Last month, Colorado Avalanche forward Vladislav Kamenev spoke with Russian site Sports Express about his time in Nashville, and how he hopes to contribute to the Avalanche this season. We would like to think Igor from Raw Charge for translating the conversation for us.
What was your reaction when the Avalanche traded for Brooks Orpik? This is the person who caused your injury with the big hit.
Vladislav Kamenev: Yes, I was surprised. But, they don’t ask players about such things.
His contract was immediately bought out
VK: To be honest, I have no complaints about Brook. It was a clean hit. I just fell down, it was very unfortunate. I broke my hand and passed out for a couple minutes. I don’t remember if I hit the ice with my head, but there was no concussion.
We will return to this later. Are you now in Orsk?
VK: Yes, I started practicing in the gym, but there is no place to skate. They don’t have ice rinks anymore in Orsk. I’m going to Chelyabinsk soon and then maybe to Moscow for acouple days.
VK: We’ve teamed up with a Russian coach from NHL Stanislav Tugolukov last season. That was good training, I liked it a lot. I think we should get together again. Also, I need to work on some things like endurance and my legs. Probably, there will be ice rinks in Moscow, but I’m not sure.
Did you miss hockey?
VK: Yes, when was the last time I played? 22nd of March? I’m getting tired of relaxing.
You missed playoffs, even though you were healthy.
VK: This is simple. Jared Bednar talked to me, when I recovered. He said, that upcoming games are very important, and he doesn’t want to risk anything at this moment. It was the same in the playoffs. Yes, we were practicing and keeping ourselves in shape, but the team was complete.
You had three assists in the AHL right after your recovering.
VK: I missed the game. I played three games and then they promoted me.
I tried to watch your games after recovering. You played 10 or 12 minutes. It was hard to notice you on the ice.
VK: Because coach didn’t know me. And games were really important. I totally understand. I hope next season will be a like a fresh start. The main thing that I don’t have any issues with my health. My leg is okay, and head doesn’t hurt.
Were you satisfied with your trade from Nashville?
VK: Sure. Avalanche’s playing more European hockey. I’m not going to say anything bad about the Predators, but style of game is more schematic. Yes, you should be ready for everything, but I didn’t like it.
But you still scored a lot of points playing for Milwaukee Admirals.
VK: Yes, the Predators farm team plays exactly the same style of hockey, but I allowed myself to play the way I like in my last year there. There is a funny story, that happened after my trade to Colorado. I tried to play the way they taught me in Nashville on one of my first practices with new my team. But then someone said to me that I need to be more creative. I was happy.
They said that you were slow in Nashville.
VK: That was two years ago. Last season they told me that I really improved. It was right before I was sent to the farm team.
But you were stuck in the AHL.
VK: Yes. We’ve been talking in Colorado too. They said that they will rely on me. I hope this isn’t just words. Of course, the general manager of Colorado Avalanche is Joe Sakic. He was a great player
But what about the coach?
VK: We didn’t talk much. He said to me on the last meeting that he really couldn’t let me play more in the end of the season. But since the Avalanche made playoffs it will be easier for him. There won’t be such pressure.
When you were traded, there was a rumor in Russia, that you’re returning home. What really happened?
VK: I was surprised too. My agent asked me if I talked to someone in Russia about it, but I didn’t. Weird story.
But this is the last year of your deal.
VK: Yes, but I’m going to do everything to sign a new contract next year. Return to Russia? You know, I like it here in the North America. I’m not even sure if I want to consider it.
Do you live in a hotel?
VK: Yes, it’s possible to find an apartment in Denver. But I got injured right after trade. They sent me to San Antonio, where I spent a couple of days in a hospital. Then I was recovering at home. When I returned, the season was almost over so there was no point to rent an apartment.
Do you live alone?
VK: Yes, I got used to it. It feels calmer.
There are a lot of centers on Colorado. It will be hard for you.
VK: It won’t be easy. Yes, they have Nathan MacKinnon and Alexander Kerfoot. But this is normal when a lot of players are fighting for one spot.
Do you have an idea who the best linemates are for you?
VK: I’d name couple of players, but it’s hard to tell after just three games, it’s not enough. I just hope that I will play, because I miss hockey.
Yakov Trenin is still in Milwaukee. How’s he doing?
VK: Not great, he’s not playing too much. I still think that the way Nashville plays hockey doesn’t fit Russian players. Peter Laviolette loves Swedes. But I don’t know what Trenin’s going to do.
You were going to basketball games in Milwaukee. Do you miss the Bucks?
VK: There is a basketball team in Denver. I’d like to see Denver vs. Milwaukee game. I don’t even know what team I would be rooting for.
Have you met any basketball players?
VK: No, they are NBA players and we were just some players from the AHL. That’s another level. But they’ve been given us tickets and I tried not to miss games.
Colorado is one of the most Russian teams in the NHL. But, Nail Yakupov is leaving.
VK: I called him, he didn’t tell me where’s he going. We’ve been talking in Russian, but not the whole time. I wish the season has already started. I miss hockey.
Are you going to the soccer World Cup?
VK: I’ll watch on TV.
**The interview took place before the World Cup knockout round began
How do you think Russia will play against Spain?
VK: Are you going to publish it?
VK: Russia’s going to win. (They did win)
I’m not going to publish it.
VK: Then Russia will lose 1-2. Artem Dzyuba will score a goal.
I hope your next season will be better. You’re not going to break someone’s hand, right?
VK: People often remind me about that incident on the World Junior Championship. I accidentally broke the hand of a guy who was opening the bench door. But it wasn’t on purpose. I threw my stick but haven’t noticed that there was someone. It’s not typical for me. I regret it all the time.