Every year around this time Flyers fans are accustomed to reading NHL season previews or predictions from the national media, writers and television analysts.
And in a few weeks I’m sure those web-stories, TV programs will air, and newspapers and magazines will hit the stands.
Today however is when the writers get the meat & potatoes of their stories. Today kicked off the National Hockey League’s Player Media Tour.
|Giroux & van Riemsdyk in Sports Illustrated's Photobooth. |
Each team from around the League is well represented with high-profile players such as reigning Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry from Anaheim to Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos.
Day One of the tour saw two Flyers who are rookies to the event. James van Riemsdyk
and Claude Giroux
. Both were highly sought after by national writers for a multitude of interviews.
“It was cool,” said van Riemsdyk. “It’s obviously a little bit different than what we’re used to. It’s kind of nice to see some guys you play against throughout the year and even people you played with in terms of Team USA or World Juniors.”
Split into two days, typically the tour will be set up in two phases. One day being held at the NHL offices in New York and the other day reserved for on-ice promos and television interviews.
Up first for the Flyers pair are sit-down interviews for print and newspaper media, including photo-shoots.
“It’s very impressive how everything is all set up and how it’s run at the League Office. You just go door-to-door to take care of interviews and they make it very easy for you.”
The photo shoot consisted of photographers from Sports Illustrated, the NHL Players’ Association and NHL.com.
And the two couldn’t help but poke fun at each other during the shoots, remarking that their photos would come out the best.
“Obviously mine,” said van Riemsdyk. “I know I have a modeling career ahead of me so I won’t rub that in Claude’s face.”
“Well I think he should just stick to hockey,” said Giroux. “He looks pretty nervous up there and now I can see why. I’m trying to tell some jokes to get him to smile, but he’s pretty serious up there.”
Regardless of the demands that each player goes through during these two days, the outcome and efforts by all involved are clearly for one reason - For the love of hockey.
“It says a lot about the sport of hockey,” added van Riemsdyk. “It’s getting to be more and more in the spotlight. They do a great job to grow the game and as players we’re happy to be here.”