– At the beginning of November, the Cup of the Future took place, where the Russian U-20 team, led by you, took part. What tasks do you usually pursue in such tournaments?

"The goal is always the same – to win. My plans also included getting to know the squad, because it was my first time leading the national team. Of course, scouts and analysts monitor the athletes, but it was important to personally assess their abilities.

"Hockey players put on the national team's jersey and that says a lot. Do they need extra motivation?

"They are watched by their parents, club leaders and breeders. I've noticed how much they are charged. Well done: they played not for their name on their backs, but for the interests of the national team. And you could feel it.

- Rumor has it that club preferences used to influence the atmosphere in the national team. For example, Spartak representatives did not get along with their colleagues from Dynamo and CSKA. Was there something similar this time?

— Unfortunately, there is nothing to compare it with, but it is possible. However, I haven't noticed anything like this inside my team yet. There is healthy competition, but nothing more. The atmosphere inside is really kind.

You mentioned scouts. They say there were more of them than in previous competitions. Does it help you show your best qualities or, on the contrary, puts additional pressure on the guys?

– Probably, the performance in the uniform of the Russian national team can be pressing, but not the scouts in the stands. I think you need to start from yourself and show all your skills and abilities on the court. That's when breeders will notice you.

"There were scouts not only from domestic clubs, but also from North American clubs in the arena. What do you think about the departure of young athletes overseas?

"I would recommend them to analyze the situation. An impressive number of guys who go to the NHL or AHL do not grow into great masters. Sometimes the question arises: why are they going there? We have all the conditions, and the coaching department is working well. Moreover, young people have become more trustworthy - many coaches are not afraid to put young men in the squad. My opinion is that we should stay in Russia and develop here.

– To what extent can the line-up that played at this championship be called optimal?

– Players from the KHL and VHL could not attend. In particular, Anton Silaev, Daniil Bout, Nikita Artamonov and Dmitry Simashev. They wouldn't be in the last roles.

– The know-how in the form of the 3×3 tournament caused a positive reaction from the fans. How would you assess the innovation?

– For the most part, the time on the ice during the three-on-three tournament was given to the guys who were less involved in the first days of the Future Cup. It was also an honor for them to take part in this mini-competition. If the audience highly appreciated this format, it means that everything was not in vain, and it will develop. I would like to note separately: there is nothing fundamentally new for the guys in the game in shortened lineups - this element is worked out in training. Helps to improve the functional state.

What are the differences between working for a club and a national team?

—In the national team, you need to make decisions faster. In terms of the level of participants, the Sochi Hockey Open was comparable to the KHL. We need to make adjustments more quickly, change combinations on the ice. Plus, at the club, you know the condition of each player, because you are in contact with him 24/7. Here, you first look at the condition of the hockey players, try to feel all the nuances and trifles.

– In addition to Belarus and Kazakhstan, what opponents would you like to see at future tournaments?

— It would be interesting to look at China. In the Celestial Empire, hockey is actively developing, but I still doubt the ability to compete at this level at the moment. It's interesting to see them in action and understand them.

Is your trophy with Chaika in the JHL the most important in your career?

"Definitely. This stage is the most successful. When you win, you always experience special feelings.

— While working at the Nizhny Novgorod club, did you manage to get to know the current Torpedo coach Larionov better?

"Yes. There is always something to learn from such people. It was interesting to learn something new, in particular about the team's nutrition. He is a professional with a capital letter. That is why he has a large number of young talents involved.

He really trusts them, and they open up and take their first professional steps. Some guys have a good mixture of skills and youthful enthusiasm. Igor Nikolaevich sets the right vector and sculpts great masters.

Do you consider yourself involved in Torpedo's success in the KHL?

"No, I don't. Of my guys, only Yegor Vinogradov was involved. If there was a galaxy of people from Chaika who gave results at the adult level, I would say: "Yes, this is partly our merit." But the vertical works: the aforementioned Silaev, Artamonov and others got into the main roster of Torpedo.

– Are you worried about the success of your home team?

"Of course. I was born and raised in Nizhny Novgorod, went to school, where I was given a ticket to adult sports. This is my hockey homeland.

How soon do you see yourself at the helm of one of the KHL clubs?

"I haven't been dreaming for some time now. That's why I'm leaving all my energy at my current place of work, SKA-Neva. I want to pass on all my skills and knowledge to my wards. Who knows what will happen next?

"How can you live without a dream?"

— You can't talk about it (laughs). I'm a confident person, but it shouldn't border on overconfidence.

How do you interact with the SKA first team?

— We are a farm club, so we work on the same system as the main one. We exist in order to instill in young guys from the JHL the philosophy of SKA, to prepare them for the next step in their careers. The mission is to supply as many players as possible to the adult team. Roman Rotenberg closely follows the development of the entire system, finds time to come to matches, and studies the development of each player. I am convinced that SKA's system is undoubtedly one of the best in Russia.

- What tasks has the management of the St. Petersburg club set for you now?

— Unfortunately, I can't tell you the fundamental goals for the season. We prefer to move from match to match. It's the same in the playoffs: first you have to make it to the first round, and then you have to set new goals.

In conclusion, I would like to clarify: which of the players or coaches inspires you? Do you have a role model?

— Among the hockey players — Vladimir Konstantinov. It is a pity that such a tragedy happened (on June 13, 1997, the two-time Stanley Cup winner got into a car accident, which ended his career. – RT)). As for the coaches, everything is banal: I tried and try to get the best from everyone with whom I had a chance to cooperate. Do not blindly take everything as a carbon copy, but fish out the most interesting things.