Q: You were traded to the Kings prior to last year’s trade deadline. Can you talk a little bit about that experience?
A: Things happen in sports and it just so happened that I got traded back to the Kings at that time. I had great memories of L.A. and when I got back, it was unfortunate that we could not make the playoffs but it was good to show everyone that I can still play this game at the highest level.
Q: This summer you re-signed with the club as an unrestricted free agent. What went into that decision for you?
A: I saw some of the changes that were happening here and I liked what I saw. I want to be a part of something special for this upcoming season. I like the direction, I like the new management and I like the new players. It is a good direction and it is good to be a part of this.
Q: You had changed teams in the past but this was the first time you returned to a place that you had played before prior. Can you talk a bit about that experience?
A: It was a little strange but there were a lot of similarities – the training facility and the arena are two examples of that. Of course the entire coaching staff and management team were different so that took some time. There were also a few guys left on the team from the last time I played for the Kings, but change is a part of the game when you are not winning. Then you upgrade your team and I think that is what has happened here. And for teams that do win it is hard to keep those teams together now. I still have a lot of great friends in Los Angeles and I knew a lot of people here who love hockey. That really helped. My family is real excited as well.
Q: You were here when Lubomir Visnovsky broke in as a rookie. He was an All-Star last year and he recently signed a long-term contract to remain in L.A. Can you talk about him and what you have seen from him over the years?
A: He has changed a lot. He has matured and while he was always hungry to be successful and wanted to be part of something special, he has worked really hard to get to where he is at right now. I always knew he was a great hockey player. He just had a hard time with the language and feeling comfortable. Talking to his teammates and being comfortable at the rink every day is so important. That has helped him out quite a bit and that has helped him get the best out of his talent on the ice. I talked to him when he first got here and explained to him what he was about to go through. I like to think that I and some other guys have helped him. He continues to learn and he has had some great years the past few years.
Q: Off the ice, both you and Visnovsky are big soccer fans. With you being from Europe originally, what are your thoughts on David Beckham playing in the U.S. with the Galaxy of Major League Soccer?
A: It is wonderful for the game of soccer. He is going to be a tremendous help to the sport in the U.S. and overall for the game worldwide. People here and new fans in particular will appreciate what he can do on the field. Even people who grew up, watched and played soccer their whole life are amazed at what he can do. He is a pretty special player. This is unique and I think while it will take some time and he will need some help around him, this is really going to be interesting and I think more players of his caliber will follow. Then the game here will really take off. He is still in his prime. I had the opportunity to watch some of his final games in the Spanish League and he did a wonderful job. I think he still has lots to offer and it is going to be great. I look forward to watching him play for the Galaxy.