Q & A: Talking St. John's with Norman Rose

Written by Craig Meyer on .!/httpImage/image.JPG_gen/derivatives/display_600/image.JPG

(Photo: Newsday)

With Robert Morris playing in its second consecutive NIT tonight, this time against St. John's, it'd probably be helpful to know a little bit about the team they're playing tonight.

I can look at all that stats and film I want, but in these kind of situations, it's usually best to turn to the people that have followed the Red Storm all season long.

Earlier today, I did a Q & A with Rumble in the Garden and the website's editor-in-chief, Norman Rose, was kind enough to do one for me over here.

Since January 18, SJU has gone 11-4. Is this a team that started to figure things out and hit its stride?

The term "hit its stride" indicates a team that has completely figured things out, a team ready to upturn the expected order of things and pull out wins that weren't possible a few months before. It's hard to put that much on the Red Storm, despite what the coach has said about the team peaking; there are still obvious problems and inconsistencies. St. John's has figured out its rotation, is playing with more confidence, and has been generally defensively stout since mid-January.

You look at their schedule and see they've had wins against teams like Creighton, but also losses against the likes of DePaul. Is there a sort of bipolar quality to this team?

It's very obvious. There have been all manner of distractions, to be sure, but the team is hard to get a real handle on.

That said, there seem to be themes to what can create a poor St. John's performance - packed in defenses, an opponent that is good at handling the ball and the chaos that is DePaul. They've given St. John's trouble for years by lulling the Johnnies into a false sense of security and goading them into a ragged, mistake-filled game that would get the stink eye on a play ground.

Faith and confidence are huge for this team, maybe more so than other squads. When they believe in what they're doing and share the ball, they're extremely competitive. When they don't, when they play tentative basketball OR take bad shots too eagerly, they struggle and muddle through opponent runs.

Statistically, SJU is one of the top 30 defensive teams in the country. What defines their game on the defensive end and what makes it so effective?

Blocks. The Red Storm have three players in KenPom's top 200 for the rate of blocked shots - Chris Obekpa, Sir`Dominic Pointer and Orlando Sanchez - and God'sGift Achiuwa doesn't have enough minutes to qualify. JaKarr Sampson is very effective blocking shots. Even D`Angelo Harrison will swipe at a shot.

The Red Storm guards will encourage opponents to drive inside, where the swatting trees await. When the scheme works, the defense not only blocks shots but makes opponents think twice about how they run their offense, which can lead to turnovers. When it's working less well, teams locate opportunities for second shots and draw fouls.

With their scoring numbers, D'Angelo Harrison and Jakarr Sampson obviously stand out. Who are some other guys to keep an eye out for?

Chris Obekpa, when he's on, can be surprisingly effective in the paint as a dunker/pass recipient. Rysheed Jordan is the most dangerous offensive player on his own. He can break down most opponents and either get shots at the rim (unlike his teammates, who tend toward jump shots). And if he gets into the defense and Obekpa or JaKarr Sampson are waiting, even better. Jordan creates points.

Steve Lavin's in his fourth year with the Red Storm and just recently signed an extension. Are SJU fans pretty comfortable with the direction he's led the program?

Some are happy with the raised expectations and increased profile of the school.

Some are upset that after three years with very good recruiting classes (which were touted as excellent recruiting classes), the Red Storm have not gone back to the NCAA Tournament. Some wanted him fired in the middle of the year, when the team was in the Big East cellar.

Which reaction is justified? Hard to say, given that St. John's has had 13 or 14 years with very little success on the court. But the team was expected to be better, were slow to develop this year. So I wouldn't say the general feeling is "comfortable" - it's not like Fred Hoiberg signing an extension in Ames, where I wouldn't be surprised to see a street named after him.

Final thing: how awesome is it to support a team that have guys named God'sgift and Sir'Dominic on it?

It's almost as awesome as watching a team with a "Karvel" on it. Which reminds me, I need to go get some ice cream for breakfast.

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All four WPIAL boys champs still alive ..... other PIAA notes

Written by Mike White on .

Notes, quotes and thoughts with the PIAA basketball semifinals on tap for tonight. 

All four WPIAL boys champions have made it to the PIAA semifinals. You might ask "what's the big deal?" 

Well, it's an unusual occurrence.

