CAPTAIN Nikulin

CAPTAIN Nikulin

Defender Russia — about the Olympics, «Ak Bars» and the family

DOSSIER

Born March 12, 1982 IN MOSCOW

In favor of the TCA / Tver (1999-2000) «Dynamite» / Moscow (2000-2005), «AK BARS» / Kazan (from 2005)

Four-time champion, Mr. RUSSIA (2005,2006,2009, 2010), silver medalist RUSSIA (2007)

The triple world champion (2008,2009,2012). SILVER

Winner of world championships

Winner of European Cup (2007)

WINNER Continental Cup (2008)

23 and 24 August in Sochi hosted the collection of candidates for the Olympic hockey team of Russia, which was attended by all entered the head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov in a list of «main candidates» players. A few hours before the departure of athletes from Moscow to the capital of the Games in 2014 is one of the leading advocates of the national team and its captain at the last two world championships Ilya Nikulin told the «big sports» about their expectations from the main starts of four years, preparation for the season, changes in the «Ak Bars «, as well as non-sports hobbies and family.

— Zinetula Bilyaletdinov included in the list of invitees to the collection in Sochi 35 people. How do you rate the choice of the head coach?

I have not seen this list. I can guess who it is on, but with the full until the sign has been busy preparing for the season. They called me and said that I was a part, and it is necessary to arrive at the gathering. Before the Olympic Games a lot of time, can happen anywhere. I am sure that Sochi will leave those who will be stronger at this particular moment.

— It’s clear. But many experts, in particular Sergey Gimaev note that defenders — the weakest link in the national team and, except Vyacheslav Voinov, in it for many years the same person. Do you agree?

Then, they are the experts to analyze. Maybe the coaches do not yet see a larger number of candidates this role. I was hard to judge: to make up about a particular player adequate representation, it is necessary to train and play with him on the same team.

— You once said that, despite the failure at the World Cup, the task to take first place at the Games in Sochi has not been canceled. Who put it in front of you?

The Russian national team at any tournament is going to take first place. Any team is trying to climb higher.

Representing the same so great hockey power, like ours, we are obliged to be adjusted only for the victory. Other opinions can not be. Sport leadership task team has not officially formulated, but the guys understand that it is precisely this — to win.

— The Olympic team your playing time certainly reduced in comparison with the World Cup …

Hockey — a team sport, each player can decide the fate of the match. Often players do the fourth line. So I do not see the problem here.

— Sochi hockey tournament will be held at the site of a large size. We agree that this factor gives the Russian team an advantage over the Canadians?

At the competition level of the Olympic Games, this factor does not play a decisive role. Of course, the European markets allow you to show a combination of hockey, but the ocean has great masters of such games.

— You do not mind all the growing excitement around hockey games?

While we do not particularly feel: busy pre-season training in clubs.

But the pressure will increase, not only on the players, but also on all Russian athletes. I’m talking about do not «pump» the leaders, and the responsibility for the result.

— The fact that the main event is not held in the end of the season, and in February, once said to plan your training? It’s too early to speculate. Of course, we will display itself on the peak shape for the Olympics. But we all play in the clubs, which is expected to win.

— How do you form this season in the KHL?

In the past, some teams have met each other four times. In particular, «Ak Bars» with «Salavat Yulaev». These matches are always cause a stir, collect notices. Now we play with all opponents twice.

In terms of tournament situation is more equitable option. In the East, over strong teams than in the West, so the overall playoffs without conference for us, it might have been more profitable. But by and large I do not care which system to play. How to solve the management of the CHL, so be it.

— You’ve seen the movie «The Legend of number 17?»

Yes. Good shot, interesting. But it’s difficult to judge the historical authenticity not lived at that time, I do not know what emotions experienced players, the fans.

— Previously, players began preparing for the season in a few weeks after the end of the previous one, as you relax more than two months …

Nothing wrong with that. Month — enough time to prepare for the season. When I started a professional career, holidays lasted three weeks. Then the older guys started training earlier than now — a twentieth of June or July 1st. Much has changed. Players more professional attitude to their duties.

— In the offseason, «Ak Bars» Alexei Morozov left and Danis Zaripov. The club has become much weaker?

It is different now. Only time will tell the team weakened or strengthened. I find it difficult to judge whether the had reached the ceiling structure. Last season we had to go to the finals Gagarin Cup, but lost «Tractor», leading the series 3: 1. Perhaps, after the failure of someone in the leadership had ceased to believe in the composition. I do not think that departed from the club should be written off.

— Do you think that Morozov is still one of the best forwards in the KHL?

