Vladimir Tarasenko: "I'm ready to go to America"
Vladimir Tarasenko's loyalty toward his KHL team Sibir Novosibirsk concerned more than one team on the selection's day. But the St. Louis Blues draftee declared, during an interview with Sibir's official site, that he doesn't know where he'll play next season and that he's ready to cross the pond.
RussianProspect.com offers you a translation:
Tarasenko: I had mixed feelings, frankly speaking. You sit there, wait all the picks. And you think that they are going to pick you. There is a lot of nervousness, sometimes even panic. I think that I wasn't the only one with such feelings. When they say your name, you can't understand a thing for five or then minutes. It's very hard to explain this using by words.
- What did your father tell after the draft?
Tarasenko: He was very happy for me. We understand well that we were really lucky. I was drafted by a team that would be glad to have me in their senior team. We are yet to talk about the next season, he has his problems with the team. Right now I am only happy and glad that all this happened. I don't have a favorite team, I only dream about playing in the NHL. No offense, of course, to the KHL, to its creators, leaders and players, but since the childhood I dream about playing in the NHL, no matter what team.
- Did you have any problems while communicating? You tried talking in English yourself, without a translator. Did this make you look better?
Tarasenko: I don't think that it was a problem. Of course there are complex phrases and questions. And then it's hard to talk. But overall it's alright. Yes I agree that for them it's important when you talk English yourself and not through an interpreter. I tried doing that. But I think that it's more important to talk correctly. Because it can happen that they ask you one thing and you reply a whole another thing. In these cases I take some advices from the translator.
- With whom players did you talk?
Tarasenko: I talked with everyone. With Russians and with foreigners. There isn't a difference to me: Americans, Canadians, Russians...Everyone was talking one another. Everyone was sincerely congratulating and wishing all the best. Of course you can't build a friendship in one evening, but I've talked well with everyone, without any envy. It's not important who picked you up. I had no problems with this.
- What can you tell us about St. Louis?
Tarasenko: I don't know the team as I didn't see them. But I received great impressions from their staff board. They came to me with favour. They were happy about me. I have only positive emotions toward them.
- With whom would you like to play in the same line should you get a spot with the team?
Tarasenko: It's not important to me. I'll play with whom they'll say me. I don't strive for any player. I didn't see games of their team. You know, they play in night time for us. I had simply no chance to follow them.
- You said that you would have liked to be picked by an NHL team with some Russian players, but in St. Louis there aren't. Aren't you upset?
Tarasenko: I think they had no Russian players for about ten years. No, I'm not upset. The opposite, I'll be the first! It's hard to get a spot within such teams as Washington or Pittsburgh. There are stars, Russian players that can bring the team on their shoulders. I think it's better to start within an average team. So that there a better chance to approach it. They explained me that the team's policy is to reach a higher level, and I'll be glad if I can help them in this.
- The question that everyone want to ask you: where will you play during the next season?
Tarasenko: I still don't know, my agent is now discussing this with Sibir's staff. It's not clear yet. It's not up to me. This topic is closed for now since I don't know myself what to expect and what all will be.
- Is this period hard for you?
Tarasenko: Yes it's very hard. You simply torment yourself. You don't know where you'll be. And get ready for what. If there was a clear way then it would be easier because I'd know what to expect. And correspondingly how to proceed. And even more when you have such a choose: Russia and America. Different countries, different mindsets, different levels of play. It's not easy for me.
- When will you have to take a decision?
Tarasenko: I think before the start of Sibir's training camp on July 12th.
- But should you have the chance to go overseas already this season, would you be ready for that?
Tarasenko: I am ready!
- So in the best case, next season will be your last in Russia?
Tarasenko: Yes. If I'll stay with Sibir then next season will be my last one in Russia. I've said that if I'm going to America I'm not going to repeat Filatov and Tikhonov's experience and get back to Russia because it strongly affects the relationships between you and your club, and generally with the NHL.
- Let's change topic. What can you tell us about Los Angeles?
Tarasenko: It was lucky that the draft was in Los Angeles. We went to the beach, visited parks. There was a standard program for everyone. We did nothing unusual. Everyone liked the city. The organization was top notch and there were no problems at all. Los Angeles is a beautiful city and it's always hot. But also in St. Louis it should be not cold too, they say that it's +10 in the winter so all should be good (smiles).