Since the PIAA and WPIAL went to four classifications in the 1983-84 season, this is only the fourth time that all four WPIAL champs have made the semifinals.

The first time was 1993 when New Castle, Valley, Sto-Rox and Duquesne made it to the semifinals. It happened again in 1994 when Penn Hills, Beaver Falls, Aliquippa and Duquesne advanced to their final fours. The last time it happened was 2000 when Cornell, Aliquippa, Blackhawk and Penn Hills made it to the semifinals.

The WPIAL champs this year are New Castle, Central Valley, Seton-LaSalle and Lincoln Park. I think there are two reasons why the champs have made it this far this year. First, this is an "up" period for WPIAL basketball, I believe. We've got some pretty darn good teams in a number of classes. That might not be true again next year or the year after. Looking ahead, Class AAAA seems down for next year.

Secondly, the Erie area is down. Erie usually has a few top teams, but not this year.

**** I'm still trying to figure out how Hampton's Ryan Luther got only one shot and did not score in the second half of that New Castle game Saturday.

**** Speaking of New Castle-Hampton. Considering everything that was on the line, considering the history between the two teams, the crowd and how the contest unfolded, that was one of the best games I've seen in a while.

**** Hampton had trouble scoring down the stretch and one of the reasons was New Castle's hands. It might not seem like much, but the way New Castle uses its hands on defense is tremendous. Down the stretch, New Castle was constantly knocking balls away, stripping Hampton players from down low as they went up for a shot and getting their hands in passing lanes. I think New Castle's hands play a big part in their defensive success and Malik Hookerespecially the hands of Malik Hooker (pictured driving to the hoop against Hampton). His quick hands came up with so many big defensive plays for New Castle. It makes you wonder if those hands will help make him a good defensive back at Ohio State.

"His hands are like a weapon. They're so big and so strong and they're quick," said New Castle coach Ralph Blundo. "Often times, I see him soft off the ball and I get upset because he's not in a defensive stance. But he's just baiting you to make a defensive play. Malik Hooker is the greatest athlete I've seen at New Castle. I haven't seen them all, but he's the best I've seen and I don't think it's even close."

As for the hands of the rest of the team?

"You hear so many coaches talk about not using your hands on defense," said Blundo. "But we talk a lot about using your hands. Not to hand check but I think active hands and active feet give you a better opportunity to be successful defensively and generate some offense." 

**** New Castle carries an undefeated record into tonight's game against Abington. It is the second year in a row New Castle takes an unbeaten mark into the semifinals. The last WPIAL boys team to take an undefeated record into a PIAA title game was Blackhawk in 2000. The team had heralded point guard Brandon Fuss-Cheatham. But Blackhawk lost to Steelton-Highspire, 68-56, at Hersheypark Arena. I remember Blackhawk having trouble solving Steelton-Highspire's 3-2 zone.

**** From the Do You Remember department? Steve Lodovico is Blackhawk's girls coach and will try to get the Cougars to the PIAA title game. Blackhawk meets Palmyra tonight. Eighteen years ago, Lodivico was a starting guard for the Blackhawk boys and scored nine points as the Cougars beat Valley View, 67-55, for its second consecutive state championship. Blackhawk also won a state title in 1995, but Lodovico came off the bench for that team. He was a starter in 1996.

**** The past few days in gathering information on the PIAA semifinalists, it is amazing to me how many transfers play for the Philadelphia teams. It's more evident on the boys side but it also exists on the girls side. Do PIAA administrators in Philadelphia care? Apparently not much. The transfer subject has been brought up at PIAA board of control meetings also, but apparently hardly anybody seems to care there, either. Oh well. It's almost as if there are two different athletic worlds in Pennsylvania - Philadelphia as opposed to the western side of the state.

I found one of the most interesting comments from the playoff so far came from St. Basil girls coach Terry Mancini after his team lost to Neumann-Goretti, 64-29, in the Class AA quarterfinals. Neumann-Goretti has some transfers and Mancini said to the Montgomery News, "I can't tell you why it got away from us so early. That was not the team I coached all year. I think they bought into the hype of Neumann-Goretti because they saw them play. What can you say? They are the best AAU team in the state. ... We got this far with four-year seniors, no transfers. Unfortunately, we are playing against teams with an influx of transfers. We can't compete with that at St. Basil. We are too small of a school."

