You talked with Dan (see above) about the teams that improved at the NHL trade deadline but I wanted to ask you about what it's like for a player. You were never traded at the deadline, but what's it like to go through it as a player knowing that it's a possibility?
It's gut wrenching. I was never worried about going but I was with a lot of friends of mine and that's all they talked about for a week. "Am I going to be traded? I'm nervous about being traded. I don't want to leave. I don't want to move my family."
Especially if you're in the big, good cities. Chicago it was really talked about. Philadelphia it was really, really talked about. L.A. it was really talked about. These teams that were really good places to live and had good teams, guys really fretted and feared getting traded at the trade deadline.
Both of my trades were in the summer so I didn't worry about it too much but definitely not a good time for an athlete.
Yeah, a guy who got traded from Philadelphia [on Monday], Braydon Coburn, talked about the toll it takes on his family and from that perspective.
Yeah, it's tough.
But what do think about that deal though in your analysis?
I like the deal actually. I like the fact that he goes down to a team that has a chance to win that needs size; a team that's very good offensively. The big, strong defensemen are getting smaller these days so it's nice to have a guy like Coburn, a good skater. But he's been in Philly for so long, it's hard to make that transition.
8 years, yeah.
Yeah, and then going down to not a traditional hockey market. It's going to be a little bit different for him. He goes to a very good hockey team though so I think he'll be fine.
The AHL Moves West
The AHL Moves West
Moving on, let's talk about hockey out west a little bit. What kind of impact do you think the AHL moving west will have on the game and growing the game in California?
It's smart, not only is it smart financially for these teams to bring their minor league affiliates closer -- financially they don't have to send their kids on airplanes, they can be closer to seeing them, watching them.
Look at Anaheim. Anaheim's moving a team to San Diego -- which is great for me because their rink is going to be about 10 minutes from my house -- but [general manager] Bob Murray can get in a car and drive 45 minutes to watch a lot of young talent and assess more talent. When you're hands-on more, it's better.
And then you get to introduce hockey to a lot more kids. More hockey to see at an affordable price; obviously AHL tickets are going to be cheaper. It's a good time for parents to get their kids out to see really good hockey and I think it's going to help California hockey really build up.
You're here promoting Kraft Hockeyville USA and I was looking around on their website and one of the rinks I noticed that has a lot of nominations is the Oceanside Arena in Arizona. NCAA hockey is going to be out of that rink there in a year or two ...
... next year, yeah.
What do you think will happen once college hockey goes out there? In my estimation, rinks are the problem.
They are the problem. The main problem. I think with the amount of kids that are trying hockey these days and hockey building -- 9,000 new kids just tried hockey for the first time in the last three weeks -- so when you have players coming and building and building you're going to have more opportunities for more teams.
I think that especially in the NCAA, now with going out to Phoenix, you're going to see more teams. I would not be surprised if you see a team pop up in California. Southern California. UCLA, USC. With what the Kings and the Ducks are doing, you're going to see more NCAA teams being in play, which allows more kids to be able to go to school.
I know you were involved with the Seattle expansion group. There was a report last week that they could go NHL first in with their arena. Any word on that?
They could go NHL first in Seattle but the problem is that they don't have an arena. The KeyArena up there is decrepit, it's not built for hockey. And I think we're in a day and age where you need to have a first class facility for an NHL franchise. No NBA franchise going there any time soon because of the television contract, because of their lack of wanting to expand.
So to bring a hockey team to Seattle as a one-tenant, new building, it's not financially smart or viable. I don't see a new building being built any time soon, which means you have to wait for double organizations to come -- both NBA and NHL are going to have to come at the same time and I don't see that happening very soon.
Vegas, though. They have their ticket drive going. Would you want to get involved there?
Yeah. I've expressed a lot of interest in going there and helping build that, because when you're building a franchise you need players and people that know the game, love the game, are passionate about the game, have a good eye for talent, but are also good in the community. They can be the face of the team going out and doing ticket drives and events that are going build hockey. They don't mind being around fans, signing autographs, creating that fan base that you need.
For me, that's right up my alley. They're pretty close to finishing off their ticket drive. A lot of people question whether they'll be really good there but when you have a really excited and good owner like Bill Foley will be and the Maloofs, I think they have a fighting chance.
A Cautionary Tale From The NBA
A Cautionary Tale From The NBA
OK, lightning round to close this off. Quick answers. Boston, Philly, Florida, Ottawa. Which team makes the playoffs in the East?
Calgary, San Jose, L.A., Minnesota. Which two make it in the West?
Minnesota and L.A.
Pick an Art Ross winner.
Evgeni Malkin. I think he'll catch fire.
Hart Trophy winner is going to be Carey Price or Pekka Rinne.
Goalie, huh? They never win.
Nope, not very often.
Stanley Cup winner.
You like their trade deadline?
They were strong before and even stronger now.
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Our thanks to Jeremy Roenick for taking time to chat with us. You can find out more about Kraft Hockeyville USA, and nominate your local rink, at krafthockeyville.com.