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Barabanov Talks Lightsaber Collection, Being ‘Big Brother’ for Russian Sharks (+)



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

May the (ninety) fourth be with you.

Before I jumped on a video call with Alexander Barabanov, I noticed that his Zoom handle had a very apparent Star Wars reference. Turned out it wasn’t a coincidence.

“I’m a Star Wars fan,” Barabanov confirmed in Russian, instantly noting, “But I only like the first six movies. Not the ones from Disney, they kind of suck.”

He even has a few Star Wars action figures, and naturally, a couple of lightsabers he left back home in Saint Petersburg.

“My friends gave me Yoda’s saber for my birthday,” Barabanov continued, with pride in his voice. “And I got another one from my brother. It looks very elaborate. You can change colors and sounds. I just need to turn the lights off so I can feel like a true Jedi.”

The Force hasn’t quite been with the San Jose Sharks winger this season, however.

Barabanov missed more than a month because of a broken finger. And then last December, when he was back and finding his game, he got COVID. The result: Only 10 points in 37 games for Barabanov, almost nothing compared to his previous campaign’s 47 points in 68 games.

Barabanov Had COVID This Season, Talks Trade Rumors

But still, there’s an area this season where Barabanov has taken on the role of Jedi Master: He’s been helping the San Jose Sharks’ younger Russian players adjust to the NHL and North America.

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