**** Follow @PGVarsityXtra on Twitter tonight for score updates on all semifinal games.

**** If you are interested on some notes and news on the semifinal games, check out this morning's P-G boys semifinal forecast and the girls semifinal forecast.

**** See ya. Can sports writers take a pregame nap, too?

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Extra notes from Karvel Anderson story

Written by Craig Meyer on .

For anyone that maybe hasn't seen it yet, there's a story I did in today's Post-Gazette on Karvel Anderson that delves a lot into his background and how he became who he is today. Obviously, over the past year or so, there have been a couple of pieces done on Anderson and his general story arc, from his mom's incarceration, to his various living situations, to his stints in junior college to where he is now.

The best piece of journalistic advice I ever got was from a professor my senior year of college who said this job's basically all about telling people something they don't already know. With this story, that's what I tried to do.

I had read, and enjoyed, all of those previous stories and in each of them, I noticed the name Jerel Jackson. When I interviewed Karvel for the story and we delved into some of the more critical moments of his life, Jackson's name always came up. He was the first person to approach him about living in a park (and getting him out). He was a major force in helping him forgive his uncle, which was the reason he was in the park in the first place. He, along with Elkhart Memorial's head coach, was an instrumental force in making Karvel's jump shot into what it is today.

Karvel and Jerel

(Anderson and Jackson on his senior day last month. Photo courtesy of Jerel Jackson)

Originally, I planned on doing something more in-depth on Karvel's month living in Elkhart's McNaughton Park, but Karvel's extremely adamant that his time there wasn't all that bad. He obviously didn't enjoy it, but he believes that a lot of what's been written about his time there has been exaggerated. You can't tell Karvel's story without mentioning the park, but this is HIS story, not mine. So much of his background makes for such great fodder for a story, but I got the sense that Jackson was such a big reason why he's become the person (and player) that he is.

I'll add one final thing: the term "good guy" gets thrown around a lot in sports journalism. You'll routinely hear writers like myself use it to describe someone who they cover. In a lot of cases, that person may be a total sleaze, but he isn't a jerk to you during interviews, so he's automatically great. I've gotten to know Karvel a bit over the two years I've covered him and I can say without a doubt he is a genuinely good and special person.

Needless to say, I think it's going to be hard for Robert Morris to find something close to a replacement for him.

Below, I've got a partial transcript of interviews I did with both Karvel and Jerel Jackson:

Karvel Anderson

On Jackson's impact when it came to his on-court game: “He’s helped a lot of people back home on their game, but he spent a lot of time with me personally, off the court and on the court. We developed a really strong relationship. Every single day, him and I would do a lot of form shooting, a lot of different shots off the dribble – one, two dribble pull-ups. A lot of those ways to get my shot off that I learned from him are really my go-to moves now. I thank those two for bringing the shooting out of me because it was definitely a weakness of my game at one point.”

On Jackson's impact off the court: “A tremendous impact. I wouldn’t say he’s the first, but he’s one of the biggest father figures I’ve had in my life. He’s one of those people that taught me a lot of things that a dad would teach you. It was kind of a perfect match. He never had a son and I never had a dad. We were both looking for the same thing and fortunately we found each other. It’s been a perfect match ever since.”

“I talk to him every day to this day, he calls me after every game. He’s been one of those people I credit with being the man that I am.”

On the fracture of the relationship with his uncle: “I’m not going to tell the story of why we had that falling apart, but when that happened, I think it hurt both of us so much. The relationship him and I had, it was so fragile that once it happened, it tore us both.”

“That was just the type of relationship him and I had. It built so much tension between us two that I didn’t feel comfortable staying with him.”

On living in the park: “I thought a lot those nights. Night time is quiet, I’m right by a river, so all I’m listening to is bugs and that type of stuff. You do a lot of thinking and soul-searching in those type of moments.”

On how that experience has maybe been overplayed: “It’s been over-exaggerated to me. Regardless, yes, I was homeless. But it wasn’t like I was kicked out. It was by choice. It was a pride thing, which I’d definitely take back in a second if I could. Even staying out there wasn’t as bad as it sounded. I was never put in any harm, I was fed once a day, so I would have been fine even if I didn’t find a way to eat that night. It wasn’t as serious as it sounded, but at the same time, it was one of those things that not a lot of people go through. It strengthened me that I was able to do things on my own at such a young age.”

