The other day, I posted a blog article featuring a link to SovSport’s interview with Nikita Filatov. Since the video itself was exclusively Russian, Senators fans were at the whims of Google Translate and Puck Daddy’s Dmitri Chesnokov to help fill in the gaps. Fortunately, a reader named AITag who is fluently Russian left a comment in the bottom of our article transcribing what actually was said. Rather than let AITag’s comment get buried out of sight, I’ve re-posted it as its own article to bring more attention to what was said.
From what I heard, Filatov did not say that he was ‘promised’ top 6, but made it clear at one point (about 34 min in the interview) that is what he expects. He was asked by B.M. “What can you do?”, and answered – scoring and passing (‘I thought first about giving a standard answer – will do everything what I am asked to – but decided to give a straight one’). BM said that that is what Ottawa needs now, currently lacking a clear-cut ‘attacking forward’ or sniper, and that he is expected to fill that gap. The interviewers suggested that implies top six and pp minutes, and Filatov agreed (saying ‘of course’ and ‘naturally’). The interviewers aksed again – did they say you will be on power play? He answered “we did not talk about that yet”. He also mentioned that he had a conversation with the new coach about possible partners, the coach had some ideas, but Filatov refused to go into details. He considers himself an attacking player whose game is to score and pass (the order depends on his partners as he said), and seems to be happy that Ottawa looks for that part of his game, rather than wanting to re-cut him into a power-type defensively-minded forward (my loose translation), as Columbus tried to. Filatov also said at one point that he believes he is now much better at defense. He was asked to gain weight at Columbus, and got too much of it in his opinion, and lost his game in part due to that too. E.g. “Started to try to protect the puck with my body rather than use my legs and mobility to get away, and that is not my game” (loose translation). Said that he is now down to 85 kilos (about 187 pounds), and he feels that is how he should stay for his game. Has been training for 8 years with a same conditioning coach who also looks after Kovalchuk, Zherdev and some other Russian NHLers. Saying he is in a good shape physically and much better morally. Looking forward to a fresh start in Ottawa.
Below is the video itself and thanks again to AITag for the translation.