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Offside with Michael Grabner

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
Michael Grabner shares seven things you absolutely did know about the 20 year old forward from Villach, Austria.

Who was your favourite athlete growing up?

The guy I admired the most growing up was Wayne Gretzky. There wasn’t much coverage over in Austria back in the day when I started playing hockey and I heard a lot about him so I tried to play in the league he was playing in and hopefully it’s going to come true some day.

What is the best sign you've seen at a game?

That’s a tough question. There are so many signs like in the AHL, we’ve seen a lot of signs but nothing comes to mind as something that stands out.

What is your favourite non-hockey team?

Barcelona’s soccer team. I played soccer when I was growing up so I like watching soccer on tv. I played until I was about 13 or 14 and then I had to make a decision to play hockey but I liked hockey more.

What song would you sing if you auditioned for American Idol?

First of all, I’m a terrible singer. But if I had to choose… I would probably do “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock. I like the song but I’m a terrible singer so I wouldn’t even try.

What is your favourite spectator moment?

The first time when Austria beat Finland back in the day at the World Championships. Austria’s always been the underdog and Finland was pretty big back then. Austria beat them in the last 30 seconds 5-4 – I still remember the game. I watched it on tv because I think it was in Russia that year. I was about 9 or 10 and it was the first time we beat a bigger team.

If you were NHL Commissioner for a day, what would you do?

Give the players some days off.

If not hockey then...

Back home I was at engineering school. My dad did engineering, house building, and computers so I liked working with computers and engineering but I had to make a decision to come over here so I had to quit school. I started to learn how to build a computer from scratch by myself and figure out the viruses and motherboard.

There was one part where you build parts for a computer and the one part of the school where you build machinery to do electricity so I was in school from 7:00am until 5:00pm.

You graduate when you’re 16 or 17 in Austria and when you’re 18, you start going to college and then I would have to go five years before I’m done.

I used to be able to take apart a computer and put them back together but it was the old type with the towers still. It was an interesting school and you had right hours a week where you would actually go out and do work too.

I only did it for six months because I knew I was coming over here but I have some friends who are graduating this year so they know everything do with that stuff. They usually get about 200 applications and have just one class with about 20 people.

Grabner gets strong
Grabner meets with media

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