The Capstronaut wasn't the only celebrity in the house when the Caps Hosted the Flyers Sunday afternoon. Hall-of-famer Bob Clarke was also in attendance, and Sovetsky Sport correspondents Natalia Bragilevskaya and Pavel Lysenkov were able to sit down with him and get his take on Ovechkin and fighting in the NHL. Here is the first part of the interview with his assessment of Alex Ovechkin, and you can check out our SBN partner Broad Street Hockey later for the rest of the interview.
Bobby Clarke is already 60 years old. Time waits for no man. He's no longer the gap-toothed forward wearing an impish grin while breaking Kharlamov's ankle. He was the ringleader of the gang from Philadelphia nicknamed the "Broad Street Bullies" during the 1970's. Dave "The Hammer" Schultz, Bob "Hound" Kelly, Reggie "Rifle" Leach-what names they had back then!
Now he's indistinguishable from any other retiree. Good-natured and smiling, he probably gets up in the morning and mows his lawn and goes for a walk in the park. He's got all of his teeth now-American dentists can work miracles. Several years ago Robert Earl Clarke (or just Bobby) was the General Manager of the Flyers, and he still holds an executive position with the club. We weren't diverting him away from any important club business, so he readily agreed to an interview with Sovetsky Sport.
Recently, Russian Hockey Federation President Vladislav Tretiak was in Montreal and he said that Alexander Ovechkin must be half-Canadian, since he plays such aggressive hockey. Do you agree?
"Every Canadian dreams of playing like Ovechkin" smiled Clarke. "He's a real bull out there on the ice."
Would he have fit in with Philadelphia in the 70's?
"Easily! Ovechkin could have been the best player on any team at that time."
Even better than you?
"Much better! There's no way I could compare myself with him. Look how he skates, how he fights for the puck. Look at how much strength and drive he has. I'll say it again- he's a big bull. He just runs over people on the ice. It's really difficult to play against Ovechkin."
[For the rest of this interview - Flyers-specific stuff - check our SBN partner Broad Street Hockey later today.]