Gillian Kemmerer Gillian Kemmerer
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Welcome to the new season of Icecast, the official podcast of the KHL! We could not be more excited to bring you stories from across the six countries and eight time zones that comprise the Kontinental Hockey League. Be sure to hit subscribe so that you never miss an episode, and don’t forget to connect with us on social media.

Avangard Omsk head coach Bob Hartley and legendary Red Army defenseman Slava Fetisov join the inaugural episode of Icecast 2.0, hosted by KHL correspondent Gillian Kemmerer. Hartley and Fetisov have several things in common--including, most notably, Stanley Cup titles--but there is one other surprising parallel: they are both making waves in Siberia. The former stands at the helm of a team awaiting its return home, while the latter is set to host a friendly match on Lake Baikal to raise awareness for climate change. Hartley hopes to return Avangard to Siberia as Gagarin Cup champions, while Fetisov is utilizing outdoor hockey to win back the planet's future.

This episode of Icecast was originally published on March 8, 2021

Click here to listen to IceCast 2.0, Episode 1 on Soundcloud.

Icecast · Icecast S2E1: Bob Hartley, Slava Fetisov

Bob Hartley

03:30 How Ilya Kovalchuk convinced Hartley to coach in Russia
07:27 The Atlanta Thrashers reunion in Balashikha
10:47 Corban Knight & Reid Boucher
17:41 Yegor Chinakhov
21:14 Favorite Russian foods and vocabulary

Slava Fetisov

24:21 How Fetisov became active in climate change
26:40 Playing hockey in the Himalayas
28:27 Morozov & Bettman support Middle East game
30:06 The Last Game on Lake Baikal
33:20 Soviet legends who will participate

Transcript of the interviews

Gillian Kemmerer (GK): Welcome to the new season of Icecast, the official podcast of the KHL. I’m your host Gillian Kemmerer, and I could not be more excited about sharing the amazing people and places that comprise the Kontinental Hockey League. Over the course of the last few years, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know the stories and personalities that power teams in six countries and eight times zones. We’ll span the globe together on this season of Icecast, so be sure to hit subscribe and never miss an episode. And don’t forget to connect with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you.

Two perennial champions are making waves in Siberia, and today you’re going to hear from both of them. Slava Fetisov and Bob Hartley joined the inaugural episode of Icecast to share their latest campaigns, whether it’s to win the Gagarin Cup or to save the planet.

When Avangard Omsk head coach Bob Hartley crossed the pond three seasons ago, expectations were pretty high. After all, he had won the top prize in virtually every league he had coached in, including the Calder Cup, the Swiss Championship and of course the Stanley Cup. Hartley took Avangard Omsk to the Gagarin Cup finals in his debut season, and has continued to make noise ever since. Armed with none other than Ilya Kovalchuk, a star with whom he crossed paths in Atlanta, Hartley is fighting for Russia’s top prize on behalf of a fan base that awaits the return of their beloved team. Avangard has played in the outskirts of Moscow for several seasons, as they await the construction of a new arena. If Hartley has any say in it, they will come home to Siberia as champions. I caught up with Bob as the Gagarin Cup playoffs began.

— First Interview —

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GK: Bob, thanks so much for joining us here today. It’s great to have you on one of the first episodes of the new Icecast.

Bob Hartley (BH): Спасибо!

GK: You’ve mentioned that you’ve got a few Russian words down. So you’ve got the most important one. You have to have смена probably too, right?

BH: No sentences, but lots of words. I’m working on it, so it’s lots of fun.

GK: Well, I think I read somewhere that your wife knows the alphabet and you do the speaking. I was wondering how that works, because that seems like you’d have to have both down pat in order to get around? BH: Yeah. This year it kind of slowed down with COVID. Unfortunately, she couldn’t come to Russia. So I was planning to learn to read this year, but I’d rather focus on communicating, talking. And its been great—the players have been a big help. My partners have been a big help. I’m living a great experience.

GK: Well, Google and Yandex Translate have that feature where you can take pictures of things and it automatically translates. But you can can just text it to your wife.

BH: I have it.

GK: I want to dial back to an interview you did about a year ago. It almost feels like it was a premonition. You said, “If I’m here today, it’s because of Ilya Kovalchuk,” which is so funny because now Ilya Kovalchuk is in Avangard with you. I was wondering if you could just take us back and tell us that story of how Ilya is the one that eventually dragged you over to Russia.

