Recently, the New York Rangers were active on the free agents market as the team signed to an entry-level deal undrafted Russian defenseman Alexei Bereglazov. According to CapFriendly, the defenseman has signed a two-year deal with an European Assignment Clause and a cap hit of $925,000. In this translated interview, originally appearing on championat.ru, Bereglazov talked about the reasons why he chose to sign with the Rangers, the past season and his plans for the summer.
* You can enjoy the original championat.ru article in Russian language by Darya Tuboltseva here. *
Move to the Rangers
Darya Tuboltseva: Did you think a lot over the Rangers’ offer?
Alexei Bereglazov: I spent the last half a year thinking about it.
DT: Did you have offers from other KHL teams?
AB: No, at least not that I knew.
DT: Why in the end did you decide to sign with the Rangers and not in your native Magnitogorsk? The team did offer you a new contract.
AB: Because an NHL team was really interested in me, they were concretely interested in seeing me in their lineup. This is what convinced me. This is a chance to show what I am worth in the NHL. Every player dreams about it.
Воооооооот так! Береглазов, БУМ, добрый вечер! Это 3:0! ??? pic.twitter.com/LZjswrAlPI
— Хоккей России (@russiahockey) November 6, 2016
DT: When will you move overseas? Will your family follow you?
AB: I will move this summer. I don’t know the exact date yet. My wife and I will go together.
DT: Are you following the Rangers?
AB: When I can, I do. I haven’t watched any game yet, they do play on nights [here in Europe]. But I always watch the results.
National Team Affairs
DT: Most likely, NHL players won’t be able to participate in the next Olympic Games in South Korea. Didn’t you think about not signing in North America to have a chance to go to the Olympics?
AB: Of course the Olympic Games are very important to me. I don’t know how all this will go on. We’ll see what will be the final decision. I still have hope that we’ll have a chance to go to the Olympics.
DT: Should the NHL not change its position, would it be tough to swallow?
AB: Of course, it would be a pity. I love my country, I am a patriot. I would really love to play for the national team at the Olympic Games. Simply I took my decisions [about playing for the Rangers] before the NHL announced its decision [about the Olympics].
DT: How would you judge your season?
AB: Average. There is room for improvement both for me and for the team.
DT: What did Metallurg lack during the KHL Gagarin Cup finals against SKA?
AB: Firstly, freshness. And we were also a bit unlucky. I’m not sure what we really lacked. Maybe it’s easier, looking from outside. I would say that our opponents were better, and we didn’t take advantage of our chances. We were also a bit tired.
DT: It was recently announced that you’re going to skate at the Team Russia preparation camp in sight of the upcoming IIHF World Championship in France and Germany. Do you still have forces for that?
AB: I’m going to join the national team in a couple of days. I’ll try to find my forces and I do hope to play for the national team.