10 questions with ... Jason Spezza.

AuteurWidmer, Marion
Fonction Interview

As a baby, Jason Spezza enjoyed a promising modelling career. It was a far cry from the path the young Canadian would one day follow to become one of the best ice hockey players in the world. After playing at the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007, the Ottawa Senators centre and Team Canada player became the top goal scorer at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship 2009 in Berne and the fourth best goal scorer of the National Hockey League (NHL) season 2011/12. In the current NHL lockout (ongoing labour dispute), the 29-year-old has joined the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers and is enthusing Swiss ice hockey fans with his outstanding technical skills. Despite his busy schedule, the NHL star took the time for an interview--and proved to be just as friendly and down-to-earth as his Lakers coach and colleagues describe him to be.

  1. You arrived in Switzerland at the end of September. How do you feel now, after having had time to adjust?

    The longer I am here, the more comfortable I feel. In the first couple of weeks, I had to get used to the different hockey culture over here, since the system and the strategies in the game are a little different. Off the ice, the biggest challenge was getting my daughters (two-and-a-half years old and eight months old) used to the time difference. But everybody is doing well now.

  2. How does the game in the Swiss National League differ from the NHL?

    The NHL is much faster paced and more physical. There are very good skaters here in Switzerland, but the bigger ice rink leaves you more time to organise the game. Also due to the larger field, it is harder to hit another player to prevent them from scoring because if you miss, you then are off position. Therefore, the tactics are different. The level here is very high, though, so it is a great opportunity for me to stay in shape and work on my game until the NHL starts again.

  3. During the last lockout in the season 2004/2005, you decided to play in the AHL (American Hockey League), Was this an option again this time?

    No, because at that time I was younger and still on my first contract, so it made sense to play in the AHL This time, I wanted to find a different place to play and I am happy about where I landed.

  4. Since the beginning of November, Michael Del Zotto of the New York Rangers has been playing for the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers too. Did you talk to him before he made his decision?

    Yes, I told him that 'Rappi' is a beautiful town, that we have very good players here and that...

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