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Translating for Tryamkin; D-man Pedan helping fellow Russian adjust to life in Vancouver
24 марта 2016 года. Ziemer, Brad. The Vancouver Sun
Andrey Pedan is happy to help because he knows better than most what Nikita Tryamkin is going through.
A few years ago, Pedan left Russia to play junior hockey with the Guelph Storm of the OHL. He had taken some English lessons before leaving home, so he had some of the basics down.
Still, there were challenges.
"One day a teammate says to me, 'what's up,' " Pedan said with a laugh. "I had no idea what that means. Afterwards, I picked up some of the slang and within four months I was pretty comfortable with having a conversation, but not as comfortable as now."
He knows Tryamkin, with very limited English, is facing a considerably more difficult challenge and that's why he's eager to help. Pedan is serving as Tryamkin's translator and trying to help him adjust to his new life with the Canucks. The two rookie defencemen, who had never met before, both joined the team earlier this month - Tryamkin straight from the KHL, Pedan from Utica in the AHL - and have quickly become friends.
"We didn't know one another until a week or so ago," Pedan said. "We get along good and it is always nice to have a guy from the same country. You have the same mentality and stuff."
Pedan says communication is the biggest obstacle for a player like Tryamkin.
"It is one of the simpler things in life, communication, to be connected to other people," he said. "That is how you build a team, that is how you stay close. It doesn't matter how much skill you have, if everybody is going in a different direction you are not going to get anywhere.
"So it's difficult for him because he can't really describe what he wants to say. That is one of the biggest things. Hockey-wise it is more just about adjusting to the smaller ice."
Pedan probably didn't have to offer much help to Tryamkin on Wednesday night, when the Canucks had a free night on the road. Nashville is one of those places that doesn't require much in the way of translation. You just point toward the honkytonk bars on Broadway and say, in Russian, "have fun."
Both Pedan and Tryamkin seem to be settling in with the Canucks. Tryamkin, in particular, has been getting increased ice time. He logged nearly 21 minutes in Winnipeg on Tuesday night, is playing with more poise and making good use of his huge wingspan to break up plays.
Pedan has been getting thirdpairing minutes. He logged just 11:14 on Tuesday night. Pedan said he also has been welcomed by his new Canuck teammates.
"The guys here make it comfortable," he said. "The first time I got called up I felt like I would be on my own, but guys take care of you. It's a great group here. It is easy to feel comfortable here. But you don't want to get too comfortable."
SEEN THIS MOVIE: Like the rest of his teammates, rookie Alex Grenier was mightily impressed with the play of goalie Jacob Markstrom in Tuesday night's 2-0 loss in Winnipeg. But Grenier was not surprised, saying he has seen it many times before.
"Last year in Utica he was the main reason we made it to the Calder Cup (final)," Grenier said.
"He has played lots of good games for us," added head coach Willie Desjardins. "You look at how far he has come this year and it's a good thing. Going into the start of the year we didn't really know what we had. But this whole year he has played well."
HANSEN BACK: There was some good news on the injury front Wednesday, but some bad as well.
Jannik Hansen, who has missed the last 11 games with a rib injury, practised with the team and skated on the top line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
"Hopefully I can get back in tomorrow and get a chance to play," said Hansen, who is second on the team with 19 goals. "It took a little longer that I'd like it to, but sometimes that's the way it is."
Now the bad news. Daniel Sedin left practice early and Desjardins did not have an update on his status after practice. Winger Sven Baertschi did not practise at all after blocking a shot in Tuesday night's game in Winnipeg.
The other forward lines in practice Wednesday had Bo Horvat with Derek Dorsett and Jake Virtanen, Linden Vey between Alex Burrows and Emerson Etem and Jared McCann centring Brendan Gaunce and Chris Higgins.
Dorsett practised Wednesday after missing four games with an injury. If he can't play Thursday night, Grenier would likely take his spot.