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|Tikhonov gets 'taste' again: Winger back in NHL after 6 years
10 октября 2015 года. Hine, Chris. Chicago Tribune
For Viktor Tikhonov, Friday night was more than six years in the making. The 27-year-old Blackhawks winger had not played in an NHL game since April 11, 2009, the season after the Coyotes selected him in the first round of the draft.
Since then Tikhonov spent his time in the AHL and then in the KHL, hoping to resurrect his career. Before he took the ice against the Islanders, Tikhonov said Friday's 3-2 overtime win against the Islanders was an opportunity he wouldn't take for granted.
"Getting a taste of it for one year then having to be away for so long makes you really, really hungry and motivated," Tikhonov said. "I'm glad to get another crack at it."
Tikhonov had one shot on goal in 10 minutes, 31 seconds Friday.
Tikhonov replaced Kyle Baun in the lineup and skated on the third line alongside center Andrew Shaw and winger Bryan Bickell.
Tikhonov, who had several teams interested in signing him, signed a one-way contract with the Hawks to see if he could re-energize his career in the NHL.
After being away from the league for so long, Tikhonov said he had forgotten how it feels on a day you're slated to play.
"Probably closer to gametime the nerves will kick in," Tikhonov said. "But that sharpens you up, gets you more focused.
"This is what I've been waiting for, for a long time. ... This is going to be the first taste. I'm incredibly excited."
Svedberg gets chance: Tikhonov wasn't the only one making his first appearance with the Hawks on Friday. Defenseman Viktor Svedberg made his NHL debut, replacing David Rundblad on the blue line as coach Joel Quenneville searches for an effective bottom pair of defensemen.
Svedberg, who was close to playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs last season, said Quenneville told him to keep it simple in his debut.
"They want me to play my game," Svedberg said. "Play hard, solid defensively and that's about it."
For salary-cap purposes, the 6-foot-8, 238-pounder didn't begin the season with the Hawks even though he was one of the surprises of training camp.
"He gives us a defenseman who can play," Quenneville said. "We like his size, reach and stick. He was effective with the puck (in camp), put it in good areas and made direct plays."