Interview with Mauldin from SwitzerlandEurolanche interviewed the former Avs forward.
Greg Mauldin (30) signed a one-year contract with the Avs in 2010. After playing the season start with Lake Erie, he was later called up by the Avalanche. In his first game on November 12, 2010, he scored his first NHL goal, which was a short hander against his draft team the Columbus Blue Jackets. Mauldin remained with the Avalanche for a career-high 29 games and 10 points before he was later returned to help Lake Erie for their first ever play-off run.
After a strong start with Lake Erie in 2011/12, Mauldin was limited through injury before finishing with 59 games, to place third in Lake Erie scoring 34 points. This summer Mauldin signed a one-year contract with HC Fribourg-Gottéron of the Swiss NLA.
Eurolanche fan club met up with Mauldin at his new home the Patinoire St. Leonard in Fribourg.
How are you doing so far in Fribourg, Switzerland?
So far so good. It’s a lot different than in the US and where I’m from. Fribourg is a pretty small town, not really used to that. The first couple of days I was struggling with it, but now I’m starting to get used to it.
What do you think of the team and the whole organization of Fribourg-Gottéron?
I like the team, the guys. Good guys. We have a lot of fun, we joke around a lot. The organization is great. I think they treat me well. A nice place to live, everything has been great for me so far. Obviously the organization with the fans and all is unbelievable. It’s not like the US, it’s different. Like here you’re from Fribourg or you grew up here. This is your team, these are your fans. Back home everyone is fan of a different team. It’s like a family atmosphere here. I really like that.
How was your time in Colorado and Lake Erie? How was the organization?
That was really good for me. In Lake Erie I was really fortunate to have two good coaches there. David Quinn and David Oliver. I know David Quinn since I’m 17 years old, so we have a pretty good history together. To have him as a coach was amazing, he’s a really good guy. I could talk to him like we are talking right now. And Colorado was awesome too. Obviously, playing in the NHL has always been my goal. Colorado was always one of my favorite teams. My stall was right next to Joe Sakic´s old stall, it was glassed off and everything like that. For me that was very exciting to sit right next to it. I was a little scared to touch it because it was Joe Sakic´s old stall and all. Colorado is a nice place and the fans are great too.
Which player in Colorado did you enjoyed the most to play with?
A lot of them, I guess. It was fun playing with Matt Duchene and guys like that, but probably the most fun I had was playing with Cody McLeod because we played a lot on the 3rd and 4th line together. He always likes to talk a lot on the bench and he’s a funny guy, so I always enjoyed playing with him. And I knew that it will always be a real physical game playing with him and that I had to be ready to play. He made it a lot easier to me to adjust from the AHL to the NHL.
How was it to be called up from the AHL and play your first game for the Avs in the NHL?
That was really good because I have been called up before with other teams but only for a day or so. This time when I got called up I knew that I played really well and that I deserved it. When the coach calls you in his office telling you that you go up you start to feel that all the hard work you put into this finally paid off. The first game was against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team that drafted me, so it was nice to do that and scoring my first goal in that same game was really nice.
What did you like the most about the Avs organization?
I really liked the community where we were located. People recognize you but it’s not so much that it‘s overwhelming. The Avs organization is good about setting things up. I know when I got there I was in a hotel for the two months that I was there, always to care of me, treated me with respect. They were always open with the communication. Letting you know what you have to do or where you have to go. On the whole it’s a first class organization.
What was your most memorable moment in Colorado?
The game against Minnesota at home in Denver. I had a four point night. I scored two goals and two assists and was the 1st star that night. It’s pretty amazing when you go out there and everyone is cheering.
Now back to Switzerland. You play for HC Fribourg-Gottéron. Why did you decide to come and play here?
It was a toss-up ahead, couple of countries to go to and play. And my old coach from the university, Bill Gilligan, used to coach here in Switzerland and Austria and he told me that Switzerland is a good place to go and play. I know that with the import rule only four imports can play (max. 8 imports per team but only 4 can play each game) in other countries such as Germany they have 8 or 9 imports that can play. So if you come here and you can play in the NLA it’s like an honor I guess to be one of those four import players to be on the ice for your team. I’ve been to Switzerland when I was younger and I know I liked it here. And I know from talking to other people like my roommate from college that it would be fun to play here and it’s a nice place to live and I think he’s been right so far.
What’s different from the NLA to the NHL?
The travel wise. Usually it’s a one or two hour bus trip here while in the NHL every team has its own plane and you fly to the games. Here you can sleep in your own bed every night which is very nice. In the NLA you have some sort of routine with the games. They’re almost each week on the same days so you know when you can work out or stuff like that. In the NHL they don’t really care about when the games are so you don’t get your own routine. Then the Hockey itself is different. In America on the smaller ice you get hit a lot more and don’t have that much time to make plays. Here you can keep your speed and more space and time to make your plays.
What are you planning on your future in hockey? Stay here or go back to America?
I hope to play as long as possible until I’m 40 years old or even older! I wouldn’t mind staying over here, I’ve enjoyed it, but if there was a chance to play in the NHL for a full season I’d go back, but as of right now I have my mind set on staying in Switzerland.
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03/11/2012 - 12:00