BH: I was still coaching in North America, in different ventures, but I was also working in the media, whether on TV and radio. And I really enjoyed it. I was looking for coaching, obviously. It runs into our veins and it’s almost like a drug, but at the same time, looking at my career, I was saying to myself, “I’m going to wait for the opportunity that I feel is the right one.” And how would you gauge this? I still don’t know, but I had a few offers from different KHL teams. And then in the two years, leading to my arrival with Avangard and I would always say no. Even when teams said, “We didn’t even give you the conditions, we didn’t even talk about salary yet.” I just politely declined. I said, “No.”

I said, “That’s not for me. I don’t feel that I’m there.” And instead of wasting people’s time, I politely declined it. But then I’m at World Championships with the Latvian national team and we’d just beat Germany and it’s around 12:30 in the morning, we’re still in the locker room. It was an eight o’clock game. And my phone rings and I see it’s Kovy. So I say, “That guy...” and Kovy was still in, I believe, North America. I thought maybe he watched the game and he wanted to congratulate his old coach over a big victory. And he told me,"Hey Bob, I need to talk to you." He said, “There’s a KHL team.” And I said, “Obviously, I’m not going to coach in the KHL itself. I enjoy what I’m doing. And no, no, no.”

He said, “You need to listen to me. I think it’s a great organization, and they want to offer you the job. The president, the big boss are ready to fly to Denmark to meet you.” And I said, “We just qualified for the quarter finals against Sweden. And it’s been a long time that I didn’t see my family. And I just had my...” I was a grandfather for the first time during the training camp of the Latvian team. I had a beautiful granddaughter who was already six weeks old, and grandpa still didn’t have the chance to hold her. So I said, “As much as I want to win and go far with the Latvian team, as soon as we’re done, I’m taking the next plane back to Canada so that I can feel what it’s like to be a grandfather.”

So Mr. Krylov and Max Sushinsky flew to Copenhagen. We met right after the game against Sweden. And I told them, “Let me do some thinking, let me give some thoughts to it. In three days, I’ll give you call.” And I talked with my family, I talked with Kovy again. And here I am in my third season.

I don’t regret it. It goes just to show you some times you can’t judge people or you can’t judge situations with what you hear or what you read about situations or people. I was always scared of the KHL or scared of things going on in Russia, because you always read about past experiences from former KHL players or coaches. And it kind of makes you think, “Hmm, I don’t know if I really want to go there.” But my parents always taught me, judge people by what you see, by what... You live true people. It has been a real fun adventure.

GK: Going back to Ilya Kovalchuk, you were together in Atlanta. On the subject of Thrashers greats, I was actually chatting with Slava Kozlov not so long ago when he was still serving as an assistant coach under you, and even then there was discussion of bringing Ilya to Avangard. So tell me about some of those early conversations, when you realized that you were getting back one of your former stars from Atlanta.

BH: Well for myself, personally, it was great news because I coached Kovy in Atlanta when he was 21, 22, 23 years old. So I coached a big kid. Now I’m coaching an unbelievable man, a great dad, great family man. It’s so ironic. It’s not everyday that you can coach a player at the start of his career, and then many years after, you’re in another country, you’re in another league and you’re going to coach this player who may be in his last couple of seasons in pro hockey. I had such great years with Kovy—watching him win the Rocket Richard trophy and taking us to the playoffs, the only playoff appearance in Thrashers’ history. So I’ve always just stayed in touch with Kovy throughout all those years. We’ve always either called each other or texted each other. Or last year at World Championships—well, two years ago at World Championships while he was with Russia and I was with Latvia. Every time that we would have five minutes, we would talk and go back to our days, to Atlanta. But now, hey we’re in another situation. And it’s a great challenge for both of us.

GK: I’ve always wondered from a coaching perspective, how you deal with a star walking into a locker where the leadership’s already been established, you’re in a season groove. Do you have this need to mitigate or discuss with the team ahead of time? Were you worried about any anxiousness or not necessarily drama, but you’re introducing someone who is so high octane and so high powered into a locker room that’s been playing together for a while. How did you handle that transition?

BH: Well, we knew that Kovy would bring lots of energy, lots of talent and lots of leadership. And basically I just grabbed the kids and I said, “Just play your own game. Don’t look for Kovy. Kovy will find you. You’ll find Kovy, but don’t change.” And I grabbed the leadership group and I said, “Hey, here’s just another great human being.” Kovy is a superstar, but he’s a simple superstar. He’s not high maintenance. He’s simple. he wants to be treated like everyone. He’s an unbelievable team player. So he cares about everyone. A few games ago before he got injured, we had an optional skate and he regrouped the ones who were not skating. Suddenly, they had a fun workout going on. So, all those are values that Kovy brings. I saw him as a young kid with no experience in the NHL, with a young team, and all fighting just to get close to the playoffs. And now, we’re in another situation, in another great organization, but with different expectations.

