Getting To Know: Vladislav Namestnikov

In this week’s Getting To Know, get the scoop on Tampa Bay’s Vladislav Namestnikov. While he isn’t a man of many words, he knows what he likes. Namestnikov talks following tennis star Maria Sharapova’s game and reading about one of the game’s most successful defensemen.

Status: Tampa Bay Lightning center.

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 182 pounds

DOB: November 22, 1992 In: Zhukovskiy, Russia

First Hockey Memory: “My dad used to play pro hockey. I believe it was Syracuse where he put me on the ice the first time.”

Hockey Inspirations: “Like idols? The Russian Five when they played for Detroit.”

Last Book Read: “It was about Chris Chelios.”

Current Car: “Mercedes.”

Nickname: “Vladi.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “First game in the NHL.”

Most Painful Moment: “Getting injured probably.”

Favorite Uniforms: “In the NHL? Tampa. (Number two?) Los Angeles.”

Favorite Rinks To Play: “Here, Tampa.”

Why Do You Love Playing Hockey: “It’s my life, I guess. Always felt good playing. So I love it.”

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Funniest Players Encountered: “Hard one… Brian Boyle.”

Closest NHL Friends: “Seth Griffith of Boston.”

Most Memorable Goal: “First goal in the NHL against Montreal.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Chocolate.”

Embarrassing Hockey Memory: “No.”

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: “Tennis.”

Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: “Serena Williams. Sidney Crosby. Maria Sharapova.”

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: “My uncle, Slava Kozlov.”

Strangest Game: “My blade broke once, in the American Hockey League. Puck hit my blade and broke.”

Personality Qualities Most Admired: “Loyalty. Respect. And just nice, being nice.”

Mark “Scoop” Malinowski’s book “Muhammad Ali: Portrait Of A Champion” is now available at Amazon.