Andrei Markov has hung up his skates at the ripe old age of 41 years. He was a young whitey who never really far from his native Russia when he was brought in North America. Quickly paired with the rookie, Craig Rivet took him under his wing to ensure the full development of this raw talent.
It must be remembered that at the time, in the early 2000s, the NHL hockey was a lot less scientific than today. In addition to the skirmish that was omnipresent, the game robust and strong men were always popular. The pane bullying was still much in vogue.
“I quickly realized that it made him nervous. I said to him : ‘Don’t worry. Do what you got to do and I will always be there, just to the side, ready to defend yourself.’ I wanted to know that he could have his style without being intimidated by those who wanted to make him afraid, ” said Rivet, then 26 years old, in a generous interview offered to the author of these lines, on Friday.
Rivet, who is moderating today a broadcast on the radio sports Buffalo, don’t know whether it is this initiative that has allowed him to be closer to Markov, but he argues that they are always well heard.
Of course, getting along with Markov doesn’t mean investing in a philosophical discussion, or in a great debate of ideas. His reputation for being introverted is not born by chance.
“We have been teammates for eight seasons. I was his partner in the defence for six of them. Despite all that, I do not think that it has already held a long discussion, he launched into a burst of laughter. He was silent, but it spoke to me a lot more than anyone else.
“And, over the seasons, it has managed to gain the respect of the other “, he took care to add.
S. O. S. Petrov
Nowadays, the vast majority of Russian players are brought in North America with a luggage enough decent English to be able to assimilate the instructions and make themselves understood. At the very least, which is the language of hockey. However, at the turn of the new millennium, it was far from being the case. Rivet quickly realized.
“He knew nothing of the English. Not easy to communicate with your partner when he does not understand your language, said Rivet. When I wanted him to explain something, I was trying to do by making signs with my hands. ”
The strategy did not always work. In these cases, or when it was imperative for the rookie to grasp the strategy or the patch to bring, Rivet opted for another solution.
“When it didn’t work, we would come to Oleg Petrov in our end of the bench. In the middle of the match, Oleg was able to quit her place in the group of attackers to come and serve as interpreter, ” said Rivet, still in disbelief in front of this situation.
Statistics offensive of Markov place among the greatest defenders in the history of the Canadian. He has been the quarterback of this training for the large majority of its 16 seasons under the colors blue, white and red.
Rivet, who has also played for the Sharks, Sabres and Blue Jackets, believes that the fluency of his teammate to lead the attack led the supporters and observers to forget another facet of the game in which he knew also stand out.
“This is the best defender and offensive, with which I have played. But it is also the best defender defensive, with which I have played, has stipulated Rivet. Because of the many points that he accumulated, everyone saw his talent in offensive. However, watching him play on a daily basis, you realize that his defensive game was just as solid. It is amazing how good he is defensively. ”
In this regard, P. K. Subban made a similar comment on his account Instagram on Friday morning.
“This is one of the best defenders to have played the sport. He was able to defend its territory and stop the best of the best. And when it was time to score a big goal in a numerical advantage or to set the table for his teammates, he knew how to do so impressive “, has described the back of the Devils.
This is in keeping with the definition of a defender in full.