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Vanek interview

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Old
12-07-2003, 05:48 PM
  #1
montreal
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Vanek interview

I don't know if it was posted here, but there's an interview from Vanek at IIHF.com, if it was I'll delete the thread.

AUSTRIAN DELIGHT: Thomas Vanek became the highest NHL-drafted Austrian when the Buffalo Sabres selected the Graz born left
winger fifth overall last summer. Now Vanek will lead the Austrian juniors in the IIHF World U20 Championship in Finland.
 Thomas Vanek and the word “first” just seem to
go hand in hand.
The Austrian forward was a first round draft pick of the
Buffalo Sabres last year, becoming the first-ever
Austrian to be taken in the first round of the NHL
Draft. He was also the first-ever Austrian to play for
the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and win
back-to-back National Championships-also a first for
an Austrian.
 Now, Vanek is turning his attention, and his firstrate
skills, to the 2004 IIHF U20 World Championship
where Austria will play in the top division for the first
time ever.
“Our goal right now is just to still be in the top division
when the championship is over,” Vanek said. “It’s
a really competitive field this year, so that in itself will
be a challenge.”
 But Vanek has never been a player to shrink away
from challenges. The son of Czech parents who moved
to Austria two years before he was born, Vanek spent
his childhood watching his father play professional
hockey in Austria, and playing against older kids to
help improve his surging skills.
“When I was 14, I was playing against players that
were between 16 and 18 years old which definitely
helped my development.” Vanek said.
 Vanek soon made his way to the United States
where he played three seasons for the United States
Hockey League's Sioux Falls Stampede. From there, he
moved on to the University of Minnesota, a team that
until recently was comprised of only Minnesota-born
players.
“The tradition before was always to have Minnesota
players at Minnesota ,” Vanek said. “But I think Coach
(Don Lucia) brought in a new tradition and a new era
and it just happened that I was part of it.”
 Vanek also hopes to be part of new era in
Austrian hockey. Despite being a winter sports nation,
Austria has lagged behind the last two decades in hockey,
something Vanek would like to see change.
“Football has ruled Austria for so many years. I think
that people are finally turning more to hockey because
there are some great new facilities and the professional
teams have done a great job of marketing,” Vanek
said.
 Austria making its way up to the top division of
the U20 World Championship is just the first step for
the alp nation.
“I think that the U20 Championship will be a great
chance for some of the guys to be seen on an international
stage and maybe get their own chance to come
over to North America,” Vanek said.
 The U20 World Championship could prove to be
crucial in developing a strong player pool for the 2005
World Championship, which Austria will host. The
event should be huge stepping-stone for the country,
and potentially Vanek.
“I’ve never been on a national team or an Olympic
team, so my first goal would be just to make the team
in 2005 and then take it from there.” Vanek said.
 Look for Vanek to make those national teams,
after all there’s a first time for everything.

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Old
12-08-2003, 03:41 AM
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Devo-2
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thanks Montreal. Appreciate the post.

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Old
12-08-2003, 03:46 AM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devo-2
thanks Montreal. Appreciate the post.
Ditto.

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Old
12-08-2003, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chainshot
Ditto.
Uhhh Chain, dont you feel your stealing my thunder.... Ok, I'll one up ya: DITTO!!

I feel better now...

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Old
12-08-2003, 05:06 PM
  #5
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Originally Posted by dittoheadd
Uhhh Chain, dont you feel your stealing my thunder.... Ok, I'll one up ya: DITTO!!

I feel better now...
My post contained no mention of heads. None.

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