On how he and Jackson kind of gravitated to each other: “The way he is, he’ll find a person and spend all his time trying to improve that one person. He’s not a guy who works out with multiple guys at a time. He’ll find one person and put everything he has into that one person. Basketball-wise, he chose me right away.”

On Jackson asking him about his living situation: “He approached me about it and I respected him too much to lie to him. I respected him too much to make up anything, so I told him the truth. He took me in and let me stay with him for a while. He fed me a lot and him and his wife sheltered me in a lot of different ways. He was one of the few people that came to me and let me know everything would be alright. That means a lot when you don’t have much.”

On repairing his relationship with his uncle: “He told me that if I wanted to be a man that I would have to say sorry. That would be a big growing up part for me since I’m such a stubborn individual. Me and my uncle mended that relationship. Because of coach Jackson, I was able to go back and stay with my uncle for a little while. He sat us both down. He talked to us about some things and helped us out. He saved me at that point.”

On how he viewed his uncle, even when they had a grudge: “My uncle was somebody who I looked up to so much and he still is to this day, regardless of what happened. But at that time, even more, he was my hero. My uncle had a good job, a good family. He moved out of the bad part into the nice neighborhood, he had a beautiful wife, three beautiful kids. I wanted to have what my uncle had. He came from the same, if not worse, than what I did growing up. He was successful, maybe not athletically, but he still was having a successful life from where we came from. He was somebody I wanted to be like. He never gave up.”

“He had a lot of chances where he could have shut his life down and just given into things and he never did that. He kept working, he kept doing things to provide for his family to try to make their life better and make his life better. Being able to have him back in my life was a big step for me. He was kind of the first person to instill the perseverance type mentality with me.”

On Elkhart, Indiana and how it shaped him:  “It made me everything I am. I faced so many things growing up in Elkhart. I faced every experience that people my age shouldn’t experience. I’ve seen some things I wish I didn’t see that I can’t forget to this day. But at the same time, it strengthened me. It gave me the toughness I have mentally, to never give up and the heart and passion to be able to strive for something. It’s one of those places where you either make it out or you fall in the trap. Those are the only two choices you really have.”

“There was a point where I was like ‘Dang, maybe I’m supposed to just be stuck here with everyone else.’ But people like coach Jackson and my uncle, from talking to them, they kept me going. I always credit Elkhart with being who I am.”

On where he'd be without Jackson: “Without coach Jackson, I'd be in Elkhart, dead, in jail or struggling, living day-by-day. Those are really the only three options. There’s just nothing there and that’s all people resort to. The violence is increasing, a lot of people are getting killed that don’t deserve to be, the unemployment rate is very high. It’s just not a good place to be living a life right now.”

“Hopefully I’m blessed with the opportunity to play professional basketball. But whether I do or not, I don’t plan on starting a life in Elkhart."

[Note: You'll see this later, but there's an interesting juxtaposition in the way that Karvel and Jackson view Elkhart. Jackson has lived there basically his whole life and sees it as the type of town where you can raise your kids, be safe and lead a happy life. It's not what it once was, given the economic recession's impact on the RV industry, but it's still not this post-industrial midwestern ghost town that some maybe make it out to be.

For Karvel, as the quotes indicate, it's obviously different. And it's understandable. He had to see and experience the kind of things that nobody that age (or really any age) should ever have to see or experience. Whether it's fair or not, there's a natural tendency to tie those kind of things in with the identity of the place where they occurred.]

On his professional basketball prospects: “It was always a dream, it was always something that, if you asked me, ‘Yeah, that’s what I want to do.’ But until then, I didn’t think I had the chance. I didn’t think I’d be given the opportunity. I always felt like if I were given the opportunity, I could show people I was good enough to play professionally. It’s just like now, if someone gives me a professional chance, I’ll prove to them that I’m worth it.”


Jerel Jackson

On working to develop Karvel's game: “I took more time to Karvel than any others by coaching him and helping him out, trying to guide him the right way. I can’t say it’s all on me. He did all the work. I just helped him out and tried to guide him the right way.”

