New Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist talked with Pittsburgh media today via conference call for the first time since being acquired from the Predators along with forward Nick Spaling in a trade which sent James Neal to Nashville Friday.
Here is the transcript:
How did you find out about the trade?
"I was actually in bed [in Sweden] because it’s six hours ahead of you guys [on the East Coast]. I was in bed and I saw [Predators general manager] David Poile call me. Obviously I picked up my phone and he told me the news that I got traded to Pittsburgh. Obviously I was shocked. The first couple of hours there, I still thought it was a dream. Obviously, I was so happy Pittsburgh wanted me. I only hear good things about Pittsburgh, the team and the organization. Obviously with [Sidney] Crosby and [Evgeni] Malkin there, they always have a chance to win. I’m real excited for the season to start and to join a great organization and good team."
How much do you think you can produce playing with Crosby or Malkin?
"Honestly it’s hard to say how much I can produce playing with them but I’ve got a great opportunity playing with two of the best centermen in the world but I’m not going to change my game. I’m still going to go hard to the net and try to score goals around the net. Obviously I’m so happy about this organization to come to a good organization and a good team and have a great chance to win. I’m excited and looking forward toward the season to start."
How did you develop the skill of being a net-front presence?
"That’s a good question. When I was playing back in Europe, I was more a high-slot guy. When I came to Nashville, I was always trying to go to in front of the net. They put me in front of the net on the power play. After that, I was developed there and got more ice time and got on the power play and all that. The puck started to go in and from there on, I was always trying to go hard to the net and scoring those greasy goals."
Do you have a preference on playing the left or right wing and what differences are there playing in the Western and Eastern Conferences?
"I don’t care left or right to be honest. The difference playing from the west to the east is that is that is probably a little more high-tempo in the East. A little more open than the West. I’m really excited to play in the East. Shorter travel and a little more open game for forwards obviously. More fun."
Have you talked to any of the Penguins' management?
"I talked to both the [general manager] and the coach. They were happy to have me on board. We haven’t really talked about what I’m going to do on the ice or anything like that. The only I know I’ve got to do, I’ve got to be the same player I’ve been in Nashvile. I’ve got to give energy to the team and work as hard as I can every single night and go hard to the net. I can’t change anything. The know what kind of player they’ve got and hopefully I can show it and be good for the organization and for the team."
What can you and Spaling bring to the Penguins' dressing room?
"In Nashville, I was trying to be a good guy in the locker room. Always try to laugh and joke around a little bit before practice. Always be more of a funny guy and stuff like that. Hopefully I can be the same guy in Pittsburgh. Nick was the same way. Always happy around the rink. Hopefully we can bring that to Pittsburgh. I’m sure they already have those kind of guys."
(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)