Nicklas Grossmann (Len Redkoles/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann caught up with Mark Malinowski to talk about how he fell in love with the game and talked about the joy of winning a quadruple overtime game.
Status: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman.
Ht: 6-foot-4 Wt: 230
DOB: January 22, 1985 In: Nacka, Sweden
First Hockey Memory: "That's a good question...when you're a kid skating around the pond back home. That's the first memory I have. Just fell in love with it. Being with your buddies, playing pond hockey."
Hockey Inspirations: "My uncle came home with some old videotapes of NHL. Because in Sweden we didn't have that shown on TV or anything. He brought home some videotapes with the top hits of the year, I guess it was '93-'94. There was a documentary about the Calgary Flames was another tape. Another tape with hits and saves and goals and everything. And I can't tell you how many times I watched that tape [smiles]. But that's something that inspired me as a young kid."
Last Book Read: "Bad with books...Lone Survivor."
Current Car: "Range Rover."
Greatest Sports Moment: "Went far into the Stanley Cup playoffs, into the Conference Finals one year, that was really cool. Got a bronze and silver medal with the national team. That was pretty cool."
Most Painful Moment: "I think disappointment beats body pain, it's kind of painful for your mind in a different way. Your body will always heal but that stuff - that kind of haunts you forever. You want to do good and you always want to win. When you don't do that it's disappointing."
Favorite NHL Uniforms: "Gotta go with the Flyers, eh? (Number two?) Probably go back to some of the retro jerseys they brought up...can't come up with another one."
Most Memorable Goal: "My first goal I ever scored in the NHL playoff game against Detroit, Western Conference Finals, got assisted by Mike Modano. Pretty cool experience and something I'll always remember."
Embarrassing Hockey Memory: "Always a few...your pants come undone one time, your belt kind of broke and they keep falling down on you. Things like that. Nothing you can control. Things happen."
Strangest Game: "A lot of strange games...a lot of weird stuff. But the one that stands out I think would be the four overtime periods against San Jose. Game six in the Stanley Cup playoffs, second round. That was a pretty cool game to be a part of. And then end up winning it. When you play that long you're that tired. It's a great feeling to win. A lot of changes during the game. It was pretty cool."
First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: "I met Borje Salming when I was young. Met him at a line in a cafe. Just ran into him when I was fourteen or fifteen, wanted his autograph. I met Peter Forsberg and Mats Sundin at a pretty early age too."
Funniest Player(s) Encountered: "I played here last year with Hal Gill. Been around a lot of games, never had a bad day. Always bringing guys up, always smiling, making jokes. Making everyone feel good. You know when you met a good person."
Why Do You Love Playing Hockey: "A lot of things. Just to start - the camaraderie of the boys, it's like your whole family, looking after one another in ups and downs. That's the beauty of a team game. And obviously to win. You always play for a goal and always practicing and training for that ultimate goal. That's why we're all together in this. We're all working for the same thing. It's pretty cool to see a group grow together and reach the ultimate goal. That's why you love the game, you're part of something together. Become something to achieve something. That's what it's all about and I think the beauty of it."
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "Grew up playing soccer. But I really learned to like football here. We didn't have American football back home. But moved over and started watching and it's pretty interesting. I like the physicality of it, the intensity. Soccer and football."
People/Personality Qualities Most Admired: "I like honest. Hard work. Straight shooters. Honest people that are going to give their all and they expect the same thing out of you. No beating around the bush or stuff like that. Guys that can do that and look after one another - I think that goes a long way."
Mark “Scoop” Malinowski’s two latest books “Facing Federer” and “Facing Hewitt” are available at Amazon.com. He’s currently working on “Facing Probert.”