“He was one of the kids I saw that I liked. He was aggressive, he was the type of kid that, if things didn’t go right, he wanted it to go right. He was always on others, trying to encourage them. I was like, ‘I like this kid.’ As coaches, we try to select the players that we want and he was the first name that popped up.”

[Something that I wanted to add to the story, but wasn't able to fully elaborate on: Beginning his sophomore year pretty much until he left Elkhart for college, Karvel would have long workouts with some of his coaches EVERY DAY around 5:30 in the morning and then later in the afternoon.

One of the drills in particular sounded pretty interesting. Before they could finish things up, he had to stand a few feet from the basket and make seven shots in a row without the ball touching any part of the rim. Once he was done with that, he would have to step back a few more feet and do the same thing. Given all that work, it's pretty evident why he's the shooter he is today.]

On getting to know Karvel and figuring out his situation: “He’s the type of person that doesn’t like to go out and just tell you. You really have to figure him out and by me knowing him now, I can figure him out really quickly. If something’s wrong with him, I know.”

On developing a bond with Karvel: “When Karvel came into my life, that was a joy to me. Friends of mine were saying ‘Are you going to pick your son up?’ We were together every day and I would treat him like he was mine. It feels good when he would say that to others. I consider him my son.”

“For kids that had a hard life and hard time, if I can do anything to help them out, I like to be a part of their lives.”

“If there’s any guidance that they need, I’ll try to guide them the right way. And if they want to form a relationship with me, they can and if they don’t, they can try to do it on their own. With Karvel, he and I had a relationship with each other.”

On getting Karvel to forgive his uncle: “Life is hard. You have to bond with family because without family, you’d be lost.”

“I was lost and I didn’t want him to feel that way. By him being from Michigan, he really didn’t have anybody here. Get to know your family. All the beef and stuff you have with your uncle, let it go. He may not have liked it, but I think he listened.”

On Elkhart: “It changes like any other place. Some people live here for most of their life. Some people, after high school, they move on and move out of here. It’s like anywhere else. It’s what you make out of it.”

“It’s a nice place to raise your kids. Back when I was younger, you could leave your bike outside all night, you could have your door open and nobody would bother you. It’s still pretty much like it, but it’s not quite what it used to be."

“It’s not a bad place, not at all. By him being young, he probably took a lot of things to heart. When I was young, I was angry at a lot of stuff to. But as you get older, you can see it’s not so bad.”

On what his relationship with Karvel is like today: “I love that kid like he’s my own. Just like any parent would do for their kids, whatever I can do to help out, I’m always there.”

On what he admires about Karvel: “He’s a goal-getter and that’s what I like about him. Whatever he wants, he goes after and I’m glad he’s like that, I’m glad he doesn’t give up.”


Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

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Empty Netter Assists - 03-18-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Beau Bennett, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang (right) and James Neal each returned to practice.

-"I’ve been on three times and nobody took me. That’s not a good feeling. You feel nobody wants you and stuff like that. In those times, it’s important to have the right people around you to support you. You just have to have confidence in yourself that you’re still a good player and work extra hard." - Jussi Jokinen on what it's like being on waivers.

-Letang speaks:

-Neal speaks:

-Beau Bennett speaks:

-Could the NHL makes changes to the draft lottery?

-Happy 62nd birthday to former Penguins forward Bernie Lukowich. A second-round pickin 1972, Lukowich appeared in 53 games for the 1973-74 club and recorded 19 points. Midway through the 1974-75 season, he was dealt to the rival Blues in exchange for Bob Stumpf.

-Happy 25th birthday to current Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo. A third-round pick in 2007, Bortuzzo has spent parts of the past two seasons with the Penguins. He made his NHL debut last season by appearing in six games without a point. This season, Bortuzzo has appeared in 11 games and recorded two points. In 17 NHL games, he has two points.

-After the Jump: The Bruins keep winning and gaining points on the Penguins.

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Waivers can create doubt but also offer opportunity - 03-17-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Being a professional hockey player is a transitory profession. Relatively few athletes can set down long-term roots in a city for too long.

Trades and free agency are the most common avenues towards changes in a player's address.

