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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Thomas Vanek (Photo: Getty Images)
PodCast: Thomas Vanek

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Fastest Skater: Video
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Weekend Recap:
[Editor's Note: Buffalo Sabres' forward Thomas Vanek was selected to the 2009 NHL All-Star Game. The winger sat down with for an exclusive interview about the trip to Montreal.]

Who were you most looking forward to meeting this weekend and why?

In general, just everyone I guess. I don’t know too many guys here so it’s good to get to know them. I hung out with Zach Parise for a bit so it was good to meet guys like that.

What do you remember about watching All-Star games in the past?

Watching the All-Star game is always fun, I never imagined being a part of it growing up in Austria. I just wanted to get my dream of playing in the NHL. Being an All-Star seemed a little far-fetched so it’s pretty special to be here.

Who were some of your favorite players growing up?

Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. In the early 1990s we didn’t get too much hockey out there [in Austria], but I think the team that we had the most exposure to was Pittsburgh so I was a big fan of those two players.

What was your favorite moment about the All-Star weekend?

I think just being in Montreal, in the city, and seeing how fans here appreciate the sport and hockey in general.

What has Ryan Miller told you about the event?

He just told me to enjoy it, have fun. That’s the best advice you can get.

What were you been surprised about at the All-Star weekend?

I guess what is surprising is how many fans are here for every single event. At the same time it is Montreal so I shouldn’t be too surprised but it’s just crazy here. Even the morning skate was sold out. It’s pretty neat to see.

How did you feel representing your team?

It’s awesome. A few of the other guys probably deserved to go, but I was fortunate enough to be picked and represent my teammates and the Buffalo organization.
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