GK: On the topic of reunions, you had another one—which was Corban Knight, who I spoke with when he first arrived. He wound up in the Calgary organization when he graduated while you were with the Flames. And now, here the two of you are again in Balashikha together. What’s been the secret to his success? He’s had a wonderful season with you at Avangard.

BH: Yeah, such a smart player. Last year, talking with the organization, I felt that we needed to bring someone who could play offense, could play defense and win face-offs. And, you can look outside the KHL, but you always ask the question, “How will this player adapt to Russia? How will this player adapt to a new style of hockey, a new league?” We were watching Corban at Barys, and for me, there was no doubt. Going back to, again, another kid, another rookie, making his first steps in the NHL, in Calgary with me. I remember in big games using Corban as a rookie for big face-offs in our zone and winning those face-offs. So, there was already that chemistry that was between Corban and myself, and I knew that he would be a great fit for us. He’s been unbelievable.

GK: Another player who has had an amazing transition to the KHL under your watch is Reid Boucher. He had a whirlwind arrival to Russia like so many players this season, but then he started sniping points from game one. I would imagine losing him right before the playoffs to injury felt a little bit like deja-vu, because I remember talking with you at the end of the first round last season. Avangard was hit so hard with injuries last year.

BH: Yeah, well, Reid Boucher—obviously I follow every hockey league on the planet and everyone that I was talking to, they said, “This player comes out of nowhere and suddenly you look at the score sheet and he has two goals and assists.” He’s been very consistent with us, jumping in, missing the entire training camp. Our people have never worked so hard to get a visa. I don’t know how many phone calls, how many connections we tried to make an order to get him on a plane with a visa and get him here. But instantly, the transition was unbelievable, and that speaks volumes about who Reid is as a professional and also about his hockey sense, about his touch around the net, and his understanding of the game.

Not only that, you can look at his stats and say, “Wow, first scorer of the American Hockey League last year, great season with Avangard.” But you look at him, and he’s penalty killing, he’s blocking shots. He’s finishing his body checks and everything. He is turning into a complete player for us. So, he’s been very, very good. He has been a great acquisition for us.

GK: Not every player that has success in North America winds up having success in the KHL and vice versa. So, I’m wondering if you’ve started to identify characteristics of players that wind up making that transition successfully? What do you think they are?

BH: I don’t think it has anything to do with the players. It has to do with the individual, the human being—because number one, you need to adjust to the culture. You need to come here. I coached in Switzerland and it was the same thing. I’ve seen some great North Americans or Swedes or Finns or whatever nationalities they are... they come in, and suddenly they think it’s going to be easy or it’s going to be their way. We’re in another country, so number one, we have to adjust to what’s going on outside the arena and then play hockey and do what we know best. But sometimes, there’s minor adjustments, whether it’s in my coaching or whether for a player.

The language is always a big barrier. I’ve seen so many great Europeans or Russian players come to the American Hockey League or the NHL, and suddenly two, three years later, people are questioning why it didn’t work. Lots of time, it’s the language barrier. That is the biggest obstacle to go. And for me, it’s your willingness. You make a decision. You’re saying, “Okay, I’m making a cross,” or “I’m taking a break from North American hockey,” whether the American Hockey League, or the NHL. You say, “I’m going in.” If you’re coming in with 50% of the membership card, that I call it, I always tell the players buy a full membership.

I’ve had many conversations with players, whether for Avangard or other teams. They’re calling me and they’re saying, “Hey, you’ve been one year, two years, three years in Russia, how is it?” And I tell them,"Whether it’s Russia, whether it’s Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, anywhere, if you come in, you need to come in with open mind. You’re going to adjust to every situation on ice, off ice. And now, you have a chance to be successful. If you think that people will unroll the red carpet, and let’s face it, they bring us as Legionnaires or imports, whatever you want to call it. They expect us to help them be better."

GK: It’s no secret that you play a more fast paced, aggressive, let’s call it “North American style” game—and some of the other, either NHL-experienced or import coaches play the same. Does it make it a little harder for you when you go up against, let’s say the CSKAs, not just because they’re so talented, but because they don’t really open up and provide a lot of opportunity? How do you adjust to the different coaching and playing styles in the league?

