Kristopher Letang déjeunera avec la coupe Stanley
Interviewer: He still needs to see it to believe it – we’ll show him these pictures.
He’s from Montreal; he’s only 22 years old. Here is the defenseman of the Pittsburgh Penguins; winner of the 2009 Stanley Cup, Kristopher Letang.
Welcome, thanks for coming. Okay, so tell me about the feeling, the one we just saw on video, when it happened… was it heavy? It doesn’t look like it is.
Kris: No, it wasn’t heavy. When you just won it, there’s not a lot going on, you don’t fully realize what you’ve accomplished. I think there was a lot going through my head. But like I said, no, it’s really not heavy! It’s pretty light.
Interviewer: So it’s going to be shared during the summer. You’re going to be getting your turn with it; have you already thought of your scenario, what’s going to happen?
Kris: Yeah, each of us have 24 hours. Though there are certain players that have a bit more, like Sidney because of his captain status. But I still have 24 hours with the cup. My plans are almost finished
Interviewer: What are you going to do?
Kris: I thought about having a quiet breakfast with my family, because they’ve been with me since I was young, they’ve invested so much into it. I want see all of the young hockey players in Saint-Julie, where I grew up and played. I’m going to finish it off with a dinner with my friends and family, a bit more private. As for the rest, I’m going to improvise.
Interviewer: You guys in Pittsburgh have what we in Montreal dream of. You have good francophone players; you have a Stanley cup, and a bit of a “French connection”
Kris: In general we have a good group of players. There are a lot of young guys from Quebec, and I think we all played an important role in the finals. But we’re all a team and we have a very special chemistry. We’re young and even the veteran players on the team fit perfectly into the mould.
Man beside Letang: That’s really great. You said that’s it’s a young team and that veterans fit in. Normally it’s the younger guys that are trying to fit in!
Interviewer: And are the younger ones kept “tame”? Because we hear stories in Montréal… It’s seems that some of them go a bit crazy. We talked a bit before about Sidney Crosby staying with Mario Lemieux – does that type of thing help? Is there a different type of discipline that we don’t have here?
Kris: I think that we’re really a tight group. The guys are really focused, and having a captain like Sidney who is focused who is very serious about his work, we really show how important it is to invest ourselves into the sport to have success.
Interviewer: But is it easy when you have lots of money, lots of energy, a certain power of seduction, to forget that there’s a curfew?
Kris: Well… yeah. *laughs* No, seriously I could say that there are some who do that more than others, but I would say in general our team has guys who are pretty calm. But there always are those moments when you can have fun. It’s just up to you to judge when that is.
Man beside Letang: When you go to Quebec
Other man: He told me that Sidney Crosby still lives with Mario Lemieux and also for next year too.
Interviewer: Well that really must give him structure and discipline
Kris: Especially having Mario Lemieux as the owner and being able to live with him. You couldn’t possibly be better housed or treated. In that hockey environment you get to think about it.
Interviewers: There are also the coaches. Michel Therrien and Guy Carbonneau, who lost their jobs during the season. Do you find it’s only them who get fired like that, or also for player who, unfortunately, aren’t doing their job?
Kris: It’s a response that I think is pretty tough. I wasn’t in the Canadiens locker room. In my case, I love Michel Therrien as a trainer. I have a good relationship with him. He’s someone who asks for a lot, but when you give it to him he’s very respectful. But things happen, its players that don’t want him, that don’t gain anything from the effort, or it just doesn’t “click” anymore. It’s always easier to change one person, than it is to change 25.
Interviewer: Mario Lemieux, your childhood idol, did he come into the locker room punch lines during important moments? Are there any tricks that really stuck with you in his way of motivating during the playoffs?
Kris: He’s all around the team during the season. He’s always watching us play. I also had the chance to go over to his house; have lunches and dinners with him. He comes into the locker room when the guys are bit more stressed out. And with a presence like that it really calms everybody down. Before game seven in Detroit, he sent us a message to every player on our phones… and he said it in English, because we’re in an English speaking mode now. But he just said to play well and he’ll meet us in the middle of the ice. It really raised the spirits of all the players and calmed our nerves. We were ready and focused on the task.
Interviewer: He’s a guy with real heart. We remember when you lost your best friend, Luc Bourdon, who played for the Canucks, you were in the middle of playoffs and he had a jet ready to take you to the funeral.
Kris: Yeah, he really did a great thing. Even when I came back to Detroit for the end of the playoffs, I wasn’t even able to speak to him. Someone who does something like that for me is really incredible. There are really no words to describe it.
Interviewer: Yeah, of course. It was your friends who lost his life in a motorcycle accident. You guys were promised to play together – probably win a Stanley Cup together. When you won, were you thinking of him?
Kris: Yeah, he was the first person I thought of. We always had success together. We won the world juniors together; we’ve played together as defensemen. And we were told one day that, with the power of negotiation, we’d be able to play together.
Interviewer: Yeah. There’s a defenseman here now named Gill. How do you describe him? We here are saying all sorts of things! He’s robust, a bit slow. What do you say?
Kris: *laughs* …He’s big. Uh… I’m going to be honest, I’ve gotten this question a lot in the past few days. My answer would be that he’s big, he carries himself well, he’s good in the locker room.
Interviewer and other guys: He’s good in the locker room *laughs*
Interviewer: (speaking to other man) I’d like you to do a translation of what we’re hearing here. What you thinking from what he’saying?
Other man: Basically, France, he’s saying that you definitely have more questions for me.
Interviewer: *laughs* Okay, would you like to play in Montreal eventually if you were asked to?
Kris: To be honest, in this moment I don’t really think so right now, because I’m living in a dream playing with the Penguins, with a great organization, the owner was my favourite player as a kid. But I wouldn’t say no. When the time comes, I’m thinking at the age of 30 or more…
Interviewer: That’s eight years. That’s quite some time.
Kris: Yeah, Well, it could always happen sooner, you never know.
Interviewer: Are the Canadiens making more scared this year than they were before with their new team?
Man beside Letang: Their big!
Letang: The defence, they’re big! But honestly I was surprised. You know when you change a team a lot, you have to remake that chemistry. But they’re all talented and it’s going to be fun to see the new Canadiens.
Interviewer: We went and looked you up on youtube now that you’re a big star in Pittsburgh. You’re being invited on tv like doing the weather – where they asked you to do the weather in French and you forgot how! We’re just going to looks that the clip, and then we’ll talk
Interviewer: So you say that you’re thinking in English when you’re in Pittsburgh, then you finish my saying you’re really don’t think that much. Do you have what it takes, in two months, to have a dynasty in Pittsburgh?
Other man: Even with Hal Gill gone?
Kris: We’ll see!
Interviewer: Kristopher Letang thanks for being here with us!