His time in a Capitals’ uniform may have been brief (so far), but Ilya Kovalchuk was very impressed with the organization, and is eagerly looking forward to resuming the season. The Capitals trade deadline acquisition was a guest on the “Cam And Strick” podcast on Friday, where he spoke about being acquired by the Capitals, his time in Washington and his good friend, Alex Ovechkin.
Kovalchuk, calling from his home in Beverly Hills, California, was asked about his short time in Washington, and how he must be eager to get back to work with his buddy Ovechkin.
“It’s not just because he (Ovechkin) is my buddy, but, you know it’s a great chance to win something special, and I think that group of guys, they are ready. You know they are experienced, they are healthy, they are big, strong… I think the playoffs, it’s really about size and toughness, and they really have everything together. We were ready, the last few games we played really well. It took me a little time to adjust to the system and everything, but a great group of guys, I was very excited to be there.”
Kovalchuk was asked about being traded from Montreal to Washington, and how (jokingly) the trade must have been made between he and Ovechkin.
“Actually we (Ovechkin) didn’t talk much about the trade. I saw a few of the guys from Washington in Miami during the Christmas break. We just had a dinner, and talked a little bit, I mentioned it would be nice to play there. You never know, we are just the players, the GM’s have to do what’s best for the team.”
Kovalchuk was also asked about arriving in Washington.
“When i got there, the team was great, the atmosphere, the fans, it was unbelievable, I was there for a month and a half, but it felt like home… Obviously I was happy, because it was a great chance to achieve something special. I’m pretty sure Ovi and all the Russian guys who know me there were asking the GM about me, but I don’t think he (Ovechkin) was the guy calling GM’s”
Capitals related segement:
Kovalchuk also discussed his time in Montreal, being drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers, his time in New Jersey, his decision to return to Russia after signing a huge contract, playing in the KHL, Artemi Panarin and his shootout duel with TJ Oshie in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The complete podcast is below. (The Kovalchuk interview begins at 16:25).
By Jon Sorensen