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Author: Andrej Cicman ( 07/05/2009
Viktor Tikhonov (Phoenix Coyotes): now I work out 5-6 times a week

2012 National Hockey League (NHL)

Viktor Tikhonov skating with Severstal Cherepovets in 07-08 season (Photo: Viktor Tikhonov)

The name Viktor Tikhonov (Phoenix Coyotes) is famous since decades ago. Almost any ice hockey fan knows who is your grandpa. Was it difficult in your childhood to have this famous person as your grandfather? Or the other way around, has it opened some doors?

A little bit of both.

Did you want to be an ice hockey player straight from the beginning or was there also another sport or activity?

I've wanted to play hockey ever since I can remember. My grandpa gave me my first pair of skates when I was 2. I even slept in them at night.

You grew up in the USA, because of your fatherís job. Did he have any influence in yours decision?

He's been my coach ever since I put on my skates for the first time. He's the biggest reason why Iím who I am.

But the most important part of you hockey career has been in Russia. Itís unusual for Russian players travel to North America to improve their skills. Why did you choose this way?

I've always loved Russian hockey. But the main reason was because of my father's job.

How fast have it took to accustom yourself to another way of life? There is a rumor, that the Russian clubs are really hard with their players. Is it true? Was it hard to get used to the Russian life?

I've always known Russian from my parents, so the change was easy. I've had a great time playing in Russia and was always treated well by my teams. So I canít say they are hard on their players.

Last year you played in the WJC for the first time. And it was your last opportunity. You were drafted also at the third try. After this unsuccessful tries, did you believe that you can achieve this? Wasnít it a little bit demotivating?

I knew I always had to move forward and every time I failed it only motivated me more to reach that next level.

You were drafted last year in the first round. What was your first thought? Ca you compare it with you feelings after you dress the national teamís jersey?

Playing for my country was incredible. But getting drafted to the NHL has always been my dream. It was the happiest day of my life.

You earned a place in Phoenix Coyotes roster right after the draft. But young players like you must have some mentor, or some players who can help. Who was him in your case?

I got lucky with the veterans on our team. We have some many guys that are willing to teach us young guys. I got the most help from Shane Doan and Ken Klee.

In recent times Phoenix Coyotes fights against bankruptcy. Jim Balsillie wanted to buy this franchise, but the NHL is against it. What is your opinion? Should the organization stay in Glendale, or it would be better in Canada?

I'm really happy that the team stayed in phoenix. I love that city.

What do you think, where are the best ice hockey fans? In Canada, USA or in Europe?

It's hard to say. The fans have been great everywhere Iíve played.

Summer time is preparation time for ice hockey player. What are you doing for that?

My dad has me working out 5-6 times a week.

Do you practice alone or with other players? Do you like this part of the season?

I train with my dad. He makes sure it's interesting for me.

As far as now you never played for the Russian senior team in important tournaments. This season there are 2 top tournaments: Olympic games and WC. Can you imagine, that you will play in one of them?

That would be awesome! Russia has a great team. So making the line up will be very hard.

And if not, what about WC 2011 in Slovakia?

That would be even better.

Did you ever been in Slovakia? Do you know some people from this country?

I don't think Iíve been there yet, but I would like to go though.

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