I’m sure he will fine the season. Look at how many older players perform at the highest level: Jaromir Jagr, Sandis Ozolins, Teemu Selanne …

— The secret of longevity sports -in the absence of grueling workouts similar to those shown in the «Legend of number 17?»

Load decreased, and the number of matches increased. Play all like more than to exercise. Changes with age and lifestyle. Personally, I began to devote considerable time to his family, to his two children.

— Have you decided what will become engaged at the end of your career?

I’ll play as long as possible — until demand. I love hockey, and that will happen as long as I do not think. It’s hard to say that I prefer: coaching activities or business.

— You once told that Zinetula Bilyaletdinov taught you correctly positioned in the area to keep the stick. The current head coach of «Ak Bars» Valery Belov — former striker …

He has played under the direction of Bilyaletdinov, she was his assistant, knows all the subtleties and nuances, so that the general direction has not changed. With the defenders of «Ak Bars» works Andrei Sokolov. It tells you how to play in a particular episode. There is always something to work on.

— At age 31, too, can make progress, or simply keep your level?

If you adjust to the fact to keep available, you will go down. You should always strive for more. On what were the most successful years of his career, we can say only after completing it.

— Some players admit that the captain’s badge enslaves …

When you come out on the ice, all the same, what the letter on your form: in the heat of the game from the much abstragirueshsya.

— The captain can speak to the judge in case of dispute …

You as well as I know that it is useless to argue with them. You can draw the referee’s attention to some nuance, but it is not the main function of the captain. I can speak long hackneyed phrases about the «team building», but there are things that can not be explained. We need to feel that you need to show something on a personal example, and when — «insert» to someone of the partners. Everyone should invest in the soul of the team, regardless of their role in it.

— In August, the «Ak Bars» for the first time held a pre-season meeting with the fans.

Rather, the presentation of the team and beginners. It’s a lot of people and talked informally, answered questions.

— You do not have the impression that Kazan is beginning to resemble Moscow in terms of satiety sporting events?

Yes, a lot of sports in the city. But hockey is still in first place. Last year, at the entrances to our arena, there are huge traffic jams, we had to get 40-45 minutes, although usually it takes about 10. This has a negative impact on attendance. Hopefully, the situation will improve: Completed construction of the Universiade, has become much more comfortable, near the «Tatneft Arena» appeared convenient parking.

— While you were out of the Universiade Kazan?

He was on holiday, came one evening to take part in the torch relay — and back to the family. Vacationing in Latvia and Spain.

_ Do you prefer a beach vacation?

Walk, swim in the pool, working with children. We live for them, they do all the attention. The museums do not go on vacation, go on trips rare. Perhaps in time I come to this, when the kids grow up.

— Writes the son in hockey section?

In November, Ignat was 4 years old.

Last year, he asked to borrow skates and form ten times rode together on the ice. If you want to do hockey -pomogu, choose a different path, such as football or tennis — I will not object. The child must decide for itself, as I did in devyatiletiem age.

— Is your father — Vladimir Nikulin hockey referee — has not helped to determine the sport?

According to my dad major field engineers working in the company, but judged hockey games. Then he worked in the FHR. As a boy, I went to the game, which he served. Then fell in love with this game, parents do not have to force me.

— The wife attends matches with your participation?

Yes, and recently began to bring Ignatius. True, he bored a long time to sit in one place, go to the game room.

— You once starred in the video Irina Allegrova …

I had not even seen. I can not call myself a music lover: the car radio sounds like background. Not to say that I like certain styles or group. Of course, before the game to relax listening to music should not be, we need to set up the fight.

— You bring from trips magnets, flags?

I do not collect, although a child was collecting cars. Hobbies I have not — it’s just not enough time.

— A case where the head coach Leonid Slutsky, CSKA came to the base of the club on the cheap car and was obsmeyat players. What you can not afford because of the fear of losing social status?

If we are talking about cars, I can come to absolutely anyone. I do as I consider it necessary, public opinion here does not play a big role. Of course, I want comfort, so relax and go to Europe, but not in the Crimea and Odessa. Limitations in my life rather due to the fact that the professional game of hockey.

— What is your car?

Ambassador is a brand-Skoda. In Moscow I go to the Skoda Superb. Most comfortable car, just one day before our conversation, I was given an updated model. In this machine, I like beautiful interior, large displacement, a huge plus — a large amount of space for passengers in the rear seats. Even with my growth there comfortably.

— You ride with a driver?

I prefer to be driving, I enjoy it. In Kazan, with no parking problems. In Moscow, to find a free parking space is not easy, especially in the case of lack of time. Many friends go on the Russian capital with a driver — the fines for parking large, so its services pay off quickly.

— Ready to live in Kazan after the end of his playing career?

I was born and raised in Moscow, so willing to stand in local traffic.

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