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Q&A with Jeff Woywitka

by Travis Betts / Dallas Stars recently caught up with new Stars’ defenseman Jeff Woywitka and talked about his summer, moving to Dallas this offseason and making the best of his opportunities to play in the NHL.  How is everything going for you so far in Dallas?

Jeff Woywitka:  It’s going well. This is a good bunch of guys, we’ve had good training sessions so far and things are looking good.

Why did you decide to come to Dallas this summer out of free agency?

  There were a few options, but Dallas just seemed to be the best fit. I’ve played here before as a member of a visiting team. It’s a nice city, and just from talking to [Brian Sutherby], this is a first-class organization. Everybody opens their arms here, helps you out and gets you settled in nicely, and I’m getting very comfortable.

What have you done to get ready for the season? Did you get to take some time off or have you been busy moving?

  I took a little time off after last season, but I’ve done a lot of hard training. On the weekends I usually like to go fishing and golfing just to get my mind off of things. My parents own a farm so I’ll go back there in the off-season and help them out. But now we’ve been training pretty hard.

The Stars have a lot of defensemen on the roster with NHL experience. What do you need to do to impress the new coaching staff?

Just play my game. I just need to do what I do and continue where I finished off last year, playing solid and moving the puck, using my skating to my advantage and playing physical in the defensive zone, joining the rush when I have the chance and just being reliable.

You have made a lot of trips back and forth between the NHL and the AHL the last few years. How do you think that experience has helped you, and it that a transition you can help the younger guys with?

  It’s a process to make it to the NHL, and getting your foot in the door is not easy, especially for a defenseman. The game has changed, and it’s harder for younger defensemen. You have to be able to mature. The key is just having confidence and believing in yourself, knowing when you get the opportunity to take advantage of it and run with it.

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