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Even when interviewed by NHL teams, Matveï Michkov had attitude problems

It’s becoming common knowledge that Russian super prospect Matveï Michkov comes with a rather peculiar attitude. It has already been mentioned on several occasions that he chose the teams he agreed to meet before the draft. The best example is certainly Arizona, where the team decided to go for Dmitry Simashev, also a Russian, at No. 6 while Michkov was still available. Since they asked for two prospects from Putin’s country, we can’t say they were shy about selecting the enigmatic forward.

For the Canadian, it’s clear that it was his attitude that tipped the balance. Today, he’s the Flyers’ project, and it’s up to them to fit him into their team concept so that he’s a positive element of their organization beyond the points he can score.

In the most recent episode of Radio-Canada’s Tellement Hockey podcast, journalist Alexandre Gascon revealed something new about Michkov that surprised me a little. Even in interviews with NHL teams, he had attitude problems.

As you know, Michkov doesn’t speak English. To do his interviews with the teams, he needed a translator. It’s hard to understand someone when everything they say is filtered through a third party. Intentions, tones, gestures – everything becomes shifted from one speaker to another.

The teams are somewhat used to this, since there are Russian players in every batch. So they have their own trusted interpreter with whom they are used to working. This person is an employee of the team, not of the youngster, and this nuance, in this case, is of the utmost importance.

Gascon mentions on the show that he had the chance to talk to a scout from a team who was able to meet Matveï Michkov, and that it didn’t go very well. The young man must have been under the impression that the translator was going to protect him or soften his words before translating them for the team in front of him, but in reality, this was absolutely not the case.

So, after several questions about defensive play, Michkov got carried away and said something like this:

“I’ll take care of my defense. You can tell your guy it’s going to be okay.” – Matveï Michkov

Not the kind of response and tact teams expect from a prospect trying to sell them his salad! But above all, it gives a good idea of the boy’s personality and what he thinks deep down about the game’s defensive concepts and the lack of respect for instructions he might display once drafted.

Among the teams that have met him, we can certainly assume that this story didn’t come up when he met the Habs, since Nick Bobrov would surely have acted as interpreter and, knowing his role in the organization, I’m convinced that Michkov wouldn’t have let himself get carried away like that.

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