Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Blueland Chronicle Interviews Some Prospects

First off, a big thank you to Ben Wright and the rest of the fine folks at the Atlanta Thrashers for allowing us goof-offs to be anywhere close to the locker room for serious interviews. Loyal readers will want to know that I did promise Mr. Wright I wouldn't call anyone a "douche bag", "tool", "asshat", and or "weenie".

Now then, on to the transcript (hope to have audio up at some point):

Carl Klingberg Interview

Mortimer Peacock: You've played in Sweden for your whole career, and you'll be in the Elite League for two years, so how did you end up playing a more North American style of game?

Klingberg: My national team coach told me to play more physical and I tried one game and he told me I was the best player on the ice and I kept on doing that, so that was my style from that moment on.

MP: I heard you're from Gothenburg Sweden...

(unintelligible noise)

I have a friend from Gothenburg so I know a little bit about it.

Big Shooter: Heeennngggh?

MP: This has to be your first time in Atlanta, I assume you've been doing nothing but playing hockey.

CK: Yeah, I've been to North America about 8 times, all the times have been for hockey. Maybe I've had a chance to look around one afternoon, but not that much.

MP: Are there any NHL teams you follow besides the Thrashers?

CK: I like the Canadian teams, very interesting. Lots of people in the crowd.

MP: Who is your favorite player of all time?

CK: I think Ovechkin. He has a style like me, go to the net hard and hit people.

Jeremy Morin Interview

MP:Do you consider yourself a pure goal scorer?

Morin: Yeah, that's how I like to model my game.

MP: Do you see yourself competing for a roster spot soon?

JM: Well, I've got two more years in Kitchener and just kind of go from there.

Big Shooter: Is it one of your goals to make the World Juniors this year?

JM: Yes, I've been a part of the USA organization for a while and to play for the U-20 team is definitely one of my goals.

BS: Who else in USA hockey should we be on the look out for?

JM: I think the goalie Jack Campbell that played with us at the U-18 tournament... he is a really good goalie and I can see him having a future for sure.

Frenchy: Have you played with Bogosian before?

JM: Yeah, I have. We grew up playing together.

MP: So you're kind of friends, you and Bogo...

JM: Yeah, we are.

BS: Awwwwwwwwwwwww.

BS: Who would you compare yourself to that is playing currently in the NHL?

JM: I'm a guy that likes to shoot the puck a lot, kind of a guy like Bobby Ryan. I like to shoot the puck.

Evander Kane Interview

You can find the audio of part of the interview at the other blogs (we have linked to them below). I'll post the questions from your Chronicle staff only:

MP: Before you started talking to the Thrashers, what did you think of hockey in the Southeast?

Kane: I didn't really think about it that much. It's definitely one of those markets that isn't having it's best years, but I think it's starting to turn around and hopefully we can get the fans back. Just by the crowd I see out there (prospect camp) it seems like people care.

BS: Being the highest drafted black player in the history of the NHL, you have an opportunity here that might not have existed had you been drafted by another team, say up in Canada or teams that have a really built in fan base. Can you touch on the opportunity that you have to bring in an entirely different fan base not only to the Thrashers, but to the NHL?

EK: Absolutely, I think it all starts with role models and hopefully I can be one of those role models that can reach out to the community and bring fans into Philips Arena. I really hope to do that, the first thing is hockey, but there's definitely going to be that opportunity there and I'm going to try and make the most of it.

BS: Are you tired yet of answering questions about your name and whether or not you've met Evander Holyfield?

EK: (laughter all around, man that Big Shooter guy knows all about the funny doesn't he!) Yeah, I get that quite a bit! My dad and my grandfather are big Evander Holyfield fans, my mom really liked that name and my parents both agreed to name me after him.

MP: Are you as big a boxing fan as your father? Who's your favorite boxer of all time?

EK: Not as big, but I definitely like it. My favorite boxer of ALL TIME? I'll say Evander Holyfield (much laughter, everybody likes all the funny. Big Shooter makes a stupid joke about George Foreman). Currently I'll give you Floyd Mayweather.

