Kuznetsov Steals the Show at Caps Russian Heritage Night Q&A

Posted March 16, 2016

Kuzy, Orlov and Galiev, with moderator Igor Tichonenko. (Photos by Caps Outsider)

The Washington Capitals hosted Russian Heritage Night as the Caps took on the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday at Verizon Center.  It was the third of four Global Heritage Nights meant  to highlight the diversity of the NHL.

As part of the festivities, fans were able to purchase a Russian Heritage ticket package. Included in the package was a game ticket, a Capitals Russian Heritage Night scarf and entry to a post game Q & A with Evgeny KuznetsovDmitry Orlov and Stanislav Galiev.  Hundreds of excited fans filled sections 116 and 117 to see the Russian players at the sold out event.

After the Caps’ big 2-1 overtime win, the three Russians emerged all smiles and sporting business suits to thunderous applause from the fans.  A Russian translator, Igor Tichonenko from Voice of America, was on hand to moderate the event.  Although all of the guys had the opportunity to answer questions, it was Kuznetsov who stole the show.  In short, Kuzy is a hoot! Just his boyish grin made the crowd laugh.

The guys were asked many questions, including being invited out to a local bar. Most questions had nothing to do with hockey and got big laughs.

Q: What is the strangest thing you ever autographed?

Kuzy: If I say, my wife ain’t gonna like it.

Q: What is the first thing you eat when you return to Russia?

Kuzy: Vodka

Q: Do you guys teach each other different languages, like have you learned any Swedish?

Kuzy: No, we only learn the bad words.

Lest you think the other two guys didn’t get a word in edgewise, they talked……..about Kuzy.

Q: Was it a hard transition to the U.S.?

Orlov: It was hard when I came.  I first played in Hershey. I didn’t know English.  Now I can speak English pretty good–better than Kuzy!

Q: Anything funny ever happen on the road? (The guys burst out laughing, a “suitable for children” story was told.)

Galiev: In Vancouver, Kuzy was calling for dinner reservations for 5 people at 7:00.  He told who he was and the person told him I don’t know, we’re pretty booked.  Kuzy said, “What if I bring Alex Ovechkin?” The person said, “Then you can come anytime!”

Conspicuously absent from the group was the NHL’s most famous, most awarded Russian, Alex Ovechkin. Nevertheless, fans had the opportunity to chat with three fabulous athletes, take pictures and make lasting memories.

Other heritage nights:

Feb. 22, 2016 – German Heritage Night (vs. Phoenix Coyotes)

Mar. 2, 2016 – Canadian Heritage Night (vs. Toronto Maple Leafs)

Mar. 15, 2016 – Russian Heritage Night (vs. Carolina Hurricanes)

Mar. 28, 2016 – Swedish Heritage Night (vs. Columbus Blue Jackets).

This year, more than 33% of NHL players represent a total of 14 nations.  Many Capitals players hail from international countries, with Canada boasting the majority (Karl Alzner, Jay Beagle, Jason Chimera, Taylor Chorney, Braden Holtby, Mike Richards, Justin Williams, Daniel Winnick and Tom Wilson), followed by Russia (Galiev, Kuznetsov, Orlov, Ovechkin), Sweden (Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky and Marcus Johansson), and Germany (Philipp Grubauer).

To request ticket information for the remaining Washington Capitals Heritage Night, please call 202.266.2277 or visit www.Ticketmaster.com/Capitals.