The Washington Capitals’ championship parade was filled with memorable moments and even more memorable speeches.
Thursday at NHL Media Day, Evgeny Kuznetsov spoke to Sports Illustrated’s Alex Prewitt and recalled his, uh, poignant address to 500k Caps fans in attendance at the National Mall.
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The parade was held on June 12, five days after the team’s Stanley Cup victory. Emcee of the event, play-by-play announcer Joe Beninati, announced Kuznetsov to the the crowd. A giggling Kuznetsov walked up to the lectern and started talking. This is what he said.
“I wasn’t prepare my speech, but I don’t have to say enough,” Kuznetsov began. “For some guys, it’s been a long wait to get to that point, but we never gonna be there without our parents, without the fans, without our families.
“So let’s f—ck this sh—t.”
Kuznetsov clapped, pointed skyward, and made his way back to the bleacher seating, where he then saluted the adoring crowd by flapping his wings.
“I was surprised,” Kuznetsov said to Prewitt. “They don’t tell me I have to give speech. Me and Orly were sitting upstairs, just enjoy the time, then they call the name to go there in front of so many thousand people. I was nervous a little bit. And every time I nervous, I swear. That one funny.
“You can see where it’s natural, right? It’s emotional,” Kuznetsov added. “Those words, I wish I can speak better so I can give a good speech or prepare. But that was first come from my mind, that’s what I said. You don’t have to explain anything. It’s natural. Everyone understand right away.”
Later, Kuznetsov’s fellow countryman and team captain, Alex Ovechkin, greeted the fans with a “What’s up, babes?” and ended his address with a defiant and celebratory I told you so: “We’re not going to be f*cking suck this year!”
During media day, the Russian center also spoke about the team’s partying, which was so creative and raucous, it ended up damaging the Stanley Cup. He felt sympathy for the players’ wives.
“We go hard,” Kuznetsov said. “The biggest reason for me, the whole team always was whole team. A couple days, three days, four days, we still everyone together. I feel little bad for our wives. They was home, waiting for us, but we still celebrating together, you know? My parents, everyone. Every morning, cup of coffee, they I’ve got to go with the team. Baseball game, wherever. Next day and next day. Finally, after like 10 days, okay, I’m out of here.”
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