BS: What have been your impressions so far of your first prospect camp?

EK: Yesterday was just kind of getting the rust off a little bit. I haven't skated in about two and a half weeks. I thought today was a lot better, I felt better on the ice. We've had two on ice work outs and I thought both went well and hopefully tomorrow will go better.

BS: Can you touch on your experience in the World Juniors? Being in the south this year was the first year we were able to watch on the NHL Network. I could not believe the level of skill in that tournament, and the New Years Eve game (Canada vs USA) was one of the most amazing things I've seen even though we wound up on the wrong end of it down here. Talk a little bit about your role having to come back to the team (after being cut) when someone else got injured. (that Big Shooter guy is one long winded gas bag isn't he?)

EK: When I got the call back I knew I was going to start at the bottom and I really wanted to show I could play at that level and on that stage and work my way up. As you referred to in the US game, I thought that was a real turning point for me, we started that game and our line got a lot of confidence off that and that's when I really started to play well. You know, being out there in key situations in the semi-finals and over time really helped me and like I said, my role just got bigger as the tournament went on.

MP: Since you're an 18 year old citizen of Canada I can ask this... favorite adult beverage?

EK: I'm actually 17, and it's 19 (legal drinking age) in Vancouver (lots of ohhhing and ahhhing, someone said something about a road trip to Alberta... very nice!).

At this point there was an abrupt end to the recorder, but as I recall that was the last question.

There you have it kids. We did talk a little with Paul Postma, but The Falconer really did the interview, so go on over to his home to find out all about that. All in all, everyone was extremely nice. All good handshakes and good eye contact... I think that speaks well about a person. So thank you to Evander, Jeremy, Paul, and Carl for playing along with us. We look forward to seeing you all out on the ice very soon.

One more thing, as I was leaving a nice little surprise happened. You never know who you are going to run into, and this is a Chronicle first. We have video people. I ran into noted Carolina Hurricanes fan, Rick "The Nature Boy" Flair. Big Shooter never turns down the chance interview with a wrestling God. I hope you enjoy:

MORTIMER PEACOCK ADDS: I have to say Evander Kane has serious presence. Not sure how to describe it; he just gives off a Future Star kind of vibe. He's a super-nice guy, but you can tell he's supremely confident, confident to the point that he doesn't seem to have any doubts that he'll make the Thrashers this year. Just an all-around very pleasant, very cool guy.

Carl Klingberg=a man of intimidating size, but very nice. You could tell he and locker neighbor Jeremy Morin were winded and exhausted; the last thing they wanted to do was talk to our stumbling, mumbling asses, but they were both extremely nice fellers.

True story: At one point Paul Postma had a huge crowd clustered around him, pretty much every blogger there. Some guy (not sure who) walking to the showers called out "OH MY GOD PAUL POSTMA!!!!" in a mock-teenybopper voice. Hee!

That is all.

And don't forget, the audio from the Kane interview is here. To limit your listening experience to the Chronicle: Big Shooter is the one asking the good questions and I'm the one asking the dumb questions. But don't just listen for us; listen for everyone!


Mortimer Peacock said...

Wow. Shooter, seriously. Great work.

Big Shooter said...


You are right about Carl and Jeremy Morin. You could tell they worked their butts off and were tired, but they stayed and were very nice to answer all our questions. And what else can you say about Kane? Nothing but class. Can't believe he is only 17. When I was his age I was just learning to tie my shoes...

I am now a HUGE fan of Morin... good American boy. Can't wait to watch him at the World Juniors this year... perhaps in person? How bout it Chronicle guys... hmmm? Hennggh? Heeeeeeennnnngggghhhh!!!!!

Jay said...

Great work. A little disappointed that you didn't knock Flair's ass out, throw a Thrashers jersey on top of him and give him a big "WOOOOOOOOOOOOO". He's obviously scouting for the Hurricanes. They heard about the goldmine of prospects that we have. The jealous bitches.

Razor Catch Prey said...

Great work, fellas. Wish I could have been there with you, but some things really do take priority.

Mortimer Peacock said...

How DID the trip to Charleston go, Razor?