Moving to a different team isn't an easy deal. Moving overseas is even tougher. But the young forward Alexander Burmistrov, who spent last season playing for Ak Bars' second team in Russian third tier league, seems to be fitting well in Canada and feels that moving to the OHL was the right thing.
You moved to Barrie around a month ago. I guess you managed to see the whole city.
Almost everything, yes. It's a beautiful city. Right in the middle there is a big lake. I've liked everything so far.
Would it be correct to call it a hockey city?
Yes. You can say that everyone is a hockey fan.
People recognize you while on streets?
No, not yet. (smiles)
Do you have at home something from your club?
I've hanged the jersey they gifted me on draft day. And also one of those little jerseys, with my surname as well.
Won't you talk about the pluses and minuses of this city?
(pauses) Well I still don't know that. I like a lot the arena. Here it's still warm and it's good. (smiles)
Aren't you worried by the winters? They say that the winters are cold in Canada...
No. I don't know, I think winters are colder in Russia. (smiles)
How do you spend your free time?
I go to the downtown, or to the movies, I surf the web...nothing special.
Which movie you watches as last?
The third part of “Final Destination”, on 3D format. I've liked it. I've watched the whole series.
Was it the first time you watched a movie in English?
Yes, but it was alright. I've understood everything. (smiles)
Do you live in a family?
Yes. I live with a nice family in a big house. By the way, this family is fairly rich. My mom arrived just now and she'll be here until September 19th.
How many other guys live in this family?
The goalkeeper of my team also lives here.
Do they stably feed you?
Yes, as soon as we want to eat, we just have to tell them and they'll cook. They eat a little bit of everything, but I'm always asking for meat.
You've already spent some trainings with your new team. What can you tell us about it?
Here I like everything. Good team, good players. We understand each other. I mix up with everyone, and everyone treats me well. In a match I've been roughed up and because of that a brawl started.
If it's not a secret, under which conditions Ak Bars let you go? Kirill Kabanov found some troubles in a similar situation...
I should play here one season, improve...and then I should get back and play for Ak Bars.
In the very first match you played with the Colts, you scored against Guelph. You couldn't have any better or you could have done more?
It's good that I've scored in my very first match, but still I could have scored more. The score was 9-4 and I think it represented what was happening on the ice. We were better than them. Then we lost again 7-2 at Sudbury, and then we won against Owen Sound Attack 5-3. This team was rather good.
In Guelph this year will play two other Russians: Evgeny Molotilov and Vadim Guskov. Did you manage to meet them?
I knew Molotilov, I've talked to him before and after the match, while I don't know the other guy. By the way, here in Barrie arrived yet another Russian – Denis Gladkov from CSKA. But they said him, that he'll play for them only starting from the next season. Not in this one.
Many talk about the differences between the methods in Russian and Canadian training. What can you tel us about that?
In the first place, here the trainings are run at higher speed. Secondly, in Russia you have two or even three sessions a day, here only one, but you're going to be tired at the end. You get out from the trainings without forces, get home and go sleeping.
Having spent some time in the OHL, how can you compare the level of the league with the Russian first division (the third tier league in which he used to play, now substituted by the MHL - ASR)?
I think that the First league was better than today's MHL, because there you had to play against men, not only juniors. If we compare these leagues with the OHL, then the OHL is better. Once again, there is a lot of speed in here.
You moved to Canada right after the Russian junior national team tour in the USA. Can you compare these two countries?
I don't know. But the city in which we played, Lake Placid, yes, I didn't like it at all. And it looked like there wasn't too much other than the arena. More like a resort city. Barrie is definitely better.
If we talk about the mini series against team USA, Russian junior national team didn't get great results. What was the main reason of this debacle in your opinion?
The refs didn't let us play. In the last play they pretty much condemned us to lose. The referees were good only in the third match, which we won. And even in there they were biased against us.
The refereeing was the same as in the finals of the last U18 WJC?
Yes. Maybe it was even worse.
The Americans were too good or it was all referees' fault?
No, it wasn't all refs' fault. We are guilty too since we lost. Team USA is very good, but we aren't any worse.
What did national junior team head coach Vladimir Plyuschev think about your leave? Will he keep on counting on you for the national team?
I've talked with him, all is good and we will be in contact. He trusts me and I want to help the team winning the WJC.
In next November, the national junior team will play one game in your new team's arena. Do you think you'll play as guest in front of your home fans?
I think I'll play. After all the coach has to watch me before the WJC. It's the only time they can do that. And only two matches: in Barrie and in Windsor.