent part of his repertoire. He has that "one move" where he bulls his way to the net every so often but his hands aren't quick enough to put the moves on the goalie to score on it very often.

The number one thing that stops him from reaching his potential is his play with the puck on both sides of the offensive blue line. He is not strong enough on the puck in this area. He turns over the puck at a really high rate there and it is a problem because it both kills momentum going toward the offensive zone and also sends the puck back to his own goalie too often. You can see that his linemates don't trust that he will maintain possession as he enters the zone and are sometimes looking to "clean up the mess".

He has improved since he was an 18 year old rookie. The problem is that he looks all the world like a player who has been in over his head since day one. He had that deal with his KHL club at the time of the draft that he would either honor his KHL contract or would play in the NHL. Dallas had to choose between letting him stay in a league/team where they have little/no say over his development or manage his development up close at a level that they knew was beyond him. I understand the contractual obligations to his KHL team that wouldn't let him play at 18 in the AHL, but aside from that reality going straight to the minors would have benefited his NHL career so much. It's looking more and more like they should have left him in Russia to grow his game and bring him over later. And now, here we are.

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04-05-2016, 10:49 PM
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Well thats depressing, all the best to him and his fans

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