Russian Hockey Fans has translated another Filatov interview. He goes into more depth in this one about his time in Columbus and why he decided to return to Russia. An excerpt:
– And when you understood that it was time for a change?
– It was at the start of this season, after some five games. It was already clear that the coach wouldn’t give me a chance. I had high expectations when I arrived there. I was sure that all would have been going in the way I wanted to. They were judging well my skills, I was scoring and I was simply playing well. But since then my playing time constantly decreased.
– This is strange, I think.
– Exactly. And when some injuries arisen within the team I thought that the situation would have change. That finally my chance was arrived. But the situation hasn’t changed and all just went on like before.
– During the draft you could have end up in Toronto or with the Islanders…
– Of course, I’ve thought about that and about what it would have been if i was there. Also considering that many 20-year guys are already playing twenty minutes a night there. Of course I think about it, it’s a real pity.
– What did you think when you scored a hat-trick? You probably hoped to earn Hitchcock’s trust and it turned out to be the other way around.
– Yes. After scoring the hat-trick I didn’t understand what was going on as I did something unreal! Then I spent the next week with the Blue Jackets and was sent down to the AHL. It’s hard to comment on that situation, it was a real shock for me. I thought that the hat-trick would change something, hoped that they would keep me in the main team for the rest of the season. But in a week they sent me back. Now it’s not a big deal for me, after all I was only 18 back then. But even during this season the coach kept telling me “You are just 19, why hasten?”. And I thought: “And when I will be 20 next season, will he tell me the same?”.
– You said that before the draft you have a one-hour talk with the Blue Jackets and Hitchcock. What did you think of him then? Was it the same you saw when you joined the Blue Jackets later?
– I can’t say that something went wrong between me and him. We always talked, he gave me advice. I really learned a lot thanks to Hitchcock. At least playing in defence, that’s for sure. Maybe we have different views on hockey and my development. He thinks that I should not rush things, that I should play for the farm team for some time. But I think everything can be done faster.