XP PSP e19: Jim Paek

April 7th, 2015

jimpaekpic.pngHost Dave Cunning traveled to Seoul, South Korea to talk with Jim Paek for episode 19. Paek is the first Korean born hockey player to not only play in the NHL, but to win the Stanley Cup, which he did twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1990's. After transitioning into coaching after his playing career concluded, Paek coached the Grand Rapids Griffins to a Calder Cup title, and was recently named head coach of South Korea's national team, and will guide the Koreans into the 2018 Winter Olympics. 

During the interview, Jim spoke about how he's perceived in Korea's hockey community and his desire to improve hockey in his home nation, the freedom he has to make team decisions, his Korean skills, the language barrier, and how he works through communication issues on the team, the use of foreign born naturalized players to better South Korea's chances and the pros and cons of that approach, the pressure and expectations for the national team that his resume brings, how the team can compete against the world's best nations in 2018 while currently ranked two divisions down from their level and the fairness of them being in the tournament, how hard it was to make it to the NHL as a Korean and how he got there, playing with Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky, playing under Scotty Bowman and working with Mike Babcock, what he learned from them, returning to the NHL as a coach, juggling being a husband and parent while being continents away from his family, and he makes a verbal commitment to help hockey grow in Jeju! 

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XP PSP s01e14: San Jose Sharks’ Matt Irwin

March 26th, 2014

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He may not be a household name just yet, but San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin may work his way into your mental NHL player directory yet. Now in his second NHL season, the 26 year old British Columbian is continuing a trend from his amateur career that has seen his point totals, ice-time, and contributions to his team’s success dynamically increase every year.   

Irwin spoke with me at length about his long road to the NHL and what he’ll have to do to stay there, the tough decisions he was required to make and small window of opportunity he had to live out his dream, past teammates that helped get him where he is now, current ones that help make him better, what the San Jose Sharks will have to do to win their first Stanley Cup, what it takes to be consistently inserted into a lineup full of Olympians, All-Stars, and Stanley Cup champions, and more. 

Click here to read the written version of this interview on The Score's Backhand Shelf.

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XP PSP s01e12: Justin Bourne debriefs Sochi 2014 hockey

March 1st, 2014

Justin Bourne from The Score dropped by for episode 12 to debrief the Sochi 2014 Olympic hockey tournament with host Dave Cunning, and discuss it's implications on the NHL moving forward. We talked about Canada's route to gold, USA's fall from grace, Backstrom's Olympic suspension, how it affected Sweden's outcome and why team doctors weren't regulating his intake better, whether Canada's win justifies all the heavily critcised roster adjustments the coaching staff made, who steps into Steve Yzerman's role next Olympics, who Canada would send if the NHL chose not to participate in the 2018 Olympics, what the alternative to the Olympics as a best-on-best tournament would be, how John Tavares' Olympic injury affects the decision for the NHL to return or not, how it affects the Islanders going forward this season, how Olympic performances affect NHL players finishing their NHL season, and more. 

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Justin BourneXP PSP, and Dave Cunning on Twitter. 

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