1 декабря. Larionov struggles to fit in with
Florida // Detroit News
By Ted Kulfan / The Detroit News
SUNRISE, Fla -- Igor Larionov will turn 40 years old Sunday,
but don't expect the former Red Wings center to throw a big party.
"In Russian tradition, you don't celebrate the 40th birthday,"
Larionov, who is adjusting to life with the Florida Panthers these
can't have a big party. It's bad luck."
Bad luck is something Larionov needs no more of these
anyway, the way things are going with the Panthers, there's little
The Panthers have the third-worst record (5-9-4, 16 points)
15-team Eastern Conference. They're fourth in the weak-- no team better
than .500 -- Southeast Division.
Larionov, who was expected to inject offense into the
been able to do so. The Panthers have the fewest goals in the NHL (46).
Hindered by a hip flexor and abdominal pull, Larionov
has only appeared
in 13 games with three goals and four assists. Larionov returned Wednesday
for his first game since coming off the injured list, and the Panthers
in overtime to the Carolina Hurricanes.
"I was excited to be back," said Larionov of playing Wednesday.
good. I was feeling 100 percent."
But adjusting to Coach Terry Murray's conservative, chip-it-in
style is proving difficult.
Larionov prefers to control the puck and make plays, believing
the puck in is only an option when there isn't a play to make.
The two styles clearly haven't meshed.
"There's a need for a little bit of an adjustment here
in his (Larionov's)
style of play," Murray said. "We're not built the same way as an experienced
hockey team such as Detroit."
Murray said Larionov started the season well, but began
pressing as the
Panthers began having difficulty scoring.
"He was taking on a lot of the responsibility in that
part of the game
(offense) and it wasn't happening," Murray said. "Then the injury happened."
Larionov is anxious to face his former teammates, players
he won two
Stanley Cups with and still has warm regards for, tonight at the National
"When you play with a team for five seasons, and had a
lot of success
there, to play against the red uniforms will be a good experience,"
Larionov, the oldest player in the NHL. "It will be strange. I still
percent of the players and the coaches."
Some of Larionov's best friends on the Wings said it'll
likewise be strange
playing against Larionov. And yes, it's been an adjustment not having
crafty, professor-like Larionov around on a day-to-day basis.
Sergei Fedorov said he was disappointed to hear over the
Larionov signed with the Panthers.
"But there's nothing you can do about it, it's a business
said. "Over a period of time, winning Stanley Cups with guys, you become
best friends. It's hard to see people like that go. But sometimes the
side of hockey doesn't match with hockey."
"We had fun together and he gave a lot of good advice,"
Kozlov, who roomed with Larionov the past few seasons. "But hockey
business and there's nothing you can do about it. He made what was
best decision for him."
Larionov wouldn't get into discussions regarding his failed
with the Red Wings last season, and the missed opportunity of ending
career with the Wings.
Contract talks with the Wings hit a snag in January, with
length of the deal
and money both playing factors. When the summer rolled around the Wings
decided to filter youth into the line-up, and Larionov, despite playing
the playoffs, didn't fit into the Wings' big picture.
"It's in the past. I don't want to think about it," Larionov
said. "Why should
I go in depth into that situation again? It's behind me. I'm happy.
I made the
right decision and life goes on."
Larionov signed a one-year deal for $1.8 million (and
a $200,000 bonus),
with a club option for next season. Larionov wouldn't speculate as
much longer he'll play, other than saying it's year-to-year.
Murray believes Larionov can still be a productive NHL
"He's got speed, he's in great conditioning, and a wonderful
Murray said. "He sets the tone in the locker room. He still has games
good quality games."
3 декабря. Ларионову - 40.
В Майами ему пока что приходится не сладко.
Сегодня нашему прославленому ветерану Игорю Ларионову исполняется 40
лет. На сегодняшний день он самый возрастной игрок в НХЛ. Свой юбилей супер-распасовщик
встречает с небольшой травмой и не с самыми приятными мыслями об своей
игре и игре своей новой команды - "Флориды Пэнтерс".
Когда этим летом, Игорь подписал контракт с "Пэнтерс", в стане болельщиков
команды царила эйфория - ну теперь то "Флорида" точно сможет стать претендентом
на победу в Кубке Стэнли, так как связка Буре - Ларионов должна просто
разорвать все защитные построения соперников.
Реальность оказалась совершенно противоположной. За два месяца регулярного
сезона 2000-2001 гг, "Флорида Пэнтерс" оказались среди аутсайдеров лиги,
показывая абсолютно беззубую игру в атаке и если бы не индивидуальное мастерство
Павла Буре, ситауция могла бы быть просто катастрофической. Ларионов провёл
вместе с Буре лишь несколько игр на старте чемпионата, а затем, чему способствовала
и травма, был переведён в другие звенья.
Последние 5 лет до прихода во Флориду, Ларионов играл в комбинационный
хоккей в Детройте. В сезоне 1995-96 гг "русская пятёрка" Детройта терроризировала
всю НХЛ. "Нашу игру нельзя описать. Её нужно было видеть". Теперь, в 40
лет, старший тренер "Пэнтерс" Терри Мюррэй, хочет переучить ветерана. Пытаясь
вывести команды из состояния падения по турнирной таблице, Мюррэй заявил
что возвращается тактика вбрасываиния шайбы в зону соперника. Ларионов
открыто с ним не согласился.
