As part of a summer-long series, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Broadcaster Mike O'Brien will be catching up with Penguins players to see what they have been up to during the offseason.
This week, he talked to veteran center Nick Drazenovic...
For the full interview, check out the audio below.
Q: It’s been six weeks since the season came to an end. You’ve been working back from some injuries. How has the first half of the off season gone for you?
A: It’s been alright. It’s been a little bit of a tough start here to the summer. I had to get some injuries under control, just rehabbing that, and moving forward.
Q: July 1st is free agent frenzy. They have a hashtag for it, it’s all over twitter and Facebook, TSN has the full day coverage, Rogers Sports Network, ESPN, NHL Network. But you’re the guy who signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 1st, free agent Frenzy day itself. What’s that day like on the player side of things?
I think free agent frenzy is really fun time for players. I’ve been through it a couple times now and it’s exciting just to go through it and know that teams are interested and where you’re going to be playing next year. It’s obviously a busy time for everybody and it’s obviously exciting also to see other big names moving around, what teams are doing. And a lot of transactions are being made. Obviously, with the Pittsburgh Penguins, I was very interested in coming back. We were fortunate enough to come to a deal right away. Both parties are happy to bring me back and be a Penguin again.
Q: What was the drive to re-sign with the Pittsburgh and coming back to the organization?
A: It just the way you get treated in Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre. It’s not a coincidence that both teams are at the top of the league every year. They’re a first class organization and I want to be a part of that. I’m getting older in my career now and I would like to win something and I feel like Pittsburgh or Wilkes-Barre always has an opportunity to do that.
Q: I am picturing free agent frenzy for a player with a draft room or a war room on draft day. You have two phones going, you have the TV on, and you’re checking your cell phone, maybe a laptop is open as well. What’s it actually like at the house or the apartment when this is all going on?
A: It is like that. The one time when I was younger and was in my first free agent frenzy, my agent gave me heck about not being by my phone for just a couple of minutes. You got to stay right by your phone, be ready to do your research and have people you trust nearby and weigh out opinions, and go from there.
Q: You know the rookies and the prospects for the Penguins are taking the ice this week for development camp. I know it was a couple years ago but can you think back to your first development camp and what that was like for you as a young player?
A: Oh yeah. I’ve been through a couple of those. It’s an exciting time. It’s so neat. It’s your first taste putting on a Pittsburgh Penguins T-shirt in the locker room, Pittsburgh Penguins colored pants, or whatever NHL team you may be with. It’s such a neat time to put faces to names. You get to meet the coaches and the team that drafted you. It’s such a great opportunity and it’s time of your life.