The Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Fedor Tyutin to a one-year contract on July 1, 2016. The 12-year NHL veteran has recorded 251 points (54 goals, 197 assists) and 510 penalty minutes in 803 career games with the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets. A native of Izhevsk, Russia, Tyutin spent the past eight seasons with Columbus, where he recorded 185 points (39 goals, 146 assists) in 553 contests-which are the most by a defenseman in Blue Jackets history.
You are entering your 13th NHL season and first year with the Colorado Avalanche, what will be different for you this time around?
"Well, I think it's been a while since I started a season with whole bunch of new faces in the locker room and coaching staff and everybody. That's probably going to be the most different thing."
What have you learned defensively from playing with the New York Rangers and then for the Columbus Blue Jackets that will help you transition into the Avalanche's system?
"I think the older you get, they say the wiser you get. You just get more experience I think, and that's the most important thing."
What were you feeling when you signed with Colorado for the 2016-17 season?
"I was happy. My contract got bought out and I was just happy that I was getting another chance and somebody wanted me on their team. I was just looking forward to it."
What do you hope to accomplish this year?
"Well, I hope to have a chance to play for a Stanley Cup. That's my main goal, it always has been, and obviously I haven't been doing that enough."
When did you start playing hockey?
"I started when I was seven years old and I started back home in my hometown Izhevsk in Russia. There was just hockey on TV as I remember it, it was one of those CCP teams playing, the old Red Machine, and I was just watching them dominate the game. I asked my parents if they could sign me up for it and they did. I have just been enjoying myself ever since."
Did you find the transition to the North American game difficult?
"Well it's for sure a different style of play, different size of a rink. I came over here when I was an 18-year-old and played junior hockey at first. At that point, I didn't speak much English or anything. I think for me it was harder to get used to life outside of hockey. I enjoyed myself playing hockey. It was just so much fun on the ice. I didn't have a problem at all adjusting to the small rink, going back to your question. I guess I'm just saying I had a way harder time adjusting to a life outside than the small rink."
What did you find unusual about American culture when you moved from Russia?
"How people were friendly, for sure. You know that's a big difference probably between our countries, a big difference you can notice right away."
Who is your favorite player? Who did you look up to when you were a kid?
"That's Slava Fetisov. You know he won everything that he possibly could. He was one of those players playing on the team when I went to ask my parents to take me to play hockey. So he was my idol for sure growing up. He was a big deal back home in Russia."
How would you describe your time spent representing Russia in events like the World Juniors, World Championship and Winter Olympics?
"Oh it's special for sure. I think you ask anybody and they will answer the same thing. When you get a chance to represent your country, especially at big events such as the Olympics, you've got that pride you cannot describe. You're just proud of your country and it's great competition. I have all the best memories from it."
What do you think of Denver?
"I always liked Denver. Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend as much time as I would have loved in the past since I've always been on Eastern Conference teams. But I just got here yesterday for a couple days to find a place to live and schools for the kids. So far, you know it's been great. I mean we didn't get a chance to see a lot yet, but talking from friends and people, I've heard only the best things about it. I'm looking forward to getting to know the city better, and I'm sure I'll love it."