BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRAD MARCHAND CONFERENCE CALL AT 7:15 P.M.
On if the World Cup selection is a gateway to a new stage in his career, where he gets respected more for his hockey… Well, first off, thank you. And I think that it is a possibility. You know, I think being part of a team like this is on a different level, and people may give a little more respect to that fact and may look at more of the kind of player I am, other than just the stuff they’ve seen in the past, with the hits and being a pest and stuff like that, so maybe those people will realize that I’m an OK hockey player and I do play the game as well. But regardless, that’s not why I play the game — I play it to help our team win and just because I love the game, so however they feel, then that’s their opinion, but it is a possibility.
On what it means to represent Canada… It’s an incredible honor to play for Team Canada. It’s something that I think we all take a lot of pride in, and something that is — it’s not an easy accomplishment. It’s not something you get to do very often, and to have that opportunity twice this year is very special and it’s not something I take for granted. So it was a very special experience to be over in Russia and to be part of that team and it’s a dream come true to be part of this World Cup team. You know, the players who are on that list and the guys we’re going to be playing against, it’s an incredible feeling and I’m very happy to be a part of this team.
On if he thinks his play at the World Championship helped in being selected.. I definitely think that being part of the Worlds might have help my cause. I think being part of a winning team and having the opportunity to play and having a decent tournament, I think that definitely might have played into it. I don’t know, but I think the fact that you get that experience and you realize what you learn with what Hockey Canada’s about, and being over there and getting comfortable with the guys that are potentially on the team, some are, and the management team and everyone around and I think it definitely helps. I’m very happy that I went over there. It was a huge honor and I had a great time.
On if he had the World Cup as a possibility in mind when he went over to the World Championship… That wasn’t my thought going over there. I thought, as soon as I got the call to go to the World Championship, I didn’t even think about it. I wanted to be part of that team. I wasn’t ready to be done this season, and again, playing for Canada is a huge opportunity and I haven’t had the opportunity to play in the Worlds before, so it was something I was really excited about doing. But I think that once I got there and started thinking about it, yeah, definitely that was on my mind when I was there — potentially having a decent tournament could help that cause and ultimately, at the end of the day, I would have done anything to be on the team, so if going to Russia and doing my best — whether I was going to make that team or not, I wanted that opportunity. So I’m definitely happy I went.
On being around other players on the World Championship roster that he’s gone toe-to-toe with in the past… Yeah, sometimes when you first go over there and you’re in that first stage of meeting everyone, I might be a little tentative to meet guys. I know that when they first are in the room with me or are first meeting me, they’re expecting me to be a bad guy off the ice, too, and I think just when guys get to know me, they realize that I’m not off the ice the way I am on the ice and you start to warm up to one another, and that’s the same thing the other way around. When you play with guys you compete with, I think anyone in the league will say that 99 percent of the guys in the league are great guys off the ice, and we all get along. We have so much in common. When we get together in a group like that, everyone becomes friends really quickly and there’s not one guy on that team that I didn’t get along with, everyone’s awesome, so I think it’s a great opportunity also just to get to know one another and become friends. Again, something like that and a tournament like that, something that we’ll always be able to talk about and go back to, so it’s a great experience.
On him having an injury over in Russia and if he came close to not being able to contribute at the World Championship… Yeah, I was definitely nervous a couple of times throughout the tournament, that I was going to miss games. I knew the whole time that I’d be in at some point. It was just whether or not I was going to miss a game here or there, but the whole time, it was about being part of the medal rounds and helping the team win at that point, but any time you go over there, I was a little nervous, for sure. I wanted to be there, I wanted to play, and show what I can do. And anytime you’re hurt and you’re not 100 percent, that can take away from it, so luckily, the trainers there were incredible and I was able to recover quickly and it ended up working out.
Anything that’s lingering now? No, not really. Just more fatigue and just more tired from the flights. There’s a lot of hockey over there. I think we played eight games in 10 days or something like that to finish and with the flights and everything, it’s just tough on the body with the time changes, but other than that, no, I’m feeling pretty good.
On it being a long time since he last played in international competition [prior to World Championship, the 2007 and 2008 World Junior Championships], and how his game now has adapted to the ice and the way the game is played worldwide… Yeah, it’s definitely a different game over there. There’s more ice, but it doesn’t make it an easier game. Teams play differently. A lot of the European teams are different, the way that they play, than the the North American teams with guys that play in the NHL. It is a little bit different, but I thought it was fine. Our team, we just played well as a group and we played the way that the NHL players do and the North American players do and we just tried to stick to that and not change a whole lot and it worked out well for us.
On the nature of international competition, how the level of play was in Russia, and what he expects the intensity to be like for the World Cup… With regards to in Europe and on the European ice or the Olympic ice, it’s a different game. It’s not as intense as it is on the smaller ice. You just have more room. It’s not as physical, but in this tournament, the World Cup, it’s going to be very intense. I mean, you’re playing against the top players in the world. Every game’s going to be a battle. Everyone is competing to be the best team in the world and there’s a ton of pride to be that team, and guys are going to do whatever they can to win, so they’re doing to be very intense games, definitely a lot of emotion in them, and they’re going to be incredible games to watch.
On what is says about the team to have eight Bruins being named to World Cup rosters… I think that it shows that we have a lot of great players on the team. We have a lot of high caliber players and I think we have a bright future ahead of us, with the guys that we do have and the guys that we have coming up, I think that if we play the way we do next year and years after that, and we continue to build and improve, I think we’re going to be a good team.
On the nature of the tournament, and how it will affect his offseason training… I think it’s going to be exciting. It’s a little different, having it before training camp, but that means guys are just going to have to start skating a little bit earlier. It’s not a big deal. It’s something we can all do. I think it will add a little more excitement going into the season for the fans and get them excited about early on in September. So I think it’s going to be great. I think a lot of people are really looking forward to it and it’s going to be an exciting time in Toronto.