BH: Every game is a different challenge. We could say every coach is a different challenge, every team, every game, because there’s always minor adjustments. My philosophy is that we’re going to bring our game, our system, and we might tweak little things, but hockey doesn’t need to be complicated. I look around, I give many conferences to coaches, and I think one big flaw that we do is that, suddenly we want to be hockey doctors. We want to reinvent the game and try to make it a magical game. Let the players express themselves offensively first and then give them guidelines. And then, on the defensive side, let’s have a structure.

I believe that hockey is a physical game. It’s a fast-paced game, and I don’t like to slow down any games. I like to have a fast-paced moving game—players, especially kids, coming into the game today, they’re so much more physically ready with all those trainers that they get at a young age. Their skill level, through the skill coaches, is so much higher than when I started to coach in 1987.

GK: Well, speaking of the kids coming into the game, there’s been a high profile one under your charge this season in Yegor Chinakhov, who had a wonderful start to his season. He gets the World Juniors nod, unfortunately gets injured, but what can you tell us about your experience of this player?

BH: Yeah, great kid. Very talented young man, great attitude, wants to learn. He had a very good training camp. With COVID-19, they stayed with us all the time and they didn’t get sick, whether Gritsyuk, Chistyakov and Chinakhov, the three of them stayed with us the entire camp. And I think that was a big difference, they matured around our players. Our players deserve lots of credit in the development of those young players. We have a great room, we have a great leadership with our captain, Alexei Emelin, and all the veterans. We spend lots of time in the video room. We spend lots of time during practice, before, after practice, and we put them in game situations where we really valued their strengths.

And for me, it was not a surprise to see Chinakhov get drafted. So, I had quite a few NHL teams call me and ask me information about him, and this kid will be a very successful hockey player. We have quite a few, matter of fact. Not only they’re great hockey players, but they’re great young human beings. They’re maturing well around our team and they’re playing minutes. So, they’ll need a little time, they’re not quite ready yet, but they’ll get there.

GK: This has been such an awesome conversation. Its been fun to catch up with you getting ready for the biggest part of your season. So just two questions to round us out. Give me your favorite Russian word and your favorite Russian food. Because I know that you’ve been experimenting with both of those things. So let’s hear them.

BH: Well first, my favorite food is pelmeini. I love the pelmeini.

GK: Good choice.

BH: I have a few restaurants in Moscow and it’s just unbelievable land that. My favorite word, obviously players showed me all the great words that I can’t repeat in a podcast. But I have to admit that there’s so many words in Russian that are exactly the same, maybe with a little different pronunciation. But at the end, it’s this exact same word. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there’s many French words in the Russian vocabulary.

GK: That’s right. You already had a leg up coming in. I didn’t even think of that.

BH: But I didn’t know that I had a head-start. So that helped me.

GK: Well Ilya Kovalchuk should have warned you about that when he was selling the opportunity. Maybe next time.

BH: Yeah. You’re right.

GK: Well Bob, thanks so much for taking the time and best of luck to you and to Avangard as we head into the post season

BH: Спасибо большое.

GK: Пожалуйста!

—Second Interview—

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GK: From Red Army defenseman to defender of the planet, Slava Fetisov has won every accolade that hockey has to offer—but now he’s in pursuit of a broader mission. A UN Ambassador and member of the Russian Parliament, Fetisov has dedicated his public service to the preservation of planet earth, using sports as a universal language. From the time of the KHL’s formation, Fetisov was adamant about the use of hockey as a means of uniting the world. He was a vocal advocate of a Euro Asian hockey league that linked countries beyond the confines of the former Soviet Union. He has also served as the president of CSKA, the club he once represented in his illustrious playing career.

Through his Last Game initiative, which has been played everywhere from the heights of the Himalayas to tropical Singapore, Fetisov educates youth on ecology through outdoor hockey. His next adventure, set to take place on Russia’s Lake Baikal, will bring together Soviet hockey greats, KHL executives, politicians and media in service of climate change awareness. I caught up with Slava ahead of his departure for Siberia.

GK: So I want to start off talking a little bit about your background in climate change, because you stepped straight off the ice and into a public advocacy role so seamlessly. Climate change has really been the area that you’ve been putting so much passion and focus into around the world. So what was it about this issue that first captured your attention?

