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Author:  (
Translated By: Alessandro Seren Rosso
Date: 07/30/2011
Kirill Kabanov: ďHockey is the most important thing for meĒ

2012 National Hockey League (NHL)

In this interview, 19-years old Kirill Kabanov (New York Islanders) told how he didn't expect a trade to Lewiston, explained the benefits of his new team and guaranteed that now heís focusing on hockey only.

- How surprised were you to know about your trade from Moncton to Lewiston? Was it a board decision?

- I canít reply to this question. You should ask to Monctonís board. I will speak you the truth and I have to say that I donít have the faintest idea.

- You had no presentiments?

- Absolutely not.

- Was it easy to adapt to your new team?

- Yes, very good team. It was truly easy. I had no problems with coaches, neither with players.

- How did you like Lewiston before Moncton?

- Small city. You can count and there are two streets. Typical American little town. Little and cosy. I liked it.

- Wasnít it boring for you after Moscow?

- That yes. But on the other hand, no traffic jams (laughs). Everything is near you. I had no problem. And there was also [Russian goalkeeper Andrey] Makar[ov]. It was good for me to have another Russian. I donít have any regrets.

- What could you do there apart from hockey?

- Not much, frankly. Play XBOX, go to the cinema. Thatís all. Nothing more.

- Did you play NHL 11?

- Just a couple of times. I am not good. With consoles, I play football much better.

- They say that in the USA fans are quieter than in Canada. Is it possible to say the same about Lewiston?

- I wouldnít say so. Fans were loud, about two thousands, but not quieter than in Canada.

- Judging from your stats, in Lewiston you were more successful. Do you agree?

- Yes, I do. It was much better, coaches gave me more ice time and I was playing powerplays too. During the playoffs I logged even 29 minutes.

- Did you feel one of the teamís leaders?

- Our team had some leaders, you shouldnít attempt to pick one. But I wonít hide that the coaches trusted me.

- Are you satisfied about your stats?

- Yes. Much satisfied. During the regular season I tried to play better in defense. But before the playoffs the coach told me to play my game. And I think I had good playoffs.

- Did your game change a lot after your first season overseas?

- Well, generally speaking nothing changed. I play the same way, my style didnít change. After one year I am used to North American hockey, but my game didnít change much.

- What did you improve more in those two seasons?

- I donít even know. Maybe my speed. Or my mass.

- They say that in Quebec itís impossible to play in some arenas because they are small and dark.

- The arena I dislike more is the one in Rimouski. But itís quite the opposite, itís too bright. There are lights everywhere! You canít even see the puck sometimes. And there are also dark places. But the ice is the same and there are no differences.

- What was your best moment during the latest season?

- Probably the playoffs. I scored 20 points in 15 games. I still remember my shoot-out goal against Victoriaville. I managed to score a beautiful goal.

- After the seasonís end Lewiston folded. Players were alerted?

- It was truly unexpected. They simply sent a letter where they wrote that the team folded, thatís all. During the season they said that the team could get to another city, but they didnít tell anything more. I was very confused when I got that letter. I was shocked.

- And then Montreal drafted you in the dispersal draft.

- Yes and they were moved as well. Now the team can play in another city. But now I have another task, to get a spot in the NHL. If it wonít happen, then weíll examine other options.

- Recently you signed an entry level deal with the Islanders. Were you expecting it this summer?

- There were discussions for some time. Then my agent told me that the Islanders wanted to sign me. I was very happy. And then I signed a contract.

- Can you play for their farm team if you wonít get a spot in the main teamís lineup?

- We are still talking. And so I donít like the reply to this question.

- Recently you told the press that you are matured as a person. Can you tell us more?

- I became more professional. Hockey for me is now at the first place and I am focused on hockey only.

- What about the latest development camp?

- It was good. There were 46 players split in two teams. I played on a line with Strome and Niederreiter. We also went fishing.

- And what happened there?

- I picked up the biggest fish. To speak the truth, I have no clue about its name. But it was tasty. We cooked it at the restaurant.

- You picked up one only?

- No, I got three, but you canít get small ones. I caught some small ones, about seven-eight inch, but I had to let them go. If they are about fifteen inch, then you can keep them.

- And who was the best fisherman?

- Andrei Pedan. He also caught a rather big fish.

- How did you like playing with Niederreiter?

- Not bad. There was also another guy, who the Islanders drafted on the first round Ė Ryan Strome. The guys are good. Everything was super. We even spent free time together. [At the rookie camp] there were many good guys, itís pleasant to talk with them. A good team.

- Did the coaches tell you about your NHL chances for the next season?

- There was a small summit. They told me that they are satisfied with my progresses. And they also told me to go on with the same spirit.

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