Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jets' Antropov knew crash victim Igor Korolev 'like a brother'

  • Print

Nik Antropov has had moments in his NHL career where he's lived up to the promise of his huge body and soft hands. The Winnipeg Jets are hoping the 31-year-old has some magic left.

Antropov is expected to eat up minutes in the club's top six forwards and if he's healthy and working with the right people, there's potential for production.

A 20-goal scorer on three different occasions during his time in the NHL, Antropov has had consistency issues due to injury. But he's big, has elite ice vision and despite what some say, has a reputation for being engaged.

"The first time I was in Winnipeg was in 1999 in the world juniors and I remember it was minus-48. But this seems like a great community and it's good to be back in a market where people care about hockey," said Antropov, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound winger.

Antropov is busy getting used to the new surroundings and a fresh direction in his hockey career but for the most part is mind is elsewhere.

Antropov had nine friends die in Wednesday's horrific plane crash that wiped out the Lokomotiv team of the KHL and he considered former Winnipeg Jets forward Igor Korolev "like a brother."

"Igor was my good friend and this is very sad for me. I knew Igor for 11 years since I first came to North America and he took me under his wing," said Antropov, who is entering his 12th NHL season. "He did a lot of good things for me."

Antropov has scored 172 goals and 240 assists in 679 career NHL games. He arrived in North America as a lanky kid out of Kazakhstan with lots of hockey ability but limited life skills.

"It's a tough loss for us. He's the godfather of my son," said Antropov, selected 10th overall in the first round of the 1998 entry draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"I couldn't speak English and didn't know where to go for something to eat. Igor showed me everything."

Antropov called Korolev's wife when he heard about the crash. "I didn't know what to say. I told her I hoped he wasn't one of them but then we found out it was."

Hockey is a refuge for Antropov right now. "Any time you lose one of your best friends or your family, it's hard to take, but you have to move forward from it. I will always remember what he did for me," he said.

"You could call him at any time and he was there for you. I think about this all the time. You come to the rink and hang out with the guys and no one talks about it, but then I get in the car to leave and it's there. It's hard right now."

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 10, 2011 C4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • June 24, 2012 - 120624  -  Amusement riders on the last day of The Ex Sunday June 24, 2012.    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press
  • A Canada goose makes takes flight on Wilkes Ave Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 Day goose a day challenge- Day 09- May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who are the real Bombers?

View Results

Ads by Google