MOSCOW, December 11 (R-Sport) – Nikita Nikitin, a defenseman playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League, has told R-Sport he refuses to learn English as he can always rely on fellow Russian teammates.
Nikitin has played in the NHL since 2010 but admitted – in Russian – that “my English isn’t getting any better.”
Russians in the NHL are regularly criticized for their perceived failure to adapt.
“You always hear Russian in the team, although because of that I should admit I don’t learn English,” he said. “I understand everything I need to, but I can still only speak with difficulty. But there are always guys around who give me prompts.”
There are three other Russians on the Columbus roster besides Nikitin: goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, defenseman Fedor Tyutin and forward Artem Anisimov.
Nikitin has scored one goal and five assists in 24 games this season.