Matt Niskanen played at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and then for the American League's Iowa Stars before joining Dallas this season.
About 15 years ago, former The Hockey News senior writer Mike Ulmer did a story about the top up-and-coming Russian players in the game. The list included that tough, young Russian by the name of Alek Stojanov, from the Siberian village of Windsor Ont.
Let’s just say Ulmie bought his editors a round of cold pops for saving his bacon on that one. Stojanov was as close to being Russian as Paul Henderson’s jockstrap. “It was the 'k' in Alek that threw me off,” said Ulmie, one of the most talented writers in any field.
With that as a backdrop, here are 10 North American-born players who, at first glance, sound like Europeans. Included is their place of birth.
10. Milan Lucic, Boston (Vancouver, B.C.)
9. Patrick Rissmiller, San Jose (Belmont, Mass.)
8. Mark Popovic, Atlanta (Stoney Creek, Ont.)
7. Fernando Pisani, Edmonton (Edmonton, Alta.)
6. Dennis Wideman, Boston (Kitchener, Ont.).
5. Michael Lundin, Tampa Bay (Burnsville, Minn.).
4. Patrick Kaleta, Buffalo (Buffalo, N.Y.)
3. Peter Mueller, Phoenix (Bloomington, Minn.)
2. Kris Versteeg, Chicago (Lethbridge, Alta.)
1. Matt Niskanen, Dallas (Virginia, Minn.)
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