Evgeny Kuznetsov has recently turned his trolling up to eleven. He tried – and failed – to enter a contest to win his own jersey, he started a TJ Oshie bobblehead collection, and he pretended to be TJ while wishing a fan a happy birthday.
It was that last post that prompted RMNB reader Alex Panteleyev to reach out to us via email with another story about Kuznetsov’s shenanigans. This time, from the 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
Alex Panteleyev writes:
I just watched the video of Kuzy pretending that he is TJ Oshie and remembered a similar story of when he tried to pretend to be somebody he wasn’t.
Here it is. The first Junior Hockey Championship game I watched on TV was the gold medal game in Buffalo in 2011. Team Russia was trailing 0-3 by the beginning of the third period and then made a comeback, scored five unanswered goals and beat Team Canada 5-3. It was really exciting for me to find out that the next U20 Championship would be in Calgary, Alberta where I was living.
So, next year, I attended several games including the Gold medal one. I was rooting for the Russians but did not know much about the players. I only heard names like [Andrei] Vasilevskiy, [Evgeny] Kuznetsov, [Nail] Yakupov, and [Nikita] Kucherov. Team Russia beat Team Canada again, but this time in the semifinals. It took so much effort to win that they became way too exhausted and lost the final to Team Sweden in overtime. The only goal was scored by Mika Zibanejad. My son was rooting for Sweden, though, and got a hockey stick from Victor Rask after the game. We’ve still got it. Evgeny Kuznetsov was honored as the MVP of the tournament.
The next day, my friends told me I could meet Team Russia, who were giving autographs before going back home. All I knew was that I might find them at the Canada Olympic Park. I went there and was driving for about 20 minutes until I spotted a bus and some people that looked like fans and players around it. By the time I parked, took a flag, a camera and got out of the car all of the players, but three of them, had boarded the bus.
I approached the boys and asked if I could take a photograph together with them. The tallest guy took my camera and told me, “All the good players are already on the bus, but I can take a picture of you with my friend. I am not that important. I am one of the personnel, a janitor.”
I did not buy it, and help was on the way. An older guy, I think he was somebody from the coaching staff, overheard our conversation and told the joker, “Oh, come on! Stop fooling around. Give him what he wants”.
The coach got the camera and took several shots. I thanked everybody and they hopped on the bus. When I got back to my car, I opened the IIHF website to look up the names of who was in my photograph. They were Evgeny Kuznetsov, the funny one, Viktor Antipin and Daniil Apalkov. Bingo!
Photo: Alex Panteleyev
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