Vlad Namestnikov (Scott Audette/Getty Images)
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."
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."
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.