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октября 2003 года.
Vorobiev's path to NHL filled with potholes - Chicago Sun Times
BY LEN ZIEHM Staff Reporter
Pavel Vorobiev's tenure with the Blackhawks got off to a rocky start.
Drafted 11th overall in 2000 -- one spot after the Hawks took Mikhail Yakubov -- Vorobiev failed his first physical with his new team because of a knee injury.
His long, difficult road to the NHL might reach completion tonight, when Vorobiev could be in the lineup for the Hawks' first road game of the season against the Colorado Avalanche.
If the 21-year-old right wing turns into the star that general manager Mike Smith expected on draft day three years ago, it will make for one of the most inspirational stories surrounding the Hawks in many years.
Vorobiev, from Kazakhstan, reported to the Hawks' rookie camp a few weeks after Smith drafted him. He was shaking off knee surgery then and has been ever since.
His problems started before the draft when he was involved in a knee-to-knee collision with a teammate while practicing with his Russian team, HC Yaroslavl. He tore the meniscus in his left knee, but with the help of painkillers, he played another two weeks. The surgery he underwent in Russia in April 2000 was botched. That became evident when Vorobiev reported to the Hawks.
"Something was wrong,'' Vorobiev said, with translation help from Hawks captain Alex Zhamnov. "They didn't fix it right. I came to rookie camp and couldn't skate. It was so painful.''
The Hawks arranged a second surgery in Chicago and found Vorobiev housing with a Russian family, Gene and Marina Dushkin and their 12-year-old son, Teddy.
The Dushkins, who came to the United States 10 years ago, have housed Russian-raised Hawks players Yakubov, Igor Radulov, Vladimir Gusev and Alexander Kojevnikov. Radulov's mother and Yakubov's girlfriend also were among their houseguests.
"It's hard for them because they're all about 20 years old,'' Marina Dushkin said. "They used to live with their parents and have girlfriends at home. They have to get used to American food. It's difficult getting used to a life without having anyone there.''
Vorobiev's stay was made more difficult because he couldn't even play hockey. Just 19 and unable to skate or speak English, he stayed six months in the Dushkins' Schaumburg home while undergoing rehab treatments. He worked with the Hawks but rarely made it onto the ice.
"At first he worked a lot at the rehabilitation center and exercised at home,'' Marina Dushkin said. "He's a very hard-working, serious person.''
Vorobiev went to Hawks practices, watched their home games and took English classes. The Dushkins tried to help him adjust to a new culture, the one he would be living in if he ever made the Hawks' roster.
"We took him to meet our friends,'' Marina said. "We went to a lot of restaurants. We took him to see Blue Man Group, and we went to every Blackhawks game with him. We were very busy. He's an easy-going guy, and he listened a lot.''
Teddy's youth hockey team made some out-of-town trips. When the Dushkins were away, Vorobiev took care of their dog.
"He was very helpful,'' Marina said. "He became [like] our son.''
Vorobiev eventually returned to Russia and played -- some say too much, too soon -- for HC Yaroslavl again. He avoided injury, and Smith signed him to a contract June 2. Then visa problems replaced knee problems. The Hawks wanted Vorobiev at their summer rookie camp, but neither he nor the other Russian prospects could make it.
Vorobiev arrived in September for two weeks of fitness work with some Hawks players. Though he scored five goals in one of the scrimmages, coach Brian Sutter wasn't optimistic about Vorobiev cracking his roster when training camp started Sept. 11.
"He's extremely gifted,'' Sutter said at the time, "but he had a serious knee injury and missed a whole year. When you're young, that really sets you back.''
Vorobiev flashed enough offensive skills, though, to make it with the rebuilding Hawks. Don't be fooled by the fact Sutter scratched him Wednesday from a 1-0 season-opening victory over the Minnesota Wild. Vorobiev fits prominently into the team's youth movement.
"He's learning to adjust to different styles,'' Sutter said. "He'll be just fine. He won't sit out a lot of games in a row. None of these kids will.''
24 октября. Павел Воробьев: "Моя девушка танцует в
Локо, а я - в Чикаго" - "Спорт-Экспресс"
24 октября. Павел Воробьев: "Моя девушка танцует в Локо, а я - в Чикаго" - "Спорт-Экспресс"