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Web Chat with Michalek: Read the Transcript

Monday, 08.20.2012 / 1:48 PM / Features
Arizona Coyotes

EDITOR'S NOTE: On Friday, Aug. 17, Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek answered questions from fans during an exclusive live web chat at phoenixcoyotes.com. What follows is the transcirpt of the web chat:

Zbynek Michalek

Zbynek Michalek:
Hello everyone. Thank you for joining me today for this chat. I’m looking forward to answering your questions.

Comment From Eric:
Welcome back Z! What did you miss most about living in Arizona while you were in Pittsburgh?

Zbynek Michalek:
The excellent weather. My wife and I really enjoy the sun and it's great for our kids, too.

Comment From Cameron Paul:
What are your thoughts on Oliver Ekman-Larsson?

Zbynek Michalek:
I watched a lot of Coyotes games last year, especially in the playoffs, and that was the first time I saw him play. I was very impressed. He's young but he plays like he's been in the league for many years. He has a lot of skill. It's scary he's only 21 years old. I think he's going to be one of the best d-men in the league for years to come. We are lucky to have him.

Comment From Rob T:
How would you rate the defensive unit now compared to when you were last here? Better, same, or worse?

Zbynek Michalek:
Not much has changed. Jovo is no longer here but a lot of the same guys are still here and everybody is a few years older.

Comment From therron:
Hi Zbynek - are you happy to be back in Phoenix?

Zbynek Michalek:
I'm very happy to be back in the place that I consider home. I'm very familiar with the city and the team, and looking forward to starting to play for the Coyotes again.

Comment From pacdivchamps2012:
I read that you considered your brother Milan your best friend. Is that true?

Zbynek Michalek:
Yes that's true. We grew up together and spent so much time playing hockey together, and we still talk often and train together in the off-season. He's definitely my best friend.

Comment From Kay:
We keep hearing from the front office and coaches the level to which they believe you fit in with Coyote hockey. What do you think that means?

Zbynek Michalek:
I think that means that the Coyotes play with a lot of attention to detail, hard work and professionalism, and that's the way I try to play. Hopefully I can be one of the leaders of the team in those ways.

Comment From therron:
Who will be your roommate on the road?

Zbynek Michalek:
Good question but I have no idea. It's way too early to say. Maybe one of the other Czech guys? We'll see. I'll be happy no matter who it is.

Comment From MrWallabee:
Are you hoping Coach Tippett makes you an alternate captain this year?

Zbynek Michalek:
I'm not expecting that. The right people are wearing the "A" for the Coyotes right now and I think it should stay that way.

Comment From shelby:
What's your favorite arena to play in?

Zbynek Michalek:
Aside from Jobing.com Arena, I always like to play in San Jose. The Sharks are our rival and the atmosphere there is great and the fans are loud. That gets me into the game. It's fun to play there on the opposing team.

Comment From Chuckj:
Which NHL player’s shot do you enjoy blocking the LEAST?

Zbynek Michalek:
There are a few guys, but the one guy that really comes to mind is Shea Weber. He's got a very hard shot and it's not fun to get in front of it, for sure.

Comment From Donna:
While in Pittsburgh you got to participate in a Winter Classic with HBO's 24/7. How was that experience all together?

Zbynek Michalek:
The Winter Classic is unique and I was lucky to experience it with Pittsburgh. I will never forget it. The 24/7 show is a great show because it gives the fans a behind-the-scenes perspective of our game and the players. Both promote our game well and it was really fun to be part of both things.

Comment From shelby:
What's your favorite memory from when you played with Pittsburgh?

Zbynek Michalek:
The Winter Classic and the playoff series with Philadelphia, even though we lost. It wasn't too much fun playing defense in that series but the rivalry is so intense and it was fun to be a part of it. I just wish the end result was different.

Comment From therron:
What do you do in the off-season?

Zbynek Michalek:
I like to spend time with my wife and our two kids. Usually we go back to Europe and spend time with our friends and family, and I like that. We also like to go on vacations and I think our favorite spot for that is Croatia.

Comment From Donna:
Will you still wear #4 since no one is using it?

Zbynek Michalek:
I haven't spoken to anyone about it yet but I hope so. That's always been my number and I'm hoping to wear it again.

Comment From shirley:
My question is not a question; I want to tell you how excited I am that my most favorite "D" is backkkkkkkkk!

Zbynek Michalek:
Thank you very much.

Comment From Grits99:
I know your focus is defense, but when a new season starts how many goals are you hoping to score that year?

Zbynek Michalek:
If I score five goals in a season I am satisfied. If I score more than that I'm very happy.

Comment From coyotecup:
So what´s your take on the Steve Sullivan signing, having played with him last season?

Zbynek Michalek:
I think Steve is a great player and he will be bring a veteran presence to our team. I saw how good he is on the ice last year and he's also a good guy off the ice and will be a great asset in the dressing room. I'm excited to be his teammate again.

Comment From shelby:
What's your best/favorite memory from your NHL career?

Zbynek Michalek:
Probably my first NHL game. I was playing for Minnesota and we were playing Pittsburgh. I was so happy to make it to the NHL. I wasn't drafted and it was a long, tough road for me and I proved to myself that if I worked hard and gave it all that I had that anything was possible. It was my dream to play in the NHL and once it happened I felt satisfaction. It was a great feeling.

Comment From Shan:
What is your favorite way to pass time on road trips? Movies, video games, talking with the other guys?

Zbynek Michalek:
One of my favorite things to do is to go to the movies. I also like to go to shopping malls and just walk around. I also like going to dinner with my teammates and just hanging around with them.

Comment From coyotesfanno1:
Are you excited about being reunited with fellow Czechs Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata?

Zbynek Michalek:
I'm very happy to be on the same team with them again. They are great guys and great friends. Plus it's always nice to be able to speak your own language around the rink and have friends that understand you.

Comment From Shan:
What does a typical pre-game meal look like for you?

Zbynek Michalek:
Pretty standard stuff: chicken noodle soup, then salad, then chicken with rice. Sometimes I go with pasta instead of rice just to change it up.

Comment From Shan:
Is there any particular player you are most excited to be playing with again?

Zbynek Michalek:
I wouldn't say there's just one player. I'm just very happy to be back with the Coyotes. I have many friends there and it's hard to pick just one guy.

Comment From ginger:
Which of the Coyotes jerseys do you like wearing the most: the red, white or black?

Zbynek Michalek:
I like the white the best.

Comment From Rob:
If you were in charge of the locker room music, what would it be?

Zbynek Michalek:
I like all kinds of music so I'd play a little bit of everything. But just before the game starts I like to get pumped up so I'd probably play some really fast dance music.

Zbynek Michalek:
Thanks to everyone for all of the questions. I really enjoyed answering them. I’m sorry I didn’t have enough time to answer all of them. I look forward to training camp and playing for the Coyotes again next season. Bye...

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