The following is excerpted from the January 2016 issue of Blackhawks Magazine, featuring Artemi Panarin . Pick up the newest issue of the magazine at the next Blackhawks home game, or by calling the Blackhawks Store at 312-759-0079.
Do you ever get homesick?
I miss family and friends, of course. My mother and father do not live together; they are separated. I am very close to my grandfather and grandmother. My grandfather taught me a lot about how to play. He played once, not at the highest levels. Maybe they will come to Chicago for the playoffs. I basically left home when I was 10 to pursue hockey. So I have been by myself for a while. No problem. Sometimes it is good to be alone. Sometimes it is good to have solitude. That gives me time to go over things, to think things over. I live by myself, but I've met some good people, including of course my teammates.
Do you cook for yourself?
Oh, no. Oatmeal in the morning for breakfast. But for lunch or dinner, I usually go out to eat.
Why do you think the fans in Chicago have taken to you so intensely? They love you.
Maybe some of them do; I don't know if they all love me. But if I get excited, I show it. Maybe some people like that. Part of my job is to entertain. We're here to have fun, right? The atmosphere for hockey in Chicago, it's exciting. Loud.
Head Coach Joel Quenneville, apparently, was the one who nicknamed you "Bread Man." Do you know why?
Because my name sounds like that restaurant: Panera Bread. I haven't eaten there yet. I have gone there for tea. Lately the coach is just calling me "Bread."
How does Coach Q communicate with you?
When I came here, he told me, "Shoot the puck." When I don't play well, I can see the look on his face. He doesn't say anything.
All the guys say you're funny and have a great sense of humor. How is this possible if only one other teammate, Anisimov, can understand Russian?
Me, funny? Maybe it's something they see in my face when I'm smiling or laughing. I laugh at something I say, they think it's funny, and then maybe they laugh, even though they really don't know what I'm saying.
What would you rather do? Go to practice or sit down for an interview?
Practice. Especially if the interview is a long one. If the interview is too long, I don't like that as much as a short one.
Is this interview running too long?
I would prefer going to practice. This interview, it's not so short anymore. It's going longer than practice. (Laughs.)
With Stan Stiopkin and Elmar Gasimov