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October 25, 2000

Sergey Makarov: Finesse Player!

You have to know exactly what you want out of your career.
If you want to be a star, you don't bother with other things.

-- Marilyn Horne (b. 1934), U.S. opera singer.

The name of Sergey Makarov has already been engraved in golden letters in the history of world hockey. He is twice Olympic Champion (1984, 1988) and eight times World Champion. He is the Calder Trophy winner in 1990/91 with the San Jose Sharks. Last year, many fans and hockey analysts were amazed by the magnificent play of an 18-year old boy from Voskresensk named Sergey Makarov. He scored an amazingly beautiful goal in a game against HC Voronezh. He robbed the opponent off the puck in his zone, took off for the other end and carved up defenses with his mesmerizing stick handling abilities and deceptive quickness. Then, he easily outplayed the goaltender by delivering the puck neatly between his legs. Mass media lost in guessing if he is a relative of the great one or not. The center forward recently spoke with HockeyZonePlus about his career and his plans for the future.

HockeyZonePlus: Could you tell about your first steps in hockey?
Sergey Makarov: When I was only four years old, my father and I built the rink in the backyard and with our own hands we poured the water to make the ice. At the age of six, my father, the teacher of physical training, offered me to go to the Voskresensk hockey school. I was happy to become the part of the famous club Khimik Voskresensk. Since that moment I never regretted my decision to devote my life to hockey. I have the invaluable experience of playing for all age groups with Khimik. So you may consider me the graduate of one of the world's best hockey school situated in Voskresensk.

HockeyZonePlus: How can you characterize yourself as a player? Could you name your strong and weak points?
Sergey Makarov: Well (smiles), I'd prefer not to talk about my weak points. Believe me, I know about them and try to liquidate this gap in my hockey education. You see, I'm not willing to speak about my merits and shortcomings as a player at all. You have to understand that it's simply not my business. It's up to the coaches and hockey experts to decide if I'm strong enough in this or that aspect of play. The coaches think that I'm a speedy skater who is capable of creating a lot of scoring chances with creative moves. I can also maneuver well in heavy traffic. They point out that I should work hard at assisting and learning to be more a team player than an individualist.

HockeyZonePlus: Have you ever been called up by the national team?
Sergey Makarov: Yes, I have! I've been playing a couple of international tournaments with the Russian Under-18 team in the scoring with Alexander Frolov and Alexander Tatarinov. I was also among the candidates for the 2000 JWC Russian Under-18 team. Unfortunately, at the very last moment, a new head coach, Sergey Mikhalev, was appointed and possibly he thought that I'm not strong enough to be a member of the JWC team. I've been a little bit upset but there is nothing to do about it. Life goes on as it is. I'm still a young player with tons of energy.

HockeyZonePlus: According to the Central Scouting Service Mid-Term Ranking published in January 2000 you were 58th among European forwards and defensemen. So you were eligible for the 2000 NHL Draft but you weren't drafted. Could you comment on the situation?
Sergey Makarov: The thing that was a negative influence on my advancement to the NHL was my recent failure to make the 2000 Junior World Championships with the Russian Under-18 team. Speaking about the 2000 NHL Draft, I was informed beforehand by my agent that I would not be selected in the first four rounds. That meant impossibility of getting a good contract. My agent gave valuable pieces of advice about not feeling sorry for everything that had happened. He cheered me up by predicting a long hockey career.

HockeyZonePlus: Do you follow NHL events? What interesting aspects of NHL play do you try to bring into your hockey arsenal?
Sergey Makarov: As any Russian guy fond of hockey I like to look at the actions of many NHL stars. I'm on friendly terms with Yevgeny Namestnikov. Most of all, I like with the style of play of Alexei Yashin. I'm sure Russian players are the strongest ones in the NHL.

HockeyZonePlus: What plans do you have for the nearest future?
Sergey Makarov: I've made up my mind that it's high time to stop being considered simply a prospect. The time has come for me to demonstrate a sound and reliable play. I hope to try myself soon if not in the NHL then in Europe.

HockeyZonePlus: Let's hope that with such a serious attitude towards the game you could become the next Sergey Makarov and I wish you to overpass the achievements of your legendary Soviet predecessor! Good Luck!

Denis Neznanov
HockeyZonePlus' Russian Correspondent


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