After Kirill Kabanov has been announced to Salavat Yulaev Ufa many rumors arisen. At first it looked like his new head coach Vyacheslav Bykov would have offered him not less than 10 minutes of ice play, quite impressive considering how stacked the team is. But then further rumors has been spread, especially about him reporting to Moncton, the team which drafted him on the latest CHL Import Draft with the seventh overall pick. In this interview by Andrei Osadchenko and translated by Alessandro Seren Rosso Kabanov confirmed the latter...
Did you recieve any other offer, a part the one from Salavat?
Yes, from Atlant, Metallurg Mg and Lokomotiv. I don't know, maybe Spartak asked too much money for the transfer.
Would you agree to play in the MHL for Salavat's farm team?
The contract they offered me was one-way, without the possibility to play in the junior league.
Recently in the press they wrote about a possible move to Moncton of the QMJHL. Is this realistic?
I think that as far as now it's the best option.
Did the Wildcats talk with you?
Yes. Now we go to Slovakia (for the Ivan Hlinka Tournament - note), where my agent is awaiting me with the contract. I've signed the transfer card. I'll wait for KHL decision, where they will send me and if nothing works out I'll go to Moncton. The fact is that should I go to Salavat or remain with Spartak, then I'll be locked in Russia 'til I'll be 28. I'll have a professional contract until I'll be 22, then I can only play for Salavat or being traded to another KHL team. As far as now, this is what I think it's written in the league's rulebook.
Many experts give you high ratings for the next NHL draft. Would you like to play in the NHL?
Yeah. Well, I would not want this, but, as i've told u already, they taught us that, when we played in the children hockey.
They taught us, that the NHL is everything. Life, money, glory it's the top of hockey's world... Now Russia is going on the correct way. They advise the youngsters not to go there and they made everything to prevent it. I was bred up in a different way. I was trained who prepared Ovechkin and Kovalchuk, who now play in the NHL. I don't know, maybe nowadays youngsters grown thinking that the KHL is everything. I even saw a commercial with a kid saying "KHL is my future". It's possible that this is why they grow up like that, and it's correct. It's good to remain in Russia, but now I have another aim. This is my childhood dream. League's and Russia's ambitions play no role here. I'm a patriot. I'm always ready to play for my country, but this is my childhood dream and I want to fulfill it.
Many guys of your generation used to cheer for Detroit and wanted to play exactly in that team. It's correct to believe that it's the same for you?
I'll say you this. I'm from a northern country, it snows during winter and the summer isn't too warm. This is why I'd like to play in a southern team. For example, Los Angeles. Or in Las Vegas, if they'll create a team there. (laughs) Why not? It's great! Receive your salary and lose it right here at once! (laughs)
What do you know about the Moncton Wildcats?
I know that Moncton is a holiday city. And there is a rich, ambitious team. They picked up many players and they are doing everything to win the Memorial Cup. The team belongs to the Irwing family. They have an oil company in Canada. The team is very good and could compete with KHL teams. They have a 7000 seats arena and a lot of fans.
What do you know about the QMJHL?
I'm not that familiar with Quebec. More with Ontario, I had many offers from there.
On what will depend your decision about where to play the next season?
Probably It will depend on what actions Salavat will do - how and in what order they will sign a contract with me. Whether it will be the same contract I had with Spartak or not.
With Spartak I had a 3+2 contract. That means up to 2010 plus other two years should I carry on my KHL career. Thus now I'm on a 1+2 contract as it was a 5 years deal. If Salavat will offer me a 1+2 contract, then I will sign thus I can increase my raiting. If Salavat won't offer me such a contract, then probably I'll go to Canada. But in principle, I would already play there because I want to play in that league, and I'm ready for that. At least, I think so!