Slava Fetisov (SF): I think I’m going to put the rest of my life to fight the climate situation, climate change. And of course it’s the more I get into it, the more I understand, I realize how important for all of us who live on our planet to do something. To change what’s going on. And of course all this number so they now use my speeches. 50% of the life on this planet for the last forty years was killed. And it doesn’t matter whether you live in Russia or in Canada or United States or in Africa, or Australia, people are so careless for the biggest treasure of the planet and put money before life.

And then of course, for me, it’s now it’s the most important part of my life. And of course I came accidentally, like many people come to something not expecting it to be very important. I met—and he became my good friend, Louis Pugh. He’s a extreme swimmer. You see him in all these exotic places like the Arctic, Antarctica, Lake Baikal, by the way. He sends a message to the people about what’s going on. And of course I helped him to ratify the Russian Federation MPA in Antarctica. He and I became good friends, and then I got more and more into the situation. And then three years ago, I got the huge honor to be goodwill ambassador for the UNEP program. This is the institution of the United Nations that is responsible for the climate situation and our planet.

GK: So back in 2005, I know we’re going back some time, when the KHL was still in formulation—you were a big advocate for a Euro Asian hockey league. One of the things I find so interesting about Last Game is that you play in locales that aren’t necessarily places where hockey is popular. On a side note, you’re growing the game in addition to educating about climate awareness. One of the most fascinating places you’ve hosted a game, in my opinion, is up in the Himalayas, three thousand meters above sea level. I’d love to hear a little bit more about that before we talk about your upcoming game. And most importantly, how did you breathe, let alone play hockey up there?

SF: It was more than 4,000 meters.

GK: More than 4,000! Oh my gosh. Even more so.

SF: Yeah. It was when I stepped down from the airplane, I lost it right away, I couldn’t breathe. And then they asked me, I said, “Oh my God, how are we going to skate tomorrow against the guys and girls?” By the way, lots of girls playing hockey in Himalayas.

GK: I interviewed the goalie, Dorjay Dolma who played against you. She said it was an honor to take a shot from you.

SF: Yeah. And so it’s unbelievable where... I realized for those people, hockey was part of their lives for many, many decades. Of course in India it’s field hockey, they call it, and it’s hockey they play on the grass. It’s one of the most popular games. But ice hockey is kind of exotic. Anyway, the kids, army people, those girls—they play this game on the ponds and the rivers and they enjoy it. But the only problem right now, the last few years, they got less and less time. It used to be that they skated probably for five months. Now they’re lucky to get frozen ice on the ponds and the rivers for a couple of months. That’s the problem everywhere. Not only in India, in the Himalayas.

GK: I saw a video that KHL president Alexey Morozov and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made in support of a game that you facilitated between Israeli and Emirati hockey teams. I know that this is an issue that would be near and dear to your heart, because you gave a speech at Harvard not that long ago. You said, “Hockey is an international language where dialogue is possible anywhere and with any person.” And I think that this is something you’ve personally experienced because you bridged a diplomatic gap when you came to play in the NHL.

SF: I remember it was kind of a diplomatic measure—it was called ping-pong diplomacy. This was a long time ago, when the United States and China started to talk to each other. And I think that hockey diplomacy could be good for understanding of the people. Because we need everybody—government, we need NGOs, we need the United Nations. We need big business, we need seven plus billion people to realize we live in a very dangerous time. In our hands right now, [we need] to change everything for the future of our kids and grandchildren. Of course, it’s a big mission and the more and more I’m traveling, I talk to the people, especially young generation. I realize this is the time to unite everybody, to stop all these disagreements, political, regional, ethical. At least for the next two, three years—it’s kind of like an Olympic Games to save the planet. And this is for the human beings. I call this eco-sapiens time. To send a message and to try to unite the people. I know that no one country can solve all these problems because this is the planet of Earth. This is the one home for everybody.

GK: Which brings us to Lake Baikal, which is coming up in just a couple of days. I’m so envious. I would love to be there. The first thing I have to ask, because I got a little preview of the roster. I see that you’re a former defensive pair from CSKA is there. Are we going to have a revival of the Kasatonov-Fetisov blue line pairing on Baikal?

SF: This is more a friendly game than competition. Probably more to get together. And it doesn’t matter whether you like to play defense or forwards that like to score goals. The one goal you have to reach is to send the message to the rest of the people, and to bring more and more members of the new, most powerful team ever built. And of course, we are expecting lots and lots of media and lots of celebrities, and those who realize how important to be now on the same ice, especially on the great Lake Baikal— the biggest source of water for the people on planet earth. And of course, it’s to challenge government to do anything and everything to keep Lake Baikal in proper shape for the upcoming generation. It is supposed to be free of any chemical projects that is going to affect Lake Baikal.

