Sunday Q&A: Keith Tkachuk, former Jets/Thrashers player

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 5, 2011 - 12:02 AM

The former NHL player spent time in Winnipeg and Atlanta. With the Thrashers' move back to Winnipeg in mind, he took time to speak recently with the Star Tribune's Michael Rand.

hide

Keith Tkachuk in 2009.

Photo: Tom Gannam, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Keith Tkachuk retired in 2010 with 538 career NHL goals -- one of only four U.S.-born players to eclipse 500 goals. He spent his first five seasons in Winnipeg with the Jets before that franchise moved to Phoenix. He also played part of one season in Atlanta, a franchise now headed back to Winnipeg per an announcement last week. With that in mind, Tkachuk took time to speak recently with the Star Tribune's Michael Rand.

Q You're someone who can really speak to the culture of hockey in Winnipeg. Can you touch on what you think it will be like to have a team back there?

A It was good. I loved it there, and I am so happy they are getting a team. I think it's going to be huge. A lot of people don't know Winnipeg. I'm from Boston, and I really, really enjoyed playing there. I was there when they lost the team, and I'm really happy for the fans after what they went through, to get a team back. With the Canadian dollar where it is today, along with the salary cap, I'm not worried about the commitment they'll get at all.

Q What do you remember from that time of transition when Winnipeg lost the franchise?

A We were in limbo for a couple of years, and we thought we were going to Minnesota. Then all of the sudden Phoenix comes out of nowhere. We had just been knocked out of the playoffs, and we were concerned about losing to Detroit. And then you're at center ice, waving goodbye to the fans. It was difficult and a lot went into it.

Q From your perspective, is there anything about Winnipeg in particular that sticks out to you as a hockey market or is it just a carryover of the across-the-board passion they have for the game in Canada?

A I really enjoyed the people up there. I mean, I married a girl from Winnipeg. The people are really good. They love good hockey players. It's a hockey market, and everyone lives and breathes hockey. After being part of the playoffs up there, it was an incredible experience. I was a 19-year-old kid then, and I'll never forget it.

Q You played for a few months in Atlanta as well. What was that experience like?

A I was there for the good times. We had a good team. We won our division, and the crowd was there. ... And now a lot of good people are going to lose their jobs. Those are the people you really feel for. The fans and the people who have jobs. It's difficult because a lot of people have to suffer.

Q From our perspective here in Minneapolis, do you think there can be any connection that could develop between here and Winnipeg?

A I think so. When I played, it was the old Met Center and we always played [against the North Stars] on Dec. 26 either in Minnesota or Winnipeg. Hopefully a rivalry will get going. That's the great thing about hockey. It's a short trip.

Q If you were in charge of realignment for the 2012-13 season, what would you do?

A Hopefully they'll move [Minnesota] to the Central. If Detroit moves, why not put Minnesota in the Central? I don't know what's going to happen, but it's going to be a mess and there are going to be unhappy people.

Q Stanley Cup: Vancouver or Boston?

A Well, I'm a Boston guy. I want the Bruins to win because I think it would be incredible for the city. But Vancouver is tough to beat right now. And that was a killer loss in Game 1. Vancouver looks pretty darn strong, but I'm rooting for Boston.

  • related content

  • WHAT THEY MIGHT BE DOING TODAY ...

    Saturday June 4, 2011

    Your head might be still spinning from what the Twins' rag-tag lineup was able to do Saturday night.

  • 06.05.11 THE GAME PLAN

    Saturday June 4, 2011

    THE BUZZ Brilliant observation via Facebook by ex-Stribber John Millea: "Joe Mauer's been missing for so long that his picture is posted on milk cartons." Bad timing, Kemps?

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 6:00 PM
Cleveland
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Washington
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
New York
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
Charlotte 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Memphis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Tampa Bay 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close