Mo' 'Money,' No Problem 11/26
A couple of comments that didn't make the cut appear here:
On the culture shock associated with going from playing junior hockey Saskatchewan to playing college hockey in Huntsville, Alabama:
“There’s definitely a little bit slower pace. Everyone’s pretty laid back. There was definitely – I wouldn’t say a language barrier, but a bit of a slang barrier – just their accents. I’d speak and they’d look at me like ‘Where are you from?’ and I’d say, ‘Well, where are you from?’ It was a little bit different to definitely understand the slang and all that kind of stuff, but it was a fun experience. And the team was pretty heavy on the Canadians, so that helped the transition.”On whether that even remotely compared to spending a year in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League:
“You can still go and get a Dunkin’ Donuts down in Huntsville. It was pretty tough. It was definitely a big shock and then obviously the language barrier was tough. Not so much that, but it was just the way they treat hockey and the way the coaches treat the players. Here, they treat us well. I’m not going to say a country club, but you kind of come in, you get your workout in, you get on the ice and then you go home for the day. Over there it’s like ‘No, we’re paying you, you’re on the clock when we want you to be.’ There was a lot of morning skates and then evening runs out in the snow and stuff like that. There was no down and it was mentally taxing.”...
"You can definitely see why some guys decide to come home or get released from their clubs. When you go over there as an import player, there’s a lot expected of you and if you don’t perform to sometimes unreachable goals, then they think ‘Why did we bring you here?’ They’re not always attainable, sometimes they put you on a pedestal, but you’re just a normal guy. The style of play is a lot different too, so I think it’s hard for guys to adjust.”On his first season with the Philadelphia Phantoms, 2006-07:
"I came in and I was pretty green and pretty raw. I was fortunate to have a lot of help from Reggie Lemelin, who was a goalie coach at the time and then after that Neil Little came in and he was our goalie coach. I can’t say enough about what he did for me that kind of helped me just learn how to play. … It really helped out a lot to have those people helping me and watching me and here I am now.”In somewhat fitting fashion, Munroe is one win away from tying Antero Niittymaki for second place all-time on the Phantoms' franchise wins list. Little is the record holder with 177, which is hard to imagine anyone catching in this day and age in the American Hockey League. A goalie starting fresh would have to post about six 30-win seasons. He would probably be in the NHL by year three, maybe four definitely five. If he's not getting a shot by that point, he may make the jump to Europe.
Munroe sort of touched on that in his comments in the feature story.
Personnel update: Marc-Andre Bourdon missed the second half of practice as part of a planned recovery from logging a lot of key minutes during last week's three-in-four, coach Terry Murray said. Tough stretch for the Phantoms, here, playing three straight three-in-fours. Them's the breaks.
An interesting bit in tonight's Phantoms Power Hour radio show. Defensemen Jeff Dimmen, back skating after an injury, talked about his day with the Calder Cup this past summer. He took it to the top of Pike's Peak, which was in a story I wrote earlier this season, but I found out the Calder Cup transportation methods aren't as glamorous as those for the Stanley Cup. Dimmen got the trophy via a FedEx shipment from Tyler Johnson, then he had to pack it up and ship it to the team's video coach.
FedEx apparently didn't even wait for a signature, Dimmen said. So there's that.
You can listen to it here. The Calder Cup talk starts at about 22:30, while the shipping talk starts at 23:40. Didn't have a chance to ask how much it costs to ship the Calder Cup. Next time.
Mike Testwuide, by the way, revealed his brother, former Phantoms defenseman J.P. Testwuide, has retired from professional hockey and he's now raising organic, grass-fed animals in Colorado.
"It's been his dream his whole life to be a rancher," Mike Testwuide said on the radio show. "He just got a new horse. He's training his new horse right now. He's a cowboy, that's who he is. I love the kid and he's doing what he wants to do, so it's really good for him."
I may or may not be at practice tomorrow. I'm needed in the office to help piece together our high school hockey preview, so look for that in Wednesday's paper. If I'm not, though, I'll try and put some additional comments I got from Murray up here on the blog as sort of a Phantoms game preview.
EDIT: Taylor Hall of the Oklahoma City
Until next time,