Romanov looks back on his deal, ‘tough moment’

OTTAWA – No one expected the Canadiens to trade Alexander Romanov on draft night in Montreal on July 7, especially Romanov himself.

When Gary Bettman announced he was transferring to the New York Islanders in a three-team deal involving the Chicago Blackhawks, the young defenseman was sleeping peacefully in Russia. He did not receive a call on his cell phone. It was only the next morning that he read the text message that general manager Kent Hughes had sent.

Meeting Romanov in the visitors’ locker room in Ottawa after his team won 4-2 last Monday, Romanov spoke about the traumatic event in his young career.

“It’s a difficult time in a player’s career. I admit that my reaction wasn’t good, because I didn’t expect it.

Romanoff’s pensive gaze soon dissipated, giving way to a broad smile.

“But… you just have to keep playing!” He snapped, and burst into nervous laughter.

The endearing and ardent Romanoffs that Montreal fans lived for didn’t change one thing. in fact yes. He no longer wears a long black mane, the famous “flux” in hockey jargon.

Twice instead of once, Lou Lamoriello had to remind him of the rule that he makes no compromises: a shaved beard and clean hair. For the first time, Romanov kept his hair long.

“But you know what the rules are,” Romanov assured, not at all bitter. I adhere to this rule.

On the other side of the border, he hasn’t forgotten his former teammates, particularly his former captain, Shea Weber, who taught him so much when he got to the NHL.

I’m still in touch with Susie [Nick Suzuki], Webby and other men. Webby was the “father of hockey”. He was always willing to help me and give me advice. When the announcement of his injury came, we talked. It wasn’t easy for him.”

See also  'Athletes' exercise should be restricted'

Perfect for Long Island

Despite the shock caused by the deal, Romanov quickly settled into his new team. After a month of enlisting, he had already landed on Long Island to soak up his new environment.

Islanders love it. Matthew Barzal even compares him to Niklas Kronwall, a compliment which Romanov receives with great humility.

And although Romanov is sitting in the locker room next to the team’s two Russian goalkeepers, Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin, think again: no combinations; “The group of players is fantastic,” swears the 22-year-old fullback.

“He arrived very early to train with his new teammates, so they got to know him quickly,” said Andrew Gross, Islanders coverage reporter for the Canadian Tire Center press show. Having talked with the guys, I can tell you that they love the Romanovs very much.

The first instinct in evaluating a deal is to crown a winner and designate a loser. If today’s Canadians consider themselves lucky to have Kirby Dash on their team, the Islanders don’t seem to regret sacrificing their 13th overall pick in 2022 to get the Romanovs.

An integral part of the quartet of one of the best defenses in the NHL (seventh in goals against), Romanov forms a duo with Noah Dobson and spends an average of twenty minutes per game on the ice.

He was assigned very important defensive tasks; In the second period, when Ross Johnston and Scott Mayfield were penalized in quick succession, he was deployed in a 3-on-5 situation. His head coach, Len Lambert, sent him to the ice at another critical moment in the twenty-third, with just over two minutes left and one goal lead for protection.

See also  The Alouettes are looking forward to Tom Brady

“He meets and exceeds our expectations,” Lambert said after the match. “He plays well for us. He brings an element that we wanted in our team.”

It must be said that Romanov, for all his limitations and tendency to get out of the game by attempting the big check, had exactly the profile the Islanders desired over the offseason.

“They obviously wanted him for his physical game,” said journalist Andrew Gross before continuing his explanations. They also needed a defender with good skating, as they lost Devon Toews and Nick Leddy. Last season, they could not get the puck out of their territory.

Historically, both the Islanders organization and its supporters have a penchant for tough players. At the moment, Romanov is not known well enough among the team’s followers, but his popularity will increase in the coming months.

“He’s the best player on Long Island in my eyes,” said Gross. There they like this kind of players. When Darius Kasparitis was with the Islanders, the fans loved him.”

As for his offensive performance, nothing has changed compared to what was observed in Montreal. Romanov is still looking for his first target with the Islanders, but it’s not something that particularly bothers the organization.

“Right now, he’s coming to a new team and he’s keeping things simple,” his coach said. He tries to make a good first pass, to be a physical player and to “kill” penalties. He does a lot of good things and we are satisfied. The aggressive aspect is not something we really worry about. Will come.”

taken in the language

At several points in the interview, we feel that Romanov would like to open up more and develop more deeply the idea he started. A subtle frustration can be read in the face of this man who is overflowing with energy, but doesn’t always have the words to express it.

See also  eBay Janos, founder who became a friend of Lionel Messi | you saw?

This is an impossible reality for young Russian players crossing the Atlantic to develop in the NHL: the language barrier is an obstacle that they must constantly deal with in their daily lifestyle.

In the dressing room, the Romanovs are not so often visited by the media, who prefer to turn to players who are fluent in Shakespeare’s language.

“I only spoke to him a few times,” admitted journalist Andrew Gross. He seems to be very good at English, but it is difficult for him to open up. With him, we often stay on the surface. And sometimes you have to understand that Russians don’t want to put their feet in the plate, because they can express themselves awkwardly and see their words taken in a way they wouldn’t have heard from members of the press. “

Far from crafting criticism, the journalist works Newsday Instead, he explained the Russians’ difficulty in learning English, which would require them to master an entirely new alphabet, very different from the Cyrillic alphabet they knew.

But there is no doubt that Romanov has made progress in this regard since his debut in Montreal.

“Now that I’m in the States, at least only English. There’s no more French!” the young man jokes.

When he doesn’t have the words to express the enthusiasm he harbors, there will always be that broad, indelible smile to testify to that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *