Translations by Tomas Jandik
Roman Cechmanek - It's a success I stayed this long (interview with hokej.cz) - 29-May-03
The GM Bob Clarke talked about the possibility of your departure from Philadelphia immediately after the Flyers were ousted from this yearís Stanley Cup. Nevertheless, did you expect to be traded so soon?
It came soon because there was quite an interest [in me]. Somebody might have thought that they wouldnít want me anywhere. But there was an unexpected number of offers. In the last stage, Los Angeles and St. Louis were the front runners; the former possibility was my wish. However, as late as half an hour before the signing there was quite a strong interest on the part of Boston. I am satisfied with how things turned out.
When did you find out the transaction had been closed?
Yesterday evening when I watched the soccer Champions League.
You said that you wished to go to Los Angeles and that you are satisfied. Is it also because you may not be under such a strong pressure there compared to the closely watched Philadelphia?
I donít care about such stuff. The pressure is everywhere; I take the trade more as a pleasant change. I have been in Philadelphia for three years. I can easily say that in the last 10 years or so nobody else performed better there. And no other goalie managed to stay with the Flyers for three seasons. Whether their name was Vanbiesbrouck or Burke (who is still a big star). I consider it a success that I managed to stay this long in such a club. It wasnít that I wanted to leave. The club decided. I was satisfied to be with the Flyers. If somebody else wasnít [satisfied] with me, thatís his problem.
How will you remember the Flyers?
Iíll have positive memories. They gave me a chance to be a goaltender in the NHL, even though when I came, I was somewhat older. Hockey-wise, there is nothing I can complain about.
Quite a lot of our [Czech] players came in and left Philadelphia, but the GM Clarke always found something bad about almost every single one of them. What was your relationship with him?
I had no problems with him. The only problem was that the writers did not like me. With the team, with the club, there really werenít any problems. Everything that might have surfaced was rather significantly influenced by the media. It would be a speculation to consider whether it could be any different elsewhere. But the writers were creating a strange climate, atmosphere. For example, when it was disclosed who gets what salary, it turned out that I belonged to those few players who could leave the Flyers. The others were mostly so expensive that nobody could pay them, and nobody wanted them.
Clarke has committed a lot of errors [since heís worked as the GM]. [But] he and the owner Ed Snider are apparently like brothers. Can this be the reasons that despite all those blunders he can still keep his job?
Thatís the club politics. I have no reason to mess up with that. It wouldnít even be appropriate. My relationship with Clarke was very good. The problem was the media.
In Los Angeles, you will meet the D Jaroslav Modry again Ė he was your teammate in juniorsÖ
Weíre the same age; we have played together since the National Team of the 16 years old. But since he left, I havenít seen him. I know some other guys from the Kings roster, though. Weíll see. I consider the Kings to be a new experience. I particularly enjoy the fact that Iíll be able to play in a different Conference, Iíll experience something new, a different style of hockey. It will be a change, but I also think that I needed one. After three years spent in one place, the time has come.
The GM Dave Taylor apparently will give up on Felix Potvin, who is about to become a free agent. Did you get any signals that he counts on you being his successor as the No. 1 goalie.
Hopefully it will be like that. Since they chose me, and they were very interested. Compared to Philadelphia, the West will likely be quite different. But I believe that Iíll continue the performance that I had shown with the Flyers.
Tomas Jandik is the resident Czech on LetsGoPens.com and is a man who unifies all the goodies of the American dream - meaning, of course, being a Pitt graduate, a Razorback, and a Penguins fan.
Back to Tomas' Translation List