HC Plzen 1929 interviews Nelson's Geoff Kinrade before the start of the European Trophy tournament
Nelson Leaf grad, Nelson Minor Hockey product and Michigan Tech prodigy, Geoff Kinrade has decided to ply his hockey trade across the big pond in the Czech Republic, signing a one-year deal with HC Plzen 1929.
The decision came a few weeks after the six-foot, 207-pound blueliner helped the Binghamton Senators win the 2011 Calder Cup Championship.
Kinrade, 26, sat down with team management to answer a few questions for a HC Plzen 1929 website interview.
HC Plzen 1929 has graciously allowed The Nelson Daily to publish the interview that appeared on the team website earlier this month. Please note the interview was translated into English from the HC Plzen 1929 site.
After a tiring flight the 26-year-old Kinrade did not look tired in the cabin but admitted sleepless hours. How are things in Plzen?
“It was a really long way. Now I have to arrange a bank account and cell phone, but then I mostly sleep.”
Geoff, what are your first feelings of initial training in the new location?
“I am especially tired, it was a really long way. I did not sleep much, plus the time difference. (But) surprisingly, I feel quite well.”
What were the celebrations after the win in the AHL?
“We really enjoyed them. But it was really long season, we played about 102 games, we ended up in June, so we were really glad that we finally won the Calder Cup.”
Have you had time to relax at all?
“I am a surfer, so I went to the West Coast. But it was only a week since we left so late. Overall, I was on leave about a month and a half.”
What do you know about Pilsen team?
“To be honest to you, almost anything. I know with Tyler Scofield, who played here, I talked with the players who were active in Europe and the Czech Republic have praised. I left it to his agent, who told me about the offer Pilsen said. The game was also my work in the German DEL, but I chose and I’m glad Pilsen.”
And you know some of the players?
“On the ice, I met with Tomas Kubalík, we played against each other for about two matches, but the closer you know. Of course, Martin Straka, and I know I’ve heard of Tomas Vlasak, who won last year scoring.
“Overall, I do not know much about international hockey and that’s also more exciting to be able to be here. But I know that the Czech competition is good and certainly not easy waiting for me.
“But hockey is never easy.”
What is your next program?
“I have to arrange to go to the bank account and cell phone so I could be with people at all in touch. Soon we will begin European Trophy, so I hope I have dragged from the AHL playoffs.”
You do not have concerns about the European style of hockey?
“Just would not say that I was afraid, but I’m rather curious. I am in my good skater, and as I was told this property Hockey is necessary if you want to play on a larger rink.
“When I was in college, half of the areas on which we played, the Olympic dimensions.
“So I have got used to it a bit.”
Is your dream to play more games in the NHL?
“I played one game there, so if I added some more, at least I do not
I would translate well here and then I could get another chance.
“But mainly I want to play the best hockey in which I have. If you have not look into the NHL, it will not break my heart.”
Finally, I cannot help asking, what do you think about Czech, pilsner, beer?
“Of course, Pilsner Urquell is known, it is something different than we had. But I must admit that I prefer wine, because my family owns a vineyard at home.
“And you can enjoy true Canadian whiskey.”