Such an advantage to share not only their mother tongue, but a second language, as well.
Not everyone, you see, has been through the advanced Berlitz course for hockey.
"Not speaking the language, they could've maybe come here and gotten around, made do, but it wouldn't have been as enriching an experience,'' Iya Gavrilova is saying. "What if communication broke down and they couldn't get the sticks they wanted or didn't understand what was being asked of them?
"Just little things.
"And little things, when you're confused, can seem like big things.
"Measuring gear, for example. It took them five minutes instead of, say, 20. Or longer.
"My coming from Russia, it helps that I can explain why things work the way they do. I know both sides. Where they're coming from, and this side, too.
"Having played, when I tell them something from the coach, the boys know I'm not making stuff up. It's not like hearing it from someone who's never watched, or been involved in, hockey."