It’s the AA Show around here today.
Quotes from forward Andreas Athanasiou following today’s LA Kings practice…
On if management discussed them ‘digging into’ his plus-minus during the recruiting process
Not too much. It’s kind of just, you know, about moving forward and being ready to play. That’s about it. They haven’t really dug into that too much. I don’t think many people really do, to be honest.
On the motivation to sign with the Kings
The group of guys we have here. They finished off real strong last year and I think the goal here is just pick up where they left off. I think my job coming in is to just try to blend in as much as I can, and do the best I can to help provide for the team.
On finding out he would initially be paired with Blake Lizotte and Jeff Carter
I only had a little bit of notice, not really too much. I’ve been in quarantine, but when I saw Carts the first day he said, ‘We might be playing together.’ So it was obviously exciting. Everyone knows how good he is and all the things he’s done. I’ve watched him a ton and I did a little bit of research on Lizzie, watching his goals and stuff. It’s about building chemistry as quick as possible. There’s a lot of good pieces on that line and we had some good chemistry right off the bat today. I think it’s only gonna get better.
On how he felt out on the ice today, after being in quarantine for nearly two weeks
It’s about just getting those legs underneath you getting back into the flow of things. I felt pretty decent out there, actually. I’ve been off the ice for, however long it’s been – it’s been a little bit, at least eight days, probably around 10, maybe. But I felt good out there, as good as you can feel. I didn’t have too many toe picks. I don’t think I had any toe picks, actually. That’s a positive, for sure.
On what he thinks will be the most difficult part of his game to get back after not playing games for so long
Just getting back in the flow of things. We’ve all played this game our whole life; it’s second nature to us, it’s just like riding a bike, you get back on the ice and you get back into the flow of things as quick as possible. You know that first skate is gonna be a little bit tough. But, I thought it was pretty good out there and I think it’s just gonna get better.
More on his offseason and the path that led him to Los Angeles
There was a little bit of talk throughout the offseason. I was just looking at my options and this organization is pretty top notch. The direction these guys are all heading, it’s something I wanted to be a part of. As for the offseason, everyone is in these crazy times right now and had to deal with it in their own way. I was back home in Toronto at my parents house, getting as much ice time as I could, getting in the gym as much as possible. Just taking care of the body and getting ready for camp. I felt pretty good out there, actually. Like I said, I didn’t fall out there and, surprisingly, felt pretty solid. I’ve done a lot of conditioning and this season is gonna take a lot of that because we’re playing pretty much every other day. I put a lot of focus into that this summer and I think I put the work in.
On Todd McLellan making changes last season to the way the Kings historically played the game
When you have someone like him running the team, it’s gonna be top notch, he’s gonna get the most out of the guys. He seems unbelievable right now and I’m super excited. He’s helping me a ton already. I had a good video session this morning and we’re taking it step by step. The level of hockey here is gonna be at a high pace and I think it’s something I can fit right into and help provide.
On what he needs to do to get caught up on the time he’s missed from camp thus far
Just getting accustomed to everything. I have two new linemates; we had one practice today and it’s pretty straightforward, just build that chemistry as quick as possible. I think we had a really good day today. I didn’t really feel a step behind or anything. I felt good. It’s going to build every day. It’s gonna take a little bit of a process, but you get that first skate under you and you kind of just go from there.
On if his skating has always been elite and when he started noticing it was such a strength
It’s something I’ve always worked on my whole life. As a kid, I was always pretty fast at what I did, whatever sport I was playing. So I always knew I had that fast twitch. It was something that I knew if I worked really hard at and really took the time, cared, I knew it was something that could help me in the long run. It’s always been a strong asset of mine, trying to be one of the best skaters out there. I just continue to try to do that. I have a good group that’s helping me work back home – great mobility guy, great strength guy. Everyone has a good program these days, so it’s just a matter of how much work you put in. If you put the work in, the rest is gonna take care of itself. You can’t fake that. We’ll see. If I’m skating well, we’re gonna know.
More on his speed growing up
It was just about going as fast as you can, whatever you did. Whether I was running, track and field, cross country, basketball, soccer, whatever I was doing I was always trying to do it at a high speed a high pace. I could always move pretty well. I just worked on that my whole life. I made sure I tried to stay that step ahead, that’s the main thing. If you have something like that, you can’t let it go to waste. You have to work your your butt off to make sure you keep it and always try to get better.
On Martin Frk, and there days together in the Detroit organization
We’re really good buddies, actually. We were drafted the same year, we went to camp together, went into the league together, and played in the minors together. We’re pretty close. we’ve always had a really good relationship. He helps me work on my Czech. I come in the morning, I talk to him in Czech; it’s pretty funny. He’s an awesome dude and he has unbelievable skill. You guys know he has the hardest shot ever. We work on that together. I try to ask him to help me learn to shoot like that. Ever since the get-go, we’ve always been kind of good buddies and always helped each other out. Even when we played together we were real good. It’s really a good face to see coming here. Right when I signed here, he was the first person I called. He was excited and I was too.
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Lead photo provided by LA Kings