"Да это трудно (перестраивать игру)," - сказал Мюррй в интервью журналистам
из Майами. "Но для общего успеха,вся команда должна следовать этому. .
. Если Игорь хочет ввести шайбу в зону, тогда это обязанна быть хорошая
ситуация. Мы не можем позволить себе потерять шайбу на синей линии. . .
Наша команда отличается от Детройта. Наши игроки не имеют столь большого
опыта как хоккеисты Детройта, которые выиграли два Кубка Стэнли. В среднем
уровень мастерства нашей команды значительно ниже, так что Ларионову придётся
немного изменить своему стилю игры."
В матче против "Рэд Уинз", 1 декабря, Мюррей поставил Игоря в четвёртое
звено (!) с Сердже Пэйеру и Лену Барри, хоккеистам, играя с которыми ничего
другого не остаётся как вбрасывать шайбу в зону. Однако перевоспитание
Ларионова, закончилось так и не успев начаться. В одном из эпизодов, шайба
после броска игрока Детройта угодила прямо в Игоря и тот был вынужден покинуть
лёд. "Пэнтерс" проиграли тот матч, так же как и следующий в Ст.Луисе 2
Команду продолжает лихорадить. С 18 очками "Пэнтерс" занимают второе
место с низу в турнирной таблице НХЛ. Если в самое ближайшее будущее положение
не изменится к лучшему, можно ждать перемен или в руководстве клуба или
в составе команды. Вот только не ждите изменений в игре Ларионова - он
будет играть также как и последние 20 лет - всеми силами стараясь помочь
своей команде, показывая при этом зрелищный, техничный, советский хоккей.
Удачи тебе, ветеран!
Дмитрий Попов. //"Звёзды с Востока". При подготовке использовались материалы
газеты "Miami Herald"
4 декабря. Larionov
tries to rebound from hip injury // Toronto Press
TORONTO (CP) -- Igor Larionov, the oldest player in the NHL,
quietly celebrated his 40th birthday by having dinner at a downtown
eatery with his agent Sunday night.
Balloons? Party hats?
"No," Larionov said with a smile. "It is Russian custom.
"You don't celebrate your 40th birthday in a loud way. You have
be quiet. Maybe 39, 41, 42, 50, you can have a lot of friends around.
But 40 is a very quiet time."
With only three goals in the 15 games he's played, it's been a
quiet season for the venerable Russian centre. He returned to the
Florida Panthers' lineup last week after missing nine games with a
flexor injury suffered Nov. 4.
If age is catching up to him, it doesn't show. He's maintained
pounds over his five-foot-nine frame for his entire playing career.
"When you drink two glasses of wine every day, except the game
day, and eat a lot of vegetables and fruit" it is not difficult to
Larionov became a free agent last summer and signed with the
Panthers after five years in Detroit. He's the only active NHL player
have won two Stanley Cups and two Olympic gold medals.
"The stock of tomatoes and cucumbers went down in Detroit because
I was eating a lot of them," he said. "But I've just tried to treat
the same for the last 20 years. I've had the same body weight for 24
seasons. It's working well for me."
There is conjecture this will be his final season, although he's
firm decision. All he knows is that when he finally does pack it in
take a year off to spend time with his family before finding a new
challenge to tackle.
An offer from Russia to play on his homeland's 2002 Olympic team
would be well received by Larionov. He declined to play in 1998 in
Nagano, Japan. His dislike of the men running the system back home
often kept him estranged from the national team. With different
leadership for Salt Lake City, he'd love a shot at a third gold medal.
"I just enjoy every day," he said in explaining his approach to
don't look too far ahead.
"I play hockey and spend time with my family."
Panthers coach Terry Murray is eager to see Larionov return to
"He's a guy that's got a great deal of pride in his game," said
"Physically, he's been a very healthy player throughout his career,
that allows him to be able to play in the NHL at the age of 40.
"He's got a tremendous work ethic. He's always doing more after
practice is over, off the ice. He still has his speed, still has his
The three weeks off did Larionov a world of good, Murray said.
old pro had "lost his game before the injury."
"Things are starting to come back now," Murray said. "And we need
him to come back. He's an important player for us. He'll really start
make a difference in our hockey team as we forward from here."
Forward is the only direction the Panthers can go. With a 5-11-4-4
record going into their Monday night game against the Toronto Maple
Leafs, they were dead last in the Eastern Conference.
It's quite shocking, really, considering Florida finished last
43-33-6 for 98 points. Being swept in the first playoff round by New
Jersey was the start of the downward spiral.
Pavel Bure had scored 15 goals before skating against the Leafs.
Nobody else had more than three, and the lack of offence has been a
main factor in the poor first quarter.
Bure does not conceal his discontent.
"No," he replied when asked if his own success allows him to feel
content. "You can't be happy if you're not winning. You have to win.
"The guys are working. They are trying to score. Everyone wants
score. Sometimes it doesn't go in. Sooner or later everybody will
score. We just have to keep working. There is no other choice."