GK: You’re hosting it on International Women’s Day, which is a big holiday in Russia and celebrated around the world. Will you have some women’s players included in the Lake Baikal game?

SF: Yeah. This is a huge day for our Russian Federation for many, many decades. This is what the men are preparing the whole year.

GK: Exactly. You’ve been practicing all year.

SF: Yes—to find the right, proper gift and the flowers and all the stuff. Of course it’s a special day for Russian men.

GK: Everyday is International Women’s Day, but especially coming up on Monday.

SF: Especially in our Russian tradition. This is a true comment! This is everyday for the Russian men to celebrate. It’s [about] love and family things. It’s to say thank you to our wives and mothers and sisters and daughters. And of course, it’s a special day. That’s why we’re going to be in a special place in this day.

GK: So you’ll have some women’s team players locally also participating?

SF: Yes. And of course it’s going to bring completely different flavor for the game. And of course, it’s going to be really challenging.

GK: They’re going to be tough.

SF: And lots of flowers on the ice.

GK: Well, luckily you’re in one of the most beautiful places in the world—so you’ll have plenty of gifts to source from! I went to Baikal once and you really sense that there’s a magic there. There’s something so special about it. It’s like no other place on earth. I think I was there in April and you could still drive over the ice. So I would imagine it’s still very frozen and ready for hockey at this point in the year.

SF: It has different kinds of condition, different parts. But the place we are choosing, it’s very clear water. We will probably try to put the camera under the ice and see how the game is going to look through the ice. One meter ice. Clear ice. What a sight.

GK: Do you have a sense of who else will be playing with you? Are there other Soviet players that will be joining yourself and Kasatonov?

SF: Yeah. Valery Kamensky, Alexander Yakushev, Andrei Kovalenko, and a few more guys tried to get permission from their wives to go on this special day. Maybe a couple or three more guys are going to come. Mikhail Tatarinov, he is from this area and he is a former NHL player, played for Quebec and world champion for the Soviet National Team—he is going to be there. He’s a local. He’s the President of the Irkutsk Hockey Federation.

GK: We are so looking forward to seeing photos and videos. I know there will be a lot of media from the event, but we’ll be keeping a close eye. Where’s next for you, Slava? Where are you playing after Baikal? Have you decided yet?

SF: I don’t know if we’re going to be organizing the game on the Volga River. I think it’s also in need of lots of attention right now from the government, from big business, from the people. It’s a huge river. It’s very important for the Eurasian continent. And of course, it has lots of problems because almost 50% of all plants and the fabrics and everything goes laying along the Volga River. Of course, you need to make sure its water is clean and everything is supposed to be up to date. And this is also a problem. It’s a need to be.

GK: Well, we will keep an eye out for that as well, but thank you so much for taking the time to chat and best of luck on Baikal.

SF: Okay. I hope to see you next time at our next game.

GK: Fingers crossed! Wherever you host it, even the North Pole, I’ll be there. They just have to open the borders.

SF: You’re invited for the North Pole, for sure.

GK: Oh, that’ll be great. I can’t wait. I’ll get my snow boots ready.

SF: Okay. Sharpen your skates too.

GK: I will do. I want to be your blue line pairing. I’m sorry, Alexei, but I’m coming with you.

SF: Yeah, I’m going to be prepared for you. Going to be ready to be your partner.

GK: I’m a good partner. I don’t know if I can make those long passes like you used to do for Red Army, but I can make the shorter ones. I’ll distract the goalie.

SF: Yeah, that’s what I told Kasatonov. Give me the pass and enjoy the game. That’s what we will do.

GK: We’ll have to see if that’s how it turns out. I want some videos.

SF: Yeah, for sure.

GK: Sounds great. Well, Slava, thank you again and have a great trip to Irkutsk.

GK: Thank you for listening to Icecast, the exclusive podcast of the Kontinental Hockey League. This episode was produced by Zhanna Chernenko in Moscow and mixed by Mike Rudenko in Saint Petersburg. It was reported and hosted by Gillian Kemmerer. Theme music was composed by STLab Studio Music. On our website, you can learn more about this podcast and the latest news from around the league. Visit us at en. khl. ru.

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