On Friday following the morning skate, SJSHARKS.com caught up with Marc-Edouard Vlasic
while he was signing Mystery Pucks at Sharks Ice at San Jose. The 21-year-old has had a whirlwind start to his third season for the Sharks, racking up 18 points on three goals and 15 assists in 29 games.
But there are a lot of things you might not know about the six-foot-one native of Montreal, Quebec. Like where his nickname, 'Pickles' came from and whether or not he even likes to eat pickles. These questions and more are answered in this segment of Ask the Sharks.
1.What’s it like to make the NHL at 19 years old? - Chris Dahlstrom
|San Jose Sharks' Marc-Edouard Vlasic, front, and Columbus Blue Jackets' R.J. Umberger get tangled up in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008, in San Jose, Calif. The Sharks beat the Blue Jackets 3-2. (AP Photo/George Nikitin) |
It’s a great accomplishment. Not many guys make it at a young age, especially defenseman. So I was very excited when I made it at 19, and I’m still happy about it today.2.What’s the coolest thing about being a professional athlete? - Danny Goodman
The coolest thing is being in the NHL. That’s been my dream since I was a little kid. You can’t get any better hockey than this and to me that’s the best thing.
3.What’s something people would be surprised to know about you? - Soya Han
I’m very organized. When we go on the road, all my clothes are neatly folded in the suitcase. As soon as get there, they go on a hanger. In my closet, all the shirts are hung up and color coordinated. 4.Where did your nickname ‘Pickles’ come from? - Joshua Carey
It came when I came into the League. First training camp or maybe second training camp it was either Roy Sommer or Ron Wilson that set the starting line-up and he decided Vlasic would be Pickles. I like it. It’s nice, it’s original and I think it’s going to stick.
5.Do you like to eat Pickles? - Casey Espinosa
No I don’t. Well, just in Subway sandwhices.6.Was it difficult for you to adjust to life on your own when you first came to San Jose? - Deborah Foster
Not really. In Juniors, I left home at 15 so I was living with a family for three years. When I came to San Jose I was billeted as well. Getting my apartment was a little more work, but I was already used to being on my own.
|San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) is congratulated by defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) after Thornton scored the winning goal in overtime against the Phoenix Coyotes during their NHL preseason hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008. The San Jose Sharks defeated The Phoenix Coyotes 4-3. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) |
It was harder for me to adjust to the NHL than the living arrangements. The hockey was a lot better. Going from Junior to the NHL the guys are a lot older, bigger, faster and stronger. I was still living with a family when I went to the NHL. They were making my meals for me and taking care of me so it was like I was in Juniors, but I was playing at a higher level.
Now I live on my own and I make my own meals, but they’re not very good.
7.Were there any pranks played on you during your rookie season? - Rozen Rayrao
No, none. When I came in, they already called me ‘Dominator’ for dominating people around in the locker room. I would joke around and then tell people to do something and then that’s how I got my name ‘Dom’. But there weren’t any pranks.
8.Do you have any pregame rituals? - Cathy
Well I do the same thing every game. I listen to the same music before coming here: Linkin Park. I eat the same food: spaghetti, meat sauce and chicken along with a Caesar salad. And I sleep at the same time before games.
9.At the Sharks games they will put a player’s face up on the big screen and everyone starts cheering. Then the players on the bench look up at the big screen, but look away really fast when they realize it’s their face up on the big screen. Why is that? - Chloe Smith
I don’t know. I guess you don’t want to look stupid on the big screen. The only guy that might have a reaction is J.R. He might smile or give the thumbs up. I guess I might give a little smirk, but that’s it.
10.This year you have been encouraged to be more active on the rush, often times ending up in front of the net or in the corners. Is it hard for you to leave your defensive post? – Jeffrey Murray
|San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) is congratulated by defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) after scoring past the Calgary Flames in the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Western Conference playoff series, Thursday, April 10, 2008, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) |
No not at all. It’s just helped my game offensively. I still try to play a great defensive game and with the new system, all the defense are joining the rush to create more offense. It doesn’t change my game, I like to think of myself as a two-way player: offensive and defense. 11.Why do you wear number 44?
I’ve always liked the number. I never had it until my last year in Junior and here in San Jose, but it was great for me that Christian (Ehrhoff) decided to change numbers so that I could get it. It’s always been my favorite number and hopefully I can have it for the rest of my career.