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Ask the Sharks: Wallin's Answers

by Alison High / San Jose Sharks
1.What is it like to go from being on a team that is struggling in the standings, to being on a team that is leading the Western Conference? – Kenneth

It’s obviously tough to move, but when you move to a team that has a chance to win the Stanley Cup --- that’s what it’s all about. You want to win games and you want to win championships.

It’s always nicer to be at the top than at the bottom, but I only have good things to say about Carolina. They treated me well and we had a lot of fun there. I’m just turning the page now and trying a new adventure.

2.What was the first thing you did when you found out you were traded to the Sharks? – Jason
I called Douglas Murray and told him it was a done deal. Then I flew home that night --- it was my last flight home with the boys (Carolina Hurricanes) and I packed my bags the next day, said bye to my family and flew out to Toronto.

3.What are your first impressions of the Sharks coaching staff and players? – Denise
I think it’s a super group of guys. I heard a lot of good things from players who have played here. The Canes GM Jim Rutherford said it’s a great organization and so far it’s been an easy adjustment to come into the locker room.

When things like this happen when you’re 35 years old, you kind of get nervous. You walk into a room with guys you’ve never talked to before. But they’ve treated me good and hopefully they’ll treat me good in the future.

4.Besides Douglas Murray, who has been the most welcoming to the team? Why? – Corey
Well, to be honest, I don’t know all their names yet. Obviously I know the players, but there are a lot of nicknames going around --- and the trainers too. Ricky (Bronwell, Sharks Assistant Equipment Manager) was really happy to have me. He likes Swedes.

(From the background of the phone interview, Douglas Murray says, “Everybody likes Swedes.” Priceless.)

5.What unique trait do you think you will bring to the team (apart from having won the Stanley Cup) that will strengthen the Sharks game? – Mak

Well, I know my role and I play simple game. I’m a stay-at-home defenseman and I try not to get beat. I play the even-strength game and then try to kill some penalties. Hopefully I can be a piece of the puzzle here. I have about 60 games in the playoffs; we went to the Finals twice, won once.

6.Is there any difference from playing on the East Coast to playing here on the West Coast? – Josh
I definitely think there is. When you compare the two conferences, I think the West is a more physical game. Obviously, there is pretty easy traveling back on the East Coast and I hear stories here --- obviously San Jose is not that bad --- but Vancouver and some other teams can be gone for two weeks at a time. It’s still a hockey game though. System wise, it’s similar, but the West is more physical.

7.How do you “bless” a teammates’ stick? – Jay
I can’t answer this question (laughs). That’s a secret.

8.How do you feel about getting the opportunity to play in your native Sweden in October? – Stephen
I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I’m a Free Agent this summer so hopefully I can resign here and then we can make that happen. But I obviously would like to play in my home country and in front of my family. And show the North American boys what a beautiful country we have back home.

9.What did you do with the Stanley Cup when you had it for a day? – Nik
I went and picked it up at the airport with a couple of guys, grabbed some lunch and took it downtown to a little park. A good 1,500 people showed up for that. After that, I went home, parked my car, had a couple beers and had about 120 people --- family and friends --- over. Hockey players from all over Sweden came up to look at it. I didn’t know them, they just showed up. It was a good day. That was a day I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

Also, when I look back, there are so many things that I didn’t do. So I’m definitely looking forward to winning another one.

10.Are you nervous to skate through the Sharks head when you play your first game in San Jose? – Katie
I used to be nervous watching what skated out of it. Now I’m excited to come out of it. In the lockout I played in Sweden and I actually skated out of a big Grizzly Bear. So I’m excited to skate through the Sharks head.

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