We normally reserve this space for obscure cultural references, Caps boasting and Sedin Twins jokes – but not today. Brian, our Devils correspondent, did a 5v5 interview (five questions in five minutes, plus an overtime and shootout), with Mr. Devil himself, Ken Daneyko. We thank them both and are honored to have Ken grace our pages.
Anyone who follows the New Jersey Devils knows Ken Daneyko.
Dano was the second draft pick in team history (1982 Draft, First Round, 18th overall) and went on to play in the NHL for 20 seasons, all with the New Jersey Devils. He retired after winning his third Stanley Cup in 2003.
Dano’s grit and hard-nosed game, along with his dedication to the team, earned him the nickname “Mr. Devil”. His #3 jersey was retired in 2006. Nowadays, Daneyko appears on MSG (a New York area sports network) as an analyst during Devils’ games (pre- and post-game as well as between periods) as well as a panelist on MSG’s weekly roundtable program, “Hockey Night Live.”
After the jump, the interview.
Brian: The Devils have five days between games this week. When you had that long a stretch between games, how’d you fill the non-practice time? Do the players nowadays do the same?
Ken: Nothing really different than any off day. We would have practice and then time to spend with the family. Pretty sure it is the same today.
Brian: By starting Johan Hedberg in the season’s second game, Coach DeBoer seemed to say that he was reducing Brodeur’s workload this season. Now Brodeur is out a week rehabbing his shoulder. How many games do you think Brodeur starts this season? He’s always seemed to thrive on the big workload. Do you think it’s good for him (and the team) that he’s getting more rest?
Ken: I absolutely think it is good for him to get more rest this season. With 2 veteran goaltenders and one as good as Hedberg, it gives you the luxury of resting Marty. With the pace of the game these days and Marty’s age, your backup goaltender has to play much more in my opinion. I think Marty is at the point in his career that he understands that.
Brian: Kovalchuk’s playing a lot of minutes (partly due to the Devils playing in several overtime games, but mostly because he’s double-shifting a ton) – can he keep this 27 minute/game pace up?
With his talent level I believe you want him to play as much as his body allows. That will be monitored by Coach Deboer.
Brian: There’s been a lot of buzz around Adam Larsson – the Devils haven’t had that high a pick in the draft since Niedermayer in ’91. DeBoer’s kept him off the PK to try to limit the amount the 18 year-old has on the ice. How do you think Larsson’s handling things, on and off the ice?
He will go through some tough times as all young defensemen do, but its part of the process in developing.
Brian: With the NBA locked out most likely until the New Year, what do you think the NHL is doing (or should be doing) to fill the sports vacuum? It’s great that Versus is showing more games this year, but is there something more? (If I could find a Nets fan, I’d take them to a Devils game…)
If the NBA stays out for an extended period and both teams are playing in the same arena, I would absolutely extend invitations to NBA season ticket holders to check out how wonderful a game hockey is, if they are not fans already.
Brian: There’s a code among players regarding things that are said in the locker room. Does that extend to things said on ice? Was Sean Avery doing something taboo by seeking out the media after the Simmonds altercation? And do you think racial and sexual slurs are less prevalent on the ice today than they were in your playing days?
Ken: Do I think there is a code to what is said amongst players? To some extent yes. However with so many different personalities, there is always going to be the exception and that is something you cannot control.
I do think the racial slurs are less prevalent today because players are more cautious due the fact that there are so many more media outlets. For example, Twitter, Facebook and You Tube, etc. Because these issues are more sensitive in this era.
Brian: When on the set of MSG’s Hockey Night Live, do you hold it over Ron Duguay that you outlasted him in the first season of Battle of the Blades?
Duguay is a good friend and it was a fun experience and extremely challenging. I have a deeper respect for figure skating and how tough it is. Donating to our favorite charities was what is was all about.
-The Kings host the Devils Tuesday evening, and Ken can be seen during Devils’ telecasts on MSG and on “Hockey Night Live” on Saturday nights. Follow Ken on Twitter @KenDaneykoMSG.
And Mr. Devil insists that you follow Brian on Twitter: @trot71