Posts Tagged ‘Ainars Podzins’
After being released from HK Riga just several days ago, 20-year-old Latvian forward Ronalds Cinks has now joined another MHL club Krylia Sovetov for a try-out, reports LETA news agency.
Cinks was released from HK Riga as he did not meet the expectations of the club. Both the coaching staff and Cinks himself agreed on breaking the contract. Unofficial sources, however, were informing that Cinks was punished for disregarding the disciplinary terms of HK Riga.
Krylia Sovetov has also a VHL team, where another Latvian Sergejs Pecura is currently spending already his second season. In the recent years also Roberts Bukarts and Ainars Podzins (both now playing for Dinamo Riga) have played there.
This season Cinks played 12 games with HK Riga, scoring a goal and adding six assists. Throughout the past two seasons Cinks was also repeatedly recalled to Dinamo Riga of the KHL, where played a total of 20 games.
In an interview to allhockey.ru, Ainars Podzins, who was drafted by Dinamo Riga this summer, thus moving back from Russia to his native Latvia, talks about his time in Riga, about playing for Dinamo and his first game in the KHL. We now present you a fragment of the interview, kindly translated by Alessandro Seren Rosso.
Were you nervous before your first KHL game?
Podzins: “Well, is there a reason to be nervous about? I was brought as the thirteenth forward. I was just watching the game. Though I wasn’t nervous when, during the game against Neftekhimik, they said me: ‘Podzins, get ready, it’s your turn.’ We were winning 6-3. And I got to play two shifts. I am really satisfied about them. I had a shot, I gave a pass, and I played only two minutes. They iced me in the first line with [Mark] Hartigan and [Tomas] Surovy, at [Aleksandrs] Nizivijs’ place. The greatest thing was that they congratulated me more than Karsums, who scored two goals in two games. I could think I won the Olympic Games. I got to the bench and looked at our masseur, and he says ‘Podzins, you did that?’ And everyone from the team congratulated, ‘Bravo Podzins, well done’.”
You’ve got some interesting nicknames.
Podzins: “Yes, they call me ‘Poga’ [meaning a ‘button’ in Latvian], which is similar to my surname. But the most popular is ‘Stallone’, [Vitaly] Karamnov called me that way when he saw me without a jersey for the first time. I’m not that big, but I am well-built.”
Next to whom do you sit in the locker room?
Podzins: “I sit next to veterans, next to [Girts] Ankipans, not far from Nizivijs.
Do you talk more with the younger players?
Podzins: “Oddly enough I don’t. I mostly talk with veterans, especially with Ankipans, we sit next each other. I also try to talk with foreigners, but my English is very bad.”
But do you talk with them?
Podzins: “Yeah, I think [Mark] Hartigan already grow tired of me.”
Podzins: “For some time we were living at the same hotel, and I didn’t know when we had the practice. So I went to his room, and I saw that he was sleeping. So I excused myself and asked, and he said: ‘in two hours’, then he shut the door. Then later a foreigner asked him: ‘Mark, how did you sleep?’ And he replied: ‘Good, until I was awakened’.”
How do you like Riga?
Podzins: “It’s astounding! In Latvia they love hockey. Can you imagine that someone would ask me an autograph after a game? But if [former NHL star Sandis] Ozolins or Nizivijs arrive, then 30-40 persons would arrive in no time, and they can’t literally get out. They have crazy fans.”
Where do you live?
Podzins: “I live in an apartment in Piņķi at the second floor. At the first floor live other two guys from HK Riga, Martins Jakovlevs and Eriks Sevcenko. Everything is at high level. I can get to the practices on feet and they always bring me to the games.”
Did you have any problems with the language?
Podzins: “It was strange at the start. I went to the locker room and everyone was talking in Latvian. Now I’m used to it. Everyone talks to me in Russian. Practices in both the main team and in the junior teams are run in Russian language. But if I sit with other five Latvians, they talk in their own language. And I literally know only a couple of words.”
Will you learn the language?
Podzins: “I’ve already promised that to the fans! But now I have no time, I’m always playing. It would be easier if everyone would talk to me in Latvian, I’d quickly learn many words.”
You dreamed for the whole life to play for Dinamo. And now you play for them. Is it like you
Podzins: “It’s even better! I’m happy because my dream came true. In spite, I’m the youngest player of the team everyone treats me very well. They take care about everything and you only have to play. The coaches and the players, in both first and junior team, make everything possible so that you can really develop and I’m very grateful for this.”
The 23-year-old Latvian defender Kristaps Sotnieks, who in July attended Washington Capitals Development Camp and considered continuing his career in North America, has signed a contract with Dinamo Riga, reports club’s homepage.
According to Sotnieks himself, he was waiting for a reply for three weeks, however no one called him and he did not want to wait any longer, so because of that he agreed to the Dinamo offer. The contract is signed for the next two years.
Although Sotnieks plays together with Dinamo Riga already since the beginning of camp, we can consider him as the latest and probably last addition to the team.
Also goalie Edgars Lusins as well as forwards Vitaly Karamnov and Juris Stals have turned their try-out contracts into a proper contracts with the club. Ainars Podzins has signed a two-way contract for the next four seasons. However, he and Martins Jakovlevs must have been reassigned to HK Riga.
I know this is coming a bit late, but, while majority of the “prospect-talk” in Latvia was all around Sotnieks and Podzins last month, professional reporters/journalists (I don’t consider myself professional, as I’m not getting paid for what I do) missed that Kristians Pelss, who was drafted by Edmonton Oilers in early June, showed himself at the Oilers Development Camp and was confirmed to join Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL.
Oil Kings general manager Bob Green described Pelss as a player with lots of skill. He mentioned that Kristians is an explosive skater, with tremendous speed. Green believes that Pelss will generate a lot of opportunities.
It is very interesting that in the second half of July Dinamo Riga, who picked Pelss at the KHL draft, added his name to the HK Riga pre-season camp list and that it was never announced that he opted to stay in North America.
After the second exhibition game of Dinamo Riga, forward Juraj Simek, who had a try-out contract with the club, has been released and is free to go.
According to icebox.lv, Simek is planning on joining the pre-season camp of AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, where he already spent the previous two seasons. Right before the camp Simek recovered from angina, which certainly affected his performance in Riga.
As of now Dinamo has try-out contracts with goaltender Edgars Lusins, defender Martins Jakovlevs and forwards Vitaly Karamnov, Ainars Podzins and Juris Stals. It is, however, expected that Martins Jakovlevs will play for HK Riga of MHL. Jakovlevs still has not played a single exhibition game for Dinamo.
According to Janis Matulis of the respectable weekly Sporta Avize, HK Riga has released another three forwards – Rustams Begovs, Mikelis Freimanis and Vjaceslavs Movko.