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Ilya Kovalchuk: "Defending the title is always difficult"

Ilya Kovalchuk
HC SKA press-service

- You have won two Gagarin Cups in Saint Petersburg. Why did you stay? You had the chance to move abroad.

- One of the main factors was the upcoming Olympic Games. In 2018, only players who play in European championships and the KHL can compete there. It was important to stay with SKA, because I have only played here in the KHL. I have a lot of warmth for the club and our fans.

- It's an Olympic season, but SKA have to defend the KHL title. Do you feel the responsibility?

- Yes, the team has the task of defending the championship and that's always difficult to achieve. It's an Olympic year, so everyone who wants to represent their country has to play at their best. I am not an exception, and it's a challenge which I accept.

- How do you feel physically? Are you ready to begin training?

- I feel good, I've recovered from my injury. After the medical tests, it will be clear what program I will work on. Whatever happens, I will join up with the team soon.

Ilya Kovalchuk: "Defending the title is always difficult"

- SKA have signed some new players. Have you been following the news surronding the club?

- Yes, I have followed how the roster has changed. I am sure that all new players will adapt, allowing us to show what we're capable of. SKA have a great team, so everything will be fine.

- SKA's fans will be happy to see you in the Ice Palace again.

- I am truly grateful to them for their support in every match. I can't wait to be on the ice again!

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