Alex Galchenyuk Speaks For The First Time Since His Arrest

Published August 28, 2023 at 4:13 PM

Alex Galchenyuk was recently arrested and charged with several different crimes stemming from an incident in Arizona. As a result, he was released by the Arizona Coyotes and will not be in the NHL this year. Now Galchenyuk has spoken for the first time in an interview.

Galchenyuk To The KHL

After his arrest and release from Arizona Alex Galchenyuk decided to sign in the KHL with SKA. He recently did an interview in Russia after being signed and talked about his offseason:

Alex Galchenyuk is a skilled forward. Players aren't chosen third overall in the NHL draft without reason.

Galchenyuk has already played 654 games in the NHL, earning 354 points (146 goals + 208 assists) in regular season championships, with an additional 17 points (5 goals + 12 assists) in 38 playoff games. By the age of 29, Galchenyuk had the opportunity to play for Montreal, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Ottawa, Toronto, again Arizona, and Colorado.

His third stint with the Coyotes lasted only 12 days. After signing a contract in the offseason, Galchenyuk quickly became involved in a scandalous situation that led to legal proceedings. Arizona immediately terminated his contract, and Alex, after resolving all legal matters, came to Russia to play for SKA. Just the second day into his time there, he was already interviewed by the "Match TV" correspondent.

How do you feel about starting a new stage in your career - now in the KHL?

It's very exciting; I was eager to come here. I had to address a couple of matters, like getting a visa. I can't wait to hit the ice with the guys.

"Match TV" reported that "Salavat Yulaev" was interested in you last season. Why didn't you come to the KHL earlier?

There were many rumors about me, but nothing concrete. Last year, I knew I was staying in the NHL. So, don't pay too much attention to what journalists wrote about me. Yes, their job is to make news. But if we look at the facts now, a couple of KHL teams were interested in me this season. However, I wanted to play for SKA.

But why SKA specifically?

There were discussions, and I entrusted my agent to handle this question. Especially while my legal case was being considered. I was still in California, but talks with SKA had already begun. I talked to Roman Borisovich (Rotenberg), and from that moment, the option with St. Petersburg became the most serious one. I was focused on SKA and wanted to play here, although there were talks with other clubs. A great team with a good chance of winning the Gagarin Cup.

Did the scandal with the police knock you off track?

No. I resolved all matters related to the investigation. I drew conclusions - we move forward.

Igor Larionov made a significant contribution to your career; he was your agent. Under his guidance in the 2012 rookie draft, you were selected third overall, while Nail Yakupov went first...

Yes, that was a while ago. Many years have passed since we worked together. Igor Larionov is a good person, and he provided a lot of valuable advice. When we play against "Torpedo," we'll see each other and chat.

If a fan who doesn't know you well asks, "What kind of guy are you?" - what video would you show them to watch? Which stage of your career?

The best stage is the one that lies ahead in the future. And if we talk about the past, I had good moments in Montreal, in Toronto Throughout my career, things didn't always go smoothly. There are positive moments and not-so-good ones. But they're all necessary. You have to take something useful from everything, even from negative experiences.

Now I'm an experienced hockey player. I'm starting a new phase of my career in the KHL with anticipation and faith that everything will be fine. It's time to step out and into battle!

The main celebrity in the KHL is Alexander Radulov. You played alongside him for the Canadiens. What impression did he make on you?

He's like a nuclear power plant on the ice.

Well, not exactly that. But Alexander is very energetic. We played on the same line. I derived immense pleasure from being on the ice with him. Radulov's energy radiates both on and off the ice. We have a good relationship. When we meet, we'll definitely talk. Radulov is 37 years old on paper, but in reality, he's like he's 27. He's quite the handsome guy!

Now foreign players in the KHL are starting to acquire Russian citizenship. How do you feel about this?

It's a bit early for me to think about that. Step by step, as the saying goes. You're asking me such a broad question, and I just arrived in St. Petersburg on Friday at 5 in the morning and haven't even had a chance to sleep. Not to mention playing my first game in the KHL.

