It was as if it was yesterday: Amidst a forest of dozens of journalists, and TV cameras, I was jostling there in the waiting room of Ferihegy when the two smiling young men appeared in the hallway, wearing green and white singular shirts; Rob at 34, Jason at 44. Division captain Janus Hudak – legendary striker Gabor Hudak, father of “The Horse” – and head coach Sergey Orskine received world greats who had crossed the Atlantic due to the lockdown, which had been frozen by the NHL season.
Just for the sake of nostalgia, let’s recall the fleeting interview I had with the guys at one of the internet portals sixteen years ago:
“Have you ever had such a reception?”
– Never before, it’s a little disappointing, because it means expectations are very high. But we also want to cater to the needs and help individual win the championship title.
– Have you both played together since you were cousins?
“Not yet, but we are going now, so this is a great opportunity.” I really miss the game so much.
Did you know that the Canada-Germany match starts here in Budapest these minutes? Are you watching the meeting?
– We don’t have time, we’ll go to the hotel.
What do they know about Hungarian hockey?
– Nothing, but it doesn’t matter. Hockey is hockey everywhere …
This is without a doubt hockey hockey everywhere. Anyway, they stayed here for fifty days The stagnant waters of Hungarian hockey were revived, and Fraddy twice helped defeat the invincible Alba Volan, and despite the failure of the miracle, she reached the finals, and even the bronze battle against pest, they returned home richer in life experiences at the end of March. .
And it’s not just an empty phrase, it was proven at 7 pm on Monday when my phone rang. I mean, Whatsapp, and by that time I already knew it could only be Strudwick!
Hi Jason what time you have in Edmonton?
It’s eleven in the morning. And I also know that in my second country – because I’ve only called Hungary since 2005 – it’s 7 pm. Throughout a lifetime, I’ve noticed eight hours is the difference between my responsibility and my second home.
what is the time right now there?
It’s hot, minus two degrees, but it’s coming cold, in the second half of the week the temperature will be minus 13 degrees during the day, in degrees Celsius. I grew up here, met hockey here, my parents, all of my friends, and my family live here.
what are you doing these days
When I finished hockey at Oilers in 2011, I tried in the media, on local radio, to put my own show for three years. Apparently, the audience liked it because I got a show from local TV in 2015 and I’m running a two hour talk show called Dinner Television between 5 and 7 PM. There’s everything here that interests Edmonton and Alberta residents in general, from politics to economics and finances to family and sports issues, and I sometimes try to invite celebrities into the studio. I learned a lot in the meantime, as a person and as a TV set. Meanwhile, I teach kids to play hockey, from the ages of four to eighteen, but it’s just a hobby, kind of side work, and my main job is television.
I can see on your Facebook profile that you already have famous guests.
Oh yeah, like Jane Goodall, the legendary ethicist, his most inaugural chimpanzee acquaintance. But back to hockey: I taught players 16-18 hours a week before the pandemic, I admit, I really miss it. The media here or there, hockey is everything. I don’t claim to be the best coach in the world at teaching skateboarding or racket or anything else, but I don’t think there is anyone on Earth who wants better hockey than me. And fortunately I can pass this love on to puppies. And it’s not even certain that they’ll be professional hockey, but if we were actually raising healthy adult men, I didn’t work in vain. Because getting someone to be NHL hockey comes with a lot of resignations, I just know. Not everyone agrees.
How do you remember the two short months in Hungary?
There were ten to eleven matches, out of the top four, followed by the semi-finals and the bronze matches. You know, I’ve never been a member of the Stanley Cup winning team, and I don’t have many individual trophies, but I see my hockey career as a great adventure for thirty years. I owe everything in my life to hockey, my wife – who is American by the way -, my current job, my friends, and the wonderful few weeks I’ve spent in Hungary. It’s so hard to describe in words how cool it was!
What was so cool about that?
