Yeah, that’s him! Number 56. Here at Untypical Girls, we don’t call him Sergei or Zubov or even Zubie; he has one name for us, and that is Russian. Not The Russian, or A Russian, just Russian. He’s really the only Russian the Stars have (although, I must point out, he is now an American citizen), but Zubov is one of the greatest Russian born players in the NHL, so he is just Russian.
Russian has had a fairly awesome career. He’s played for the Rangers, the Penguins and the Stars now for many years. He’s won two Stanley Cups (one for the Rangers, one with the Stars) ; it’s my understanding from the Great Wikipedia that Zubov has been inducted to the Russian Hockey Hall of Fame; he’s been nominated for the Norris trophy, and he had a kickin’ rad All-Star commercial. His stats are pretty awesome for a defenseman too; 149 goals with 587 assists in his NHL career. He even scares Tampa Bay Lightning fans who sit next to the Untypical Girls at hockey games!
The team leans pretty heavily on him – even some of the Stars have openly admitted that he doesn’t get noticed. Yet Russian always seems to fly under the radar. Why is this? Why, Russian, do you never get the renown you so rightly deserve?
Probably because Russian actively shuns it.
And when I say actively, I mean, it is my theory that this man has an underground bunker in Siberia where he hides out in between games. I theorize Dave Tippett must know where his bunker is, somewhere. He at least has to get Russian messages about games and practice times. Is he ever in the locker room? Can anyone actually confirm a Russian sighting recently aside from him playing?
Russian rarely does promotional appearances. He hardly appears in interviews. Russian reportedly hates to be singled out for personal honors and always puts his team first.
Sergei, I am putting an end to this self-sacrificing ridiculousness. You’re an American now, and it’s time to trample over people and damn the consequences! Being humble is great and good, but I live in terror that someday, when you retire, people will forget you. And that’s not right! You deserve, nay, you have EARNED a spot in every hockey hall of fame EVER. I don’t care that you’re not Finnish, you deserve to be in their hockey hall of fame too! My god, man, if I remember correctly, you were second in points last season for our team! You should be a bright shining beacon to future hardcore Russian hockey players of awesome! Yet, you score goals, win shootouts and hang on to pucks with the craftiest little moves and then you go sit on the bench like it’s just another day at the office.
I swear, Jenlo and Cat probably have a battle-stations-ready kind of emergency survival kit for me when Russian retires. Let’s face it; Russian is not young. He’s not old either; he’s still crazy talented but 37 years old in the NHL is on the other side of the curve. If and when Russian retires, I will probably need Stolichnaya mainlined into my veins. I mean, seriously. This man is that awesome.
Well, I have news for you, Russian. If you won’t do it yourself; if you won’t stand up and say, “Yes, I’m awesome!”; if you won’t bask in the warm glow of the spotlight that you should have been sharing with Modano at least some of these years, then dammit, I’m going to have to do it for you. Don’t think I won’t.
Every game, Russian. I will post something here about how awesome you are and people will listen. Or read. Or something like that. Either way, they will know about how cool you are.
So, to someone in the Dallas Stars organization, please drag this man on camera. Fifteen seconds, this is all I ask. He doesn’t even have to talk about hockey. He can talk about the weather, or fishing, or how much he hates being on camera, I don’t care. But I feel like Russian is so underappreciated. And I don’t have a way of saying, “Russian, you rock and are the best,” besides this blog.
And maybe a cookie bouquet. But that would be kind of lame.