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|6 октября 2006
Special night for Fitzgerald, Arkhipov // Chicago Tribune
BY LEN ZIEHM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Opening night for the Blackhawks' 80th season offered a couple of unusual twists Thursday.
The ceremonial first puck was dropped by Tom Fitzgerald, Nashville's first captain. He ended a four-year stint with the Predators when they traded him to the Hawks late in the 2001-02 season, and he was a big help in the Hawks' last run to the playoffs.
That season also provided the last taste of postseason play for Fitzgerald, who played 17 solid seasons in the NHL before recently retiring.
Thursday's game also was the first in a Hawks sweater for center Denis Arkhipov. He last played in the NHL for the Predators but spent the previous two seasons in the Russian Elite League.
''I wanted to come out and show my best,'' Arkhipov said. ''It didn't matter if it was here or not, but it was interesting that in my first game coming back, I'm playing against Nashville.''
Arkhipov was a heavy-duty player in the last three of his four seasons with the Predators, playing in 82, 79 and 72 games before jumping to the Russian league during the 2004-05 lockout. He and Fitzgerald were teammates in 2001-02, and that also was Arkhipov's best NHL season: a team-leading 20 goals and 42 points while playing in every game, mostly as the top-line center.
General manager Dale Tallon lured Arkhipov out of Russia in hopes of improving the Hawks at their weakest position. Arkhipov, Michal Handzus and Bryan Smolinski all were brought in to correct the glaring deficiencies the Hawks had at the center spot last season.
''I was playing in the European Championships when my agent called and said Chicago had signed me,'' Arkhipov said. ''All my life I wanted to play in the NHL. Now I'm getting a second chance to show I can do it.''
The league significantly changed its rules since Arkhipov's stint with the Predators. More speed and skill and less physical play is required. Arkhipov quickly noticed the difference in training camp.
''I needed a couple games in the preseason, but now everything's fine,'' he said. ''After two years, there's no big difference in style. I'm still enjoying the game and playing the game hard. That's all I can do.''
Страничка Дениса Архипова на
сайте "Звёзды с Востока"
29 октября 2004 года. Денис Архипов: Мне помогает
юмор. Но не американский! // "Советский Спорт"
22 марта 2004 года. "Хищники» готовы к войне! Интервью
с Д.Архиповым - Советский Спорт
29 октября 2004 года. Денис Архипов: Мне помогает юмор. Но не американский! // "Советский Спорт"
22 марта 2004 года. "Хищники» готовы к войне! Интервью с Д.Архиповым - Советский Спорт