A NEW BEGINNING: RICHARD PARK
It was "playoff" atmosphere last night at GM Place as fans from all over the city were finally able to don their jerseys and fan attire to watch the sold out, first game of the season. The Canucks beat the Coyotes 3-2 and spoiled Wayne Gretzky's coaching debut.
With an extra four feet in each offensive zone, the addition of speedy and agile right winger Richard Park is sure to help the Canucks this season. We managed to ask Richard a few questions to find out his thoughts in being a new addition to the Canucks roster.Q:
Q: What is it like playing for a team which was once your divisional rival when you played for Minnesota?
Well, I'll be honest; at first it's a little bit different. When you've had a lot of emotions playing against one team, wiping the slate clean overnight is almost impossible. It's great though, the guys here have been excellent, and the organization's just been tremendous.
Q: How do you think you will adapt to Vancouver's free wheeling offensive game when you are used to playing Minnesota's defensive style?
t's not anything dramatic. The biggest thing as a player is you don't want to go out on the ice and have to think about where to go and where to be. You just want everything to fall into place, and come second nature. Obviously everyday we practice and play that becomes more apparent. You just want to grow with the guys you're playing with, your teammates and have some on-ice success. I'm just going to go out and play my game to the best of my ability. I'm not going to change and pretend I'm someone I'm not. I'm going to go out, work hard, and try and chip in here and there, and have a lot of pride in both ends of the ice.
Q: How are you finding the new rules, is there one rule in particular which you feel you will benefit from the most?
I think if you talk to the guys, the consensus is the clutching and grabbing. It frees things up, and makes the game so much more exciting. It really allows players to move their legs, and make things happen. That's the beauty of the sport, if you can let the players go out and do what they do best, it's the best sport in the world.
Q: Is there any one Canuck that you feel you have good chemistry with on the ice or that you are most looking forward to playing with?
You know, right now I'm playing with Matt(Cooke) and Ryan(Kesler), so I'll focus on that, and we'll play to the best of our ability, and help the team win. We're confident that if we go out and skate, and make things happen, it will definitely help our team.
Q: Vancouver has a very large fan base, is this what appealed to you about playing for the Canucks?
Well, the fans are very apparent when you come into town to play against the Canucks, that's one of the obvious things. But the organization, the way they've carried and handled themselves with all the success and sometimes controversy, it goes a long way. To see that, having played against them, and now given the opportunity to come here, is a chance of a lifetime.