Despite the fact that he, Alex Kovalev, no longer plays for the Montreal Canadiens it is quite apparent that he still loves this city. It seems like any excuse he can muster up to be here (besides when the Senators are playing the Habs) he's in town. This past Monday he was in Montreal, despite the fact that the Senators had played a game the previous evening in Anaheim, to promote the release of his latest DVD.
Last year, while still with the Canadiens Kovalev had put a DVD entitled "My Hockey Tips and Training Methods". Coming off a great season with the Habs hockey fans were very interested in what the hockey player dubbed "The Artist" had to say, so the DVD was more successful than expected. The profits from the DVD went to Alex Kovalev's Children's Gift of Life Foundation that helps children suffering from heart diseases. Wanting to do more for the kids Kovy decided to put out another DVD this year.
It was shot in the middle of the season during a 4-5 day break. The shoot took place in Lasalle over a two day period of shooting from 8:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night. Even for an elite athlete, Kovalev himself admitted that it was "pretty tiring". They put more time and effort into this one and the concept behind it was developed based on e-mail questions that Kovalev was getting from his fans.
The idea behind the latest DVD is to give athletes of any sport the tools in order to get themselves into great shape. These exercises on the DVD are what Kovalev does himself.
At the press conference Alex Kovalev graciously and with his usual sense of humour answered questions asked of him, like:
Media: Where can we buy the DVD?
Alex Kovalev: The DVD will be distributed across Canada.
Media: Where does the money raised from DVD sales go?
Alex Kovalev: After paying for the production of the DVD, a large portion of the profits will go to my foundation (www.kovalevfoundation.org) with some money set aside for the next project we do.
Media: What kinds of projects has your foundation undertaken?
Alex Kovalev: A golf tournament, but I didn't want to stick only to golf tournaments, so we branched out. I did a camp for kids with heart diseases this summer. We did a fashion show recently which was fun and pretty successful. Lots of people attended it and it raised a little bit of money. I want to do things that are fun for kids. I was excited to see kids at the summer camp having fun. I want to expand it.
Media: Where is this camp based?
Alex Kovalev: The camp is based in Montreal – at a school in Outremont.
Media: Will you be doing one of these camps in Russia?
Alex Kovalev: It is harder to do this sort of thing in Russia. The parents are not sure about sending their kids to a camp like this. But that might change when they see that I actually go to the camp and work with the kids. For instance, here in Montreal I worked 6 hours a day on the ice with the 60 kids who attended.
Media: Can you explain to us what is Kovy Idols?
Alex Kovalev: This is an event that is happening this Friday (December 11th) in Montreal at Etienne Desmarteau Centre. It costs each participant $20 (1,300 tickets available) and 27 kids have been picked from the entire group to show off their hockey skills. They will then be judged by a panel of judges including myself.
Media: Do you have any hopes about making the Russian Olympic Hockey team?
Alex Kovalev: I'm still hoping to make Olympic team. I haven't heard anything from the Russians. It would be nice as it probably is my last chance to play on the Olympic team. Though 10 days rest wouldn't be bad either to prepare for the last part of the season. I know I need to put more points on the board to get their attention.
Media: Last night you played against ex-teammate Saku Koivu. Did you get a chance to talk to him?
Alex Kovalev: I didn't get a chance to talk to Saku before the game. I did play against him most of the night and we smiled and said a few things to each other.
Media: Was there any truth to the rumours of you and Koivu not getting along?
Alex Kovalev: No, it was something you guys (the media) make up when there is not much going on and you're bored. You always paired me up with someone. Kovalev and Koivu. Kovalev and Carbonneau. Kovalev and Gainey. Always someone. It would be the stupidest thing for a player to make enemies out of someone in his own dressing room. I have always gotten along with my teammates. I respect Koivu and everything he did for the team. It is too bad after all he gave that he could not continue playing for Montreal.
Media: Do you think Ottawa Senator's owner Eugene Melnyk's recent comments about his stars not playing well was directed at you?
Alex Kovalev: If it was I accept it. I know I have to play better. For Ottawa I am the new guy on the team and players are still adjusting to me.
Media: Do you see yourself becoming a personal trainer after your hockey career is over?
Alex Kovalev: Not really. I find traveling around more interesting and I learn more that way. Traveling around you get different experiences to build upon. I don't see myself as a personal trainer for one team as I like moving around and gaining new ideas.