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Postcards from Prague : Yandle

by Todd Walsh / Arizona Coyotes
Day…..I’m not sure, but they tell me that I will feel “normal” by tomorrow.

That’s nice to know.

Some random thoughts as we make it an early night here in Prague with the understanding of what figures to be a long day of travel and hockey and more travel tomorrow:

  • Instant Coffee tastes as bad as my parents said that it did back when Tang was the “instant breakfast drink” of the manned space flights.
  • You don’t see a million plastic water bottles around here. At first that bummed me out, but upon further review, that’s ok. I don’t need ten empties and three half emptied bottles lying around. I’ll make it work.
  • Central Europe still hasn’t figured out the beauty and the majesty and the comfort of ice cubes.
  • The service is awful here. But so far the food has been worth the wait.
  • You really never know whom you might run into. Had a chance to chat (it’s on line!) with my favorite Coyote of all time, Kris King. You’ll recognize him by those two giant solar panels that are disguised as ears. He is still one of a kind.
  • As Fox Sports Arizona’s Brett Hansen pointed out, my cell phone signal is stronger and clearer from here to Phoenix then it is from the 202 to our downtown offices. And I haven’t dropped a call yet.
  • I have no clue what my local currency is worth and what it equates to. None. I have trusted every waiter beyond the normal boundaries of that relationship.
  • It is with great joy to witness that World War II didn’t destroy this historic and beautiful city.
  • Radio Free Europe is now based here in Prague. I can still see those old PSA’s from the mid 70’s. They were haunting. Here’s one from 1971:

  • I have been told to be on the look out for pickpockets. I have been now every waking second of every day and it’s really starting to get on my nerves. It looks like I have the kitchen sink in my front pocket, guarded with my hand and with my head on a swivel. Why?
  • No disrespect, but the next time somebody complains about the “right” to smoke in a public place, say a diner of some sort, I will be first in line to stand up and defend my rights making certain that they can’t. I have a shirt, a jacket and a pillowcase hanging outside the window of my room right now. It looks like a signal of some sort, but I’m trying to rescue the rest of my clothes and blanket for the next five days.

I can’t wait for the hockey season to officially start.

Oh, there’s that.
Which brings me to a subtle story that cleared after practice today at the O2 Arena. Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett informed us of his leadership group. The “captain’s” were named. Shane Doan, Ed Jovanovski, Vern Fiddler and Keith Yandle wearing the C and the A’s, respectively.
You can see Tippett and Yandle on the websites as we discussed this development with them both.

But there’s something else that I’d like you to check out. A week or so ago I had a chance to sit down with Doan for a little project that we are working on at Fox Sports Arizona. It’s called “Coyote Snap Shots.” You will hear and see more about them in the coming weeks. While I was interviewing Shane there was one player in particular that I wanted to talk to him about. This player came into his own last season. You probably saw that with his offensive skill set on the ice. But there was something else happening at around that time. If you were in the room or around the team on a day-to-day basis you may have sensed it. Keith Yandle is rapidly becoming part of the fabric and foundation of this team’s existence.

So I have a request while I pack a few things for a day trip to Latvia for a game there tomorrow night. Click on this video file of Shane Doan and listen carefully to what he has to say about Keith Yandle. It’s not a 17 second sound bite on the ten o’clock news.
This is from the heart and it puts you inside the room.

Talk to you tomorrow, what ever that day may be.
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