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SLY NOTES FROM FINLAND

Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 8:35 AM
By Kevin Sylvester - Sabres "Hockey Hotline" Host / SLY NOTES
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SLY NOTES
SLY NOTES FROM FINLAND
- What an experience this trip has been so far!  I had been to Europe before, but only Spain (which was great).  This of course is different of course due to the nature of the trip.  It's been great having. Jochen Hecht, Christian Ehrhoff, Ville Leino, and Teppo Numminen around to give us tips and offer the occasional interpretation.  Each have been helpful to everyone, and you can't help but notice their pride in bringing their team to their native land.

- I know some fans and media question the need start the season in Europe for the NHL Premiere series, and think it doesn't make much sense.  I used to be one of those doubters, but now I see why it's down.  The buzz it has created in both countries the Sabres are visiting has been excellent.  That's great for the league's growth as a global product product, which translates to money in any language.  It's also great for team bonding.  They are together for a week, most facing a common language and cultural barrier.  The North American players also get to experience what life is and was like for European teammates, perhaps giving each other a better appreciation of differences.  Those things can only bring the team closer together.

- I had a chance to interview Ville Leino while walking down the street near our hotel.  He seems like a great guy with a good sense of humor.  We had to trim our time with him as he needed to get to a restaurant early to help prepare for the arrival of all his teammates for some Finnish fair.

- If you're wondering what the Finnish food is like, you'll have to see the piece we filmed at the Herring market in Finland.   I ate a few unusual things.  Those of you that follow me on twitter (@kevsylveter) already know of what I speak.  Sorry no pictures here.

- Interesting to see Jarko Ruutu at Hartwall Arena today.  He's playing for the Helsinki Jokerit.  Someone reminded him about biting Andrew Peters, and his response was that it was the most expensive meal he ever had.

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