Applying for citizenship is a routine matter? Even Russians do it in the NHL.

For them, yes. But for me, everything here is new; I just got off the plane. So, step by step.

What did your father, Alexander Galchenyuk Sr., say about your move to Russia?

Let's start with the fact that my dad played for SKA in the 2002/03 season. I was eight years old then. Even back then, I remembered that St. Petersburg was a big, beautiful city. The hockey atmosphere was palpable. My memories are only positive, but still, that was a long time ago.

The entire family supported me in this decision. Everyone is thrilled that I came to Russia. My dad mentioned that even back then, the organization was good, and now SKA is truly outstanding. The city lives and breathes hockey, and that inspires good play.

Before joining SKA, did you study the KHL? Maybe you watched the Gagarin Cup final between CSKA and Ak Bars to understand the league's level? Or the Western Conference final, where SKA played against CSKA?

I won't claim that I watched a lot of KHL games from overseas. For instance, I might have caught a semifinal or final with friends. I noticed that the KHL plays an attacking, beautiful style of hockey. Everyone emphasizes speed. The faster team usually wins. But now, of course, I'll be studying the KHL deeply.

Have you already found an apartment in St. Petersburg?

No, no, and I'll repeat: step by step.

Has anyone offered you their apartment?

Mikhail Mal'tsev, who I was with in "Colorado," messaged me and said that if I needed an apartment in St. Petersburg, he had one. We have a good relationship. So, we'll be in touch and talk. It's normal when hockey friends rent apartments from each other. I just haven't had the chance yet. I've only checked into the hotel, still going through acclimatization. I need to take tests, get on the ice, get to know the guys, the team presentation is on Sunday. Right now, finding an apartment isn't a priority. But I'll have free days ahead, and I'll address that question.

Your family has a website called Galchenyuk Business Enterprises (GBE). So, you have a family corporation? What services do you provide?

People can reach out to us and come up with something interesting. For example, my dad put me on skates, my mom and sister always helped. Our whole family is into sports, we're very active, and we can share our experiences. Dad can coach students. Without my family, I wouldn't have been able to build my hockey career.

Throughout this part of the interview, Galchenyuk only focuses on what's ahead. He spends very little time talking about the actions that led him out of the NHL or how he plans to improve going forward.

Galchenyuk Gives His Dream Teammate Lineup

The Interview then moves on to Galchenyuk's dream lineup of players he has played with in the past.

Let's create a symbolic lineup of partners from your career. Who do you remember?

Goalkeeper - that's Carey Price from Montreal. Especially in the 2014/15 season when he won all the major NHL awards, including the Hart Trophy. He was the best goaltender in the world, and everyone said Price should have his own separate league. Very calm and self-assured.

Two defensemen - Andrei Markov was great at passing in power play, penalty kill, and 5-on-5. Well, we need a physical defenseman, so let's put Alexei Emelin here.

Forwards - let's highlight Sasha Radulov; we played well together. I played with many stars in Toronto - Matthews, Marner, Nylander, Tavares. Let's go with Matthews. And the third - right-handed Nylander.

Finally, why did you decide to choose the number 89 in SKA?

I was considering this number for a couple of years; I liked it for some reason. And now I decided it's the right moment. It's not related to Alexander Mogilny or the birth year. I just like the combination of these numbers.

In this part of the interview, Galchenyuk highlights teammates from two stops specifically in Toronto with the Leafs and Montreal with the Canadiens. It seems as though these two stops had the most impact on Galchenyuk.

With Galchenyuk heading to Russia, it is likely the last we see of him in the NHL for a while. Hopefully, he will be able to get the help he needs to improve mentally and physically and make another attempt at playing in the league once he is worthy of the opportunity.

As Read On - Markerzone - Galchenyuk Addresses the Media for the First Time After His Arrest
August 28   |   25 answers
Alex Galchenyuk Speaks For The First Time Since His Arrest

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