Teemu  Hartikainen: «Every time after a sauna or training I drink a bottle of koumiss»
Salavat Yulaev24.04.2020
Teemu Hartikainen: «Every time after a sauna or training I drink a bottle of koumiss»

-  Why do you have number 70 on your back?

- I played with number 10 and 35 in USA. When I came to Salavat they gave some options and I have chosen number 70, course it is looks like 10 and  two times 35 equal 70 , so that is the reason.

-  When you’ve chosen Salavat, you might think that in Ufa you would play 7 seasons and become like real Bashkir for the fans?

- No, I fought that I will play a couple seasons in Ufa and will see where I will play after. But the seasons went by and I enjoyed my life in Ufa, especially the fans and hockey and all over. That is the reason why I starting to be a real Bashkir. My family likes to live here too, so everyone is happy.

- You have a funny kiddo. Tell some cool stories about him and you.

- He is really funny guy. Right now he is learning so much. Every morning at 6:30 he wakes me up and we start our day. We `ve got a lot of common things together, as I am; he has got a lot of energy. We like to play a lot with his toys, we go outside. He likes to try new food, sometimes I give him spicy or salt food and it is so funny to look at his face when he is trying it.

- Honestly, Teemu. Didn't you have a desire to punch face of Emelin from the Omsk in the dark corner of the stadium after his provocations?

- It is playoffs hockey. Many times I want to punish someone. I do not remember that moment so well. It was a really tight series. We were playing against each other the whole series. He is a taught defender. It was not easy to play against him. Sometimes emotions take over. Too bad that we lost in that year, but we won them in this year, so I am happy about that.

-  What are components of family well-being in your family? If you have tattoos, with what life circumstances it has been made?

- Well it is all about happiness from our family. We try to be helpful for each other, we are try to be happy and we spend a lot time with each other and if we need some self-time we give that .  Regarding the tattoos…  Over my heart there is a cross which symbolizes my family and there is a bull on my back. I made it when I was young, because of my sign in horoscope. But I do not really believe in horoscope. 

-  Have you tried to persuade Linus to stay in Ufa?

- Of course, I wanted him to stay. But his family wants to live in Europe. It would be great to play with him and try to win the Gagarin Cup, but it is not possible any more. It was great to play with him all these years. But I respect his choice.

- Do you know who Sergey Nailevich Gimaev is? (info - (Honored Master of Sports, coach, until his death was considered the most respected and honest hockey expert in Russia. With his son Sergey you played in Salavat) Did you know that he considered you one of the strongest players in the league and admired your physical strength? If you know what do you think about it?

- Yes I know him. It is a shame that he is dead. I do not read a lot of Russian news so I do not really know if he said something about me. But I knew who he was and how respectful he was, so it really kind words if he said that. I am very happy about it.

-  What kind of music are you listening to? Favorite bands? What concerts have you been to?

- I listen everything: Finnish pop, rap, rock, even Russian music, which we listen in the lockers rooms I have been at Metallica concert. Actually I have not been at so many gigs. I have been at some local Finnish singers. I like Finnish music also.

How do you cope with the Russian language?

I know around 200 Russian words. I can go to the restaurants, can order cab, can manage to do stuff in the locker room with my Russian, but it is not perfect and I am a little bit ashamed of it. I have been trying to learn Russian language from some books; from the games but it takes for me long time to learn even a couple of words. I have a bad memory and I was bad in school. It is coming slowly. But I promise I will learn it soon. It took me a long time to learn English also.

- Where in Finland is the most beautiful nature for relaxation?

- I would go to the north part pf Finland – Lapland. I go there for hunting and fishing. The nature is beautiful there – lakes and rivers. And the Santa Clause from there.

- Who is the best d-man in the KHL?

- There are a lot of good defenders- Voinov is good, Yarullin is very strong and good in covering the net.  We also have great defenders, for an example –Panin and Larsen.

- Do you know Buraevo village?

- No, I never heard about it.

- Did you fight at school?

- No, not really. Of course we had some little scramps. But overall we had more fights in the sport schools. We also played in the game «Who is king of the mountain». It is kind of fighting, when you trying to throw everyone out of the mountain. I never was a fighter at school.

- If you did not become a hockey player, whom you would like to be?

- Maybe I would like to work on the nature, like fishing guide, hunting guide. I really like the nature and everything what comes with a nature would be a pleasure to work with.

- How do you spend this quarantine-time?

- I spend time at home; we have a nice home by the lake in Finland. I have been working out a lot, course I have a little gym in the basement, every night I go to the sauna. I have been cooking a lot; I went fishing in my cottage. But I did not see any of my friends, course this time it is prohibited. But I enjoyed this time.

-  People say you are the only one in the team who drinks koumiss? Why did you like it?

- I remember that first time I tried it when Yurzinov said that koumiss is good for my heart. Since that time I drink it every time after I go to sauna finishing practicing. It feels great and it is healthy.

- What was your first impression of HC «Salavat Yulaev» when you have come?

- It is a great impression. I remember when I came to the locker room after the whole night flying and Yurzinov told me that it is time to practice and we started to run for like 4 km after not sleeping at all. And I was like, ok, it is going to be a little bit different training than I am used to be, but it was nice. We flew to Finland for training camp and everybody seemed to be nice to me. We had experienced team and of that team I have many friends left, for example, Antti Pilström and Kirill Koltsov. I remember the city, the atmosphere in the arena and our fans.