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An Inside Look at Our Russian Players' Heritage

As a part of our Global Series by Alibaba, we sat down with Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, and Orlov to dig a little deeper into their Russian culture

by Taryn Bray @tarynbray /

As part of our Global Series presented by Alibaba, we talked with a few of our Russian players about their heritage. They touched on topics from their favorite foods, holidays and places they go back to when they're in Russia. Here's a little inside look at their lives outside of hockey: 

Video: Global Series | Russia

(On their favorite places in Russia)

Ovechkin: Just my home, stay in Moscow, its the best city in the world. My friends are still there, my family, its nice to be back in the summer, especially when you're a champ. There's lots of great places in Moscow to go, museums, Red Square, White House, there's lots of history there.

Kuznetsov: I like to be home, you know the best part when you come back home is you just are with your friends and listen to the language you used to talk and you used to listen everywhere. Its not easy to be here for 10 months and you get back for two months and then you want to see so many friends you want to see so many people, but at the same time you don't have time for it. One day I'd like to go to a lake called Baikal, so its all the way in Siberia. One day I will go there for sure, its unbelievable and some people said the history, it's the deepest one. 

(On food and culture)

Orlov: New Year, its big in Russia always and you can visit your family and enjoy the time and get some presents. It's always nice to have a big table, eat a lot of food and you can enjoy everything and try everything. I think its awesome and I think any Russian person is going to say probably New Year is the biggest [celebration] for our country. Tea is big and we always have tea before bed with some deserts, cookies you know so it's popular. 

Kuzetsov: Favorite food dish is Borscht -- its beet soup, it has a really nice piece of meat and I can't cook that, best borscht is always when mom cooks, but I'm pretty sure you can try that in any Russian restaurant, its probably the most popular. Originally the borscht came from Ukraine.

Ovechkin: We have a Russian community here [in DC], we have lots of Russian friends here and we talk and have dinners and spend time together, it's always nice. 

(On sports in Russia)

Kuznetsov: You know for us we always played and watched the soccer games and we played basketball in the streets, but overall if you from hockey family its pretty tough to follow other sports. Hockey was always the biggest for me I remembver in 2008 when Russia played against Canada in the Quebec World Championship, the gold medal game and we came back in overtime. That's the biggest hockey game I remember.

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