In advance of today's Winter Classic press conference at Heinz Field, Penguins forward Max Talbot went on morning talk radio in Pittsburgh to discuss the New Year's Day game against the hated Washington Capitals. The hosts didn't really have to egg him on too much in regards to his feelings for the Caps' best player.
Here's the audio of the interview. And yes, we typed it all out, too:
TALBOT: I'm kinda happy [Ovechkin's] not there. I really didn't wanna see him.
*annoying morning talk show host laughter*
HOSTS: There ya go Max. So much for political correctness.
*more annoying laughter*
TALBOT: I just hate the guy.
The rest of the transcript can be seen after the jump.
HOSTS: No that's fine by me. Please don't apologize. We agree completely. See, this is why I wanted to have you on instead of that Crosby guy anyway, Max, because I know I would've gotten the PC answer outta Sid. But you just put it out there. I want the truth, that's why you're on the show today.
TALBOT: Well I can't lie, even more so for a guy like Ovechkin. Seriously, okay.
HOSTS: At what point did you realize that the animosity you had towards Ovechkin .. was more of a lingering thing?
TALBOT: Um, the first time I met him actually.
TALBOT: When I met him off the ice... you know, you hear a lot of stories about the guy, but sometimes they're not true. [...] The first time I met him, let's say he didn't give the best impression to me. So it's reason to hate him even more.
HOSTS: Now, what did you hear, Max, before you met him, and what sort of led, how do I phrase this, down to your level of expectation?
TALBOT: *chuckle* I was actually at the NHL awards. Last summer with Malkin. We brought the Stanley Cup over there after the season and everything. Malkin knew Ovechkin and introduced me to him. The first impression wasn't great. I'm not really gonna say what happened, but uh, it wasn't... I was like, "okay, this guy is a real douche."