Well, not money, sure, if I remember correctly, we got five thousand dollars per person with Rob, who made $ 2.1 million this season despite the shutdown, and I also had six hundred thousand dollars, so we didn’t need five thousand. Dollars. We have clearly come to Hungary for adventure. The real push was that we could eat for free in three restaurants, and these were our patrons, Juri Kasai, the old hockey player in my singles, who organized everything. One of the restaurants was like a medieval castle, there were large portions, half of the pigs and huge grills were served on a wooden plate …
Strudwick Known for wrestling, on record, in Vancouver Canucks colors, beat Chris King in Toronto with (literally) technical KO
Is it not Lancelot?
But it is! I can safely say that we were six weeks in like any of our contemporaries in the NHL. We were young, still unmarried, and I don’t have to stress the importance of this, everyone greeted us with open arms, guys in my singles, fans, girls, everyone! I have not met such an open-hearted people since Hungary. It really started at the airport, where we were welcomed like champions. And I must say, I have played at Chicago BlackHawks the previous two seasons, these two years have been very tough, continuous wrestling, and snowboard collision, compared to that, Hungarian hockey was a real vacation, it felt great! I finally had the opportunity to play hockey, pass passes, score goals, not just bump and flirt, like at home. Here was our Russian coach, Sergey (Oreskin – ed.), Who understood hockey well, to no avail, the Russians were very good at it, I immediately learned a Hungarian word, it was “exchange”. I remember our first game against Donver, I gave a goal pass to Tamas Dubos, it finished 3-3, and unfortunately I missed the penalty kicks … Then when I went back to the National Hockey League, I continued playing for the New York Rangers …
By the way, Rangers! As far as I know, it was part of the longest penalty shootout in history, the penalty shootout duel.
She’s been the tallest since then, but was really the longest, and was set in pair 15. I fired in the 14th minute – I had to, I was the team’s deputy captain – then Hank blocked Matt Bradley’s shot and then Marek Malik’s unforgettable goal, between his feet, came, which we won.
Who is Hank?
Who will be? Henrik Lundqvist! It was the season for beginners, because his existence was protected like a deity. You’ve played with many goalkeepers, but none of them are like Hank. He appeared in the NHL and was like defending himself with us for ten years. No one wants a victory like him. And it’s stuck with us.
Who was the oldest hockey player you played with on a team?
Jaromir Yajer. He was amazingly strong and he knew something amazing! I learned a lot from him while we played together. What he didn’t know about hockey wasn’t even there. Once started, it cannot be dismantled. It’s good that he played with us, not against us! And imagine, back home, he’s still playing in the Czech Republic. In Kladno, in the second league. He was referring to Baromera for hockey, when I was over 30, and it was Yaromir who drew my attention not to using a good racket! I have played wrong racquet all my life! Pen curvature, handle inclination angle is incorrect. If there isn’t a Jaromir, I’m still playing with that bad bat. amazing! And one more thing. If Yaromir had been on the ice, everyone would have played at least 5% better. I don’t know how he did that, but everyone got better by his side. I also.
How about his cousin Rob?
Well he’s become a farmer, and he wouldn’t believe he lives in British Columbia, on the West Coast, and he has a big farm where he knows horses, turkeys and even Satan the kind of animals he keeps. Oh, and I have three daughters, and I have two sons and a girl.
What did you like best about Hungary?
Chicken with sweet pepper. I learned how to make it and my wife taught. On the last evening in Hungary, we had a party in our honor, and there was a chicken farewell with chicken paprika. You see, now that I talk about it, I’m sensitive.
By the way, how did they get to Hungary?
Simply. We had a shutdown and we were bored. Then we noticed an ad online, a Toronto Hungarian man was recruiting players for singles, and we both signed up with my cousin. This guy was friends with Jyuri Kasai, so we got to Pest. But we didn’t regret it, it was the most amazing two months of our life.
Who is now the realm of the three Best Hokisa?
Hey man! I love Victor Headman, the defender of Tampa Bay, so of course to call a defender, I was myself. Then Conor MacDavid, the Edmonton striker, and possibly Leon Dreicettel, also from Edmonton, are their center.
Ovie? I put pressure on him, too, but he’s more than just a scorer, although he’s at his best. Forgive me, but I love midfield and playmaker. I can not help that. Ovie and extreme.
Have you been to Hungary since then?
I’m ashamed, but I’m not. When this epidemic is over, I will bring my family! We eat chicken paprika really well.