2019 YEARBOOK. VLADIMIR GAIDEIK

2019 YEARBOOK. VLADIMIR GAIDEIK
Interview
23.07.2019 в 13:00
2019 YEARBOOK. VLADIMIR GAIDEIK
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Most assists of all-time record-holder in the history of Mamonty Yugry Vladimir Gaideik shared his emotions on winning Junior Hockey League bronze medals, looked back at his KHL debut and let in on his secrets for pre-season training.

- What achievement in junior hockey do you consider your best?
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I think, it’s the bronze medal that I’ve won with Mamonty Yugry. We worked towards it for a long time, we had the same team all along – everyone on the team graduated from Yugra junior hockey school. It’s great that we managed to win bronze medals. It’s definitely a big achievement.

- What was more emotional for you – winning the bronze or making your KHL debut a year ago?
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It’s probably the bronze, although making my KHL debut was unforgettable as well. KHL games draw a whole different level of crowd. There were a lot of fans in Yaroslavl, where I made my debut. My debut game went by very fast – in the blink of an eye.

- So you didn’t have butterflies in your stomach?
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Of course I did. Teams stepped onto the ice and everyone listened to the anthem. Yaroslavl fans were singing it along and I was shaking in my knees (laughs). But Veli-Matti Savinainen told me that I had to play physical in the first couple of minutes and then the nervousness would go away.

- Currently there are a lot of local junior hockey school alumni on Mamonty Yugry and Yugra. Does it help on the ice?
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I believe, Mamonty Yugry have built up the right system. We have a good school. It’s among the best in Russia in several age groups. That’s why many of its alumni make it to JHL team. As for Yugra, I wouldn’t say there are a lot of local alumni. They definitely invite a lot of local players to their camp but not many of them make the final cut. But it’s definitely easier for us to play together. We know each other well off the ice as well. Besides, it’s easier for local guys to bond with the rest of the team.

- Do you think the number of local junior hockey school alumni draws more fans to the games?
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Of course. It’s obvious. When it’s the local boys who are playing, more fans show up to the games, including their friends and family. There are always a lot of fans at our games. I spoke to many of them and they’re happy to see so many local junior hockey school alumni on the team.

- Many see Mamonty Yugry’s brand of hockey as defensive-minded. Does it mean certain obstacles for you as a forward?
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I don’t think that Mamonty Yugry play defensive hockey. On the contrary, I see our game as offensive-minded. Yes, we do allow very few goals, but that’s mostly due to us spending a lot of time in the offensive end. If you look at the statistics, we do allow the least number of goals but we’re also among the top teams in goals scored.

- How do you manage to allow so few goals?
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Our goaltenders played at a really high level. We need to be very thankful to our goaltending coach Roman Alexandrovich Kuzmin. Since he joined the team, our goaltending has been gradually improving every year.

- Will you begin the upcoming season in VHL?
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Yes. I was traded to Avtomobilist [Yekaterinburg] system, so I will begin the season on Gornyak [Uchaly].

- Have you already been to Uchaly?
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Yes, that’s where I’m right now. I spoke to the guys who played here last season. They say that it’s a small town but it’s surrounded by mountains and the landscape is gorgeous. I think, it’s more of a positive. There are going to be less distractions and I could dedicate more time to hockey. It’s definitely not a problem for me.

- How does one make it to a KHL team from a small town of Raduzhny?
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I think, luck had a lot to do with it. Junior hockey school tournaments are held annually in our autonomous region. Almost every Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region town is represented there. I was noticed by one Khanty-Mansiysk coach at one of those tournaments. There were looking for 1998 year borns for Yugra-UKIOR. I was invited to Khanty-Mansiysk along with a few other guys from Raduzhny. And then it just so happened that I remained there and made my way to JHL.

- Pavel Voronkov said that Mamonty Yugry have tough pre-seasons. Is that true?
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Yes, that’s the way it is. Every since the new coach came, our approach to pre-season changed drastically. Pre-season practice routine is so tough that not everyone can pull through it. There’s a lot of running, a lot of weight-lifting, a lot of everything really. However, when the season comes, even if we are evenly matched against the opposition in the first two periods, we can easily outskate them in the third and get the win. Every game goes buy swiftly. Even after the game you feel that you could take a 15-minute rest and play another game.

- Could you give an example of one drill?
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We have a drill called Timur’s shuttle run. We named it after a player who often didn’t make the cut. In the morning those who will be dressed for the game, go for a skate, while others hang back and work. So Timur’s shuttle run is skating from one blue line to the other 18 times. It’s timed and it’s very difficult. In the summer we run about 10 or 12 laps around the mountain next to the rink. One lap is one kilometer long. Cross-country running is also timed. If you can’t make it, you get an extra jogging session the following morning.

- Can you name three Mamonty Yugry players who should be expected to make a big progress in the upcoming season?
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Last year a lot of players left the team mid-camp and we had almost an entirely new team by the start of the season. We were worried that we were going to miss the playoffs. This is why there are a lot of 2000 and 2001 year borns on the team right now. It’s difficult to single any of them out. For example, last year, Ivan Savchik, Mikhail Stikhanovsky and Ilya Stupin were great additions to the team. There’s going to be a lot of players who will do well this season and make a name for themselves.

- Ilya Stupin made a bit of name for himself last season already.
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Of course! He’s Valerianman!

- Valerianman?
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He was born in 2001 and just joined the team last year. We were in Orenburg, playing against local Sarmaty and it was one of his first games for Mamonty Yugry. We win 2-0 and Ilya earns his first career JHL shutout. The horn goes off. I look at him, expecting him to be overflowing with joy… And there’s not a single trace of emotions on his face as if he’s been blanking teams by dozens for years.

- What are your plans for the upcoming season?
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I expect to make the team and be helpful. Gornyak are yet to make VHL playoffs, so I want to end the tendency and compete for Petrov Cup.

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