A Conversation With The Ottawa Senators' Alexei Kovalev

Greg CaggianoSenior Writer IJuly 28, 2009

In the year or so that I have been covering hockey I'm proud to say that I've gotten the chance to interview some big names in the business. Although most were announcers and analysts, very rarely is it possible for me to get a chance to interview a player.

For this next interview, I chatted with the newest member of the Ottawa Senators, Alexei Kovalev. The 36-year-old Russian winger is a veteran of 1151 games and has scored 394 goals and 547 assists for 941 total points.

Kovalev, a former Ranger, Penguin, and captain of the Canadiens became the first Russian in NHL history to win a Stanley Cup, when he was a member of the 1994 New York Rangers.

He recently signed a two year/$10 million contract with the Ottawa Senators. Below is our conversation.

GC: What was one of the main reasons why you signed with the Ottawa Senators?

AK: I had a few offers on the table and the Senators offer stood out from all the rest. I knew that playing in the organization of Ottawa would bring me and the team a lot of success. I think that Ottawa has a good chance at making the playoffs and I am really happy to be here.

GC: If you could say one thing about your playing style to Ottawa fans, what would it be?

AK: I am focused on ice, feeding players with precise passes and taking lots of shots on net.

GC: Dating back to your Stanley Cup win with the Rangers, what did it feel like to be the first Russian to have your name inscribed on the Cup?

AK: I'll never forget that moment. It felt great! Not only being the first Russian to have my name engraved on the Cup, but to have accomplished one of my many dreams is something really special for me.

GC: What was your experience like playing for the Rangers in New York?

AK: Playing for the Rangers was a great experience; playing with great hockey players, having great hockey fans supporting us is something that every hockey player would like to have behind them.

GC: Finally, if you were not a hockey player, what job would you like to have?

AK: If I weren't a hockey player, I would have probably became a pilot, something that I always wanted to be before I became a professional hockey player.

Greg Caggiano is a writer on Bleacher Report covering the New York Rangers. He has a New York area sports teams blog called Metro-Sports, where you can read great articles about all professional sports teams that play in the area by a dedicated team of young writers.