A distant third on that list is waivers. In most cases, once a team puts a player on waivers at noon, that player must wait 24 hours to find out if he was claimed by another team or not. That's what happened earlier this month with right winger Chuck Kobasew who was ultimately assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

There are a variety of reasons for putting a player on waivers. In some cases, it's a procedural move to recall or assign a player to the AHL. In most cases, it's an attempt to clear a player and his salary off your roster.

For the player, that 24 hours can be rough. Unlike a trade which can happen in an instant (from the player's perspective) or free agency where the player has control on what team he joins, waivers gives you an entire day to stew over your own game and to ponder which team might make a claim for your services.

Recently, four of the current members of the Penguins talked about their experiences of being put on waivers.

Craig Adams (right), right winger - "It’s tough. It all depends on what kind of situation you’re in with that organization. If you’re a young guy, you might be going down [to the minor leagues] for a different reason and you don’t want to get picked up. That’s your team. You know you’re going to be back soon probably. Then there’s other situations where you feel you’ve run your course with that organization and you want a chance to get out so you’re hoping someone will pick you up. Not knowing where your going is nerve-wracking too. You know maybe the best thing is for your is to be picked up by someone else and play somewhere else, at the same time, you don’t want to pick up and leave your wife and your kids. You don’t know what to hope for. You kind of want to stay where you are but that’s obviously not in the cards."

Jussi Jokinen (top), left winger - "It was three times. In 2008 was the first time. The first time is probably the toughest. That was the biggest surprise. You always take pride in yourself being a good player for your team. You’re going to give everything you have to your team. When that happens, they don’t have any faith in you. As a player, it’s tough to take for sure. You’re feeling pretty down when you’re on waivers. If somebody picks you up, it’s great. It’s probably the best feeling to know somebody has faith in you. I’ve been on three times and nobody took me. That’s not a good feeling. You feel nobody wants you and stuff like that. In those times, it’s important to have the right people around you to support you. You just have to have confidence in yourself that you’re still a good player and work extra hard. When you change teams after that, you have that extra motivation that you want to prove them wrong. .. If you have kids in school … you have friends off the ice… and you’re owning a house, that makes those things tougher. You have no idea where you’re going for the next 24 hours. That’s the tough part for sure."

Chris Kunitz (right), left winger - "The first time, I was coming through camp, I got a taste of the NHL. They got some new management, new coaches, new owners. I thought I was playing well at camp time but maybe they had a different philosophy or whatever it might be. They told me I had a good chance that I might be picked up on waivers by somebody. Not knowing who, I headed back to the Chicago area and picked up some of my stuff. My agent called me the next day and told me I was picked up by Atlanta. You’re starting all over. … You got to a place where you didn’t know where you fit with the coaches systems. You’re not familiar enough with the league to understand the business side of stuff. I kind of still thought it was a knock on [my] playing ability. So there’s a lot of disappointment. Going there, it was chance to go out and bring some energy. As it worked out, I was paired in and out with one of the fighter guys. I knew that was the kind of style I played in the pros. There was some hard moments."

"A lot of doubt goes through your mind of what goes on and your ability to play at the next level. That being said, I went back through waivers when I found out Atlanta didn’t want to keep me there. They told me Anaheim would probably pick me back up which they did. I went to back to the minors where I was familiar with some guys. I went and picked up my stuff, took a long drive out to Portland, Maine with one of my college buddies who had some time off work and just talked. Maybe there’s something else to this [college] degree that I have. I might be using it soon. Just went to Portland with an open mind to have fun. Never know how long it was going to go. ... After that, I played with an open mind in the minors and a belief that maybe I wouldn’t be able to play pro hockey my whole life. But it turned out to be a good thing I went back down. The team wasn’t doing so good in Anaheim. They made some changes and I got called back up."

Taylor Pyatt, left winger - "I woke up and got a phone call around 12:30 p.m. that I got put on waivers. There’s a lot of thoughts going through your mind. Are you going to get picked up? Are you going to the [AHL]? A lot going through your head for 24 hours. I got a call the next day just after 12 o’clock saying Pittsburgh had picked me up. It’s always a bit of a shock when you hear it [being put on waivers] but it was a little bit of a relief for me just to get out of that situation [with the Rangers]. I enjoyed my time in New York but it wasn’t working out anymore. I’m happy how things turned out here in Pittsburgh.

(Photos: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images, Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press; Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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