June 23, 2008
Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers has actually been married for a while, which explains why he hasn't won a scoring title recently. But last week, he and his wife Nicole had a proper religious ceremony at the Church of Dormition back in Russia.
Wow, that's pretty cool. I didn't even get a Burger King crown at my wedding. Then again, I wasn't allowed to dress like Sonny Crockett, either.
Among those in attendance at the wedding were Vladislav Tretyak, Alexei Morozov and family, Vyacheslav Fetisov, Olympic gymnast Alexei Nemov and Pavel Lysenkov, a reporter from Russian newspaper Sovetsky Sport, who had a few words with Kovalchuk on his big day. (Thanks to our good friend and official Puck Daddy Russian comrade Dmitry Chesnokov for the photos and partial translation).
What did you feel during the ceremony?
"Emotions were taking over us that now we feel like we're on cloud number 9. We need time to fully realize what an important step we took today."
Why did you do it on the 18th and not the 17th? Isn't 17 your favorite number?
"We wanted to, but apparently it is bad to have church weddings on Tuesdays. So the priest suggested we move the date."
Did you pick this place at random?
"No. Here at the Convent we baptized our daughter Carolina."
Tretyak told me that now you will start scoring more goals.
"I hope God can hear him here!" (Kovalchuk is laughing).
More photos from the wedding ...
His wife Nicole is Lithuanian and was a singer with Mirage, which appears to be like a Russian version of Menudo, only with incredibly hot blonde chicks instead of guys who look like they're auditioning for the Miami Sound Machine junior varsity.