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Catching Up With Jere Lehtinen

by Graham Clark / Dallas Stars caught up with Dallas Stars forward Jere Lehtinen, who talked about playing for the Stars another year, on the possible opportunity to play for Team Finland at the 2010 Olympics and on his old teammate running the franchise.

Lehtinen Video Highlights
Thoughts on playing another year for the Dallas Stars:
“It’s nice to be back, and I’m looking forward to it of course. Last season was a disappointment, we didn’t make the playoffs and it was a tough year for the team. I know the guys and I want to improve and I think we are doing it. It’s really great to be back. I didn’t even think about going anywhere else. Dallas is my first and only team, I’ve been here so many years and the organization is really great. We put up a good team every year. I can’t even think about going anywhere else.”

On preparing for the season in his mid 30’s:
“Overall, it’s different than it was five or six years ago. Time wise, it’s even longer days now because you have to get ready before you start working out. It’s more maintaining and stretching to keep your body flexible. During the summer, that means doing lots of weights. You have to think more about it to make sure you don’t hurt your body.”

Thoughts on getting a chance to play for Team Finland at the 2010 Olympics:
“I hope I make the team and that everything goes well before then. Playing hockey there in Canada for the Olympics is going to be a huge thing. I think it’s going to be one of the biggest hockey tournaments. I’ve played in a lot of tournaments, but this would be huge.”

On people comparing Loui Eriksson’s play to mine:
“Loui is a great player, so it’s nice to have somebody compare a great player to me. I hope I help him with how to play. We can watch each other and learn. Last year he had a great year, his overall game was big and that’s great to see.”

Thoughts on Joe Nieuwendyk becoming the General Manager of the club:
“It’s great to have him back. I played with him and know him well. When he was playing, you knew how great of a leader he was and I think that’s what he’s going to bring here. It’s great to see him here because Hull was a player too and with them upstairs, it’s going to be a great thing.”

On Head Coach Marc Crawford:
“I’ve talked to him a little bit before, like in June when I hadn’t signed yet. He’s a great coach, and I’ve known him a long time from the many tough games we played against the Avalanche, Kings and Canucks. I think he’s going to be great for us.”

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