In the NY Times, Jeff Klein exchanged emails with Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh who is playing in the KHL for Barys.
McDonagh told Klein that his head coach doesn’t speak English but that the team’s goalie coach is always around the non-Russian players to translate what the coach is saying. He noted that the language barrier hasn’t been as tough as he thought it would be.
On his time in Kazakhstan, McDonagh said “The experience has been better than I expected it to be. Astana is a great place and the Barys team has treated me very well. The atmosphere of the games is great — the crowd is always chanting and beating drums. The group of guys on the team all get along well and play hard for each other. That’s all you can ask for when you’re joining a team in the situation like I did.”