Transcript of Alex Kovalev interview following trade

Read a transcript of an interview Alex Kovalev did with a Senators PR staffer following his trade to Pittsburgh.

The Senators didn’t make Alex Kovalev available to the media after he learned he’d been traded to the Pittsburgh. Here is a transcript of an interview he did with the Senators’ PR staff. Questions have been paraphrased.

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QUESTION: Just your reaction to the news you’ve been traded to a former team of yours, the Pittsburgh Penguins?

ALEX KOVALEV: Well I’m definitely pretty excited because I’ve been there before and I had some good years and, you know, it’s too bad I couldn’t show myself, couldn’t prove myself as a good player in Ottawa but I still had a great time here and being surrounded by a good organization and great group of guys on the team and, I just feel bad that, like I said, we couldn’t do a better job. But I’m at the same time excited to go to Pittsburgh and play in the playoffs again, because it’s been a while since I played and, it was, you know, a fun two years. I have to, like anybody else, just move on and continue enjoying your hockey life.

QUESTION: Looking at the Penguins’ roster, what do you know about them, do you have any former teammates that are in Pittsburgh….and how do you see yourself fitting in there and offering to them?

AK: I guess they always have the same tradition there, I mean they’e always been the same kind of team. The team changed a lot since I was there and I pretty much don’t have anybody that I played with when I was there. Malkin, the only guy I played with on the national team, got injured…but I’m excited. It’s a hard-working team and they proved that recently (by) winning a Stanley Cup and you know Mario, I know Mario very well and he does whatever it takes to put a team in the right direction so like I said I’m really excited to go back there again.

QUESTION: Are you excited about going into the playoffs again?

AK: Playoffs is the most exciting moments in a hockey career and to be in the playoffs and have that excitement when people are cheering and (there’s) so much noise and you know every game is important and not like regular season when you lose one game and get ready for the next one. Playoffs, it’s all pressure so you lose a game, four games and you’re out and that’s what I like about it.

QUESTION: Any favourite memories from your time in Pittsburgh?

AK: I know a few people but not too many, but I had a great time. The people have always been nice to me and really enjoyed being around the fans. It’s kind of unique going there after years in New York, that’s where I had the opportunity to really explore my talent and show what I’m capable of and become the player I wanted to be.

QUESTION: Leaving Ottawa, is there anything you want to say to the fans?

AK: I really want to thank all the fans, even though I had a tough two years, I still want to thank the fans for supporting me whatever situation I was in. I know it’s tough for everybody but me particularly, I still had some, a lot, of support and people here understand how tough it is to play sports not having support…still, just because I’ve had support I was able to, you know, make them happy with the way I play and for that kind of support, I really appreciate it. And most important for the group of guys I’ve been surrounded with on the team – they’ve been really great guys and I was really excited and really close friends with most of the guys not he team and like I said, it’s too bad ending this way, but it’s a business and a life and we can’t choose some things in life and whatever happens happens and you just take the path just to continue to succeed and be a hockey player and enjoy what you love to do since you’re a kid.

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