Newly acquired Calgary Flames defenseman, Nikita Zadorov played for the Chicago Blackhawks last season. Before that, he was a member of the Avalanche for five years. That’s where he saw up close and personal the competitor that Nathan MacKinnon is in Colorado.
Nathan MacKinnon is another level on what it takes to be a winner
Zadorov did an interview in Russia about a month ago that is gaining traction here in North America thanks to Twitter user Joel Klettke. He started to discuss just how crazy Nathan MacKinnon is when it comes to nutrition, fitness, and how that ties into winning.
“He’s crazy like that, he eats well. He doesn’t drink either. He only drinks water,” Zadorov said. “Two years ago in Colorado, he got rid of all the desserts he could. He also removed them from the locker room and pre-game meals. He had the white sauce (carbonara) removed from the menu when eating pasta. He even replaced regular pasta with chickpea pasta so we would eat more protein.”
Whoa! I don’t know about you, but fresh semolina pasta with a light carbonara sauce sounds like a winner to me.
“He would say, “Guys, if you want to eat this sh*t, you have the off-season to do it. When you step in here, there won’t be any more of that, because we’re winning the Cup this year.” Zadorov also explained that it worked. “All the kids on the team see him do it,” he continued, ” they look up to him and want to do their part.”
MacKinnon is the hardest working guy in the room
At one point in the interview, Zadorov compared MacKinnon to Michael Jordan. Fans of the NBA legend got to see what made Jordan a winner in the documentary “The Last Dance” on Netflix. MJ would not ask others to do what he wasn’t willing to do himself. A true leader by example.
“He’s always the hardest working guy,” Zadorov said. “He comes out 30 minutes before practice working on his hands. Young guys see him as the best player in the NHL but he is still out there trying to improve. It motivates them.
“He made us all true professionals on the team,” Zadorov admitted. “That’s why the Avalanche have gotten so much better in the last two years.”
*Translations courtesy of Steven Voogel
**Original Russian interview on YouTube below