Kelly Hrudey is being honored on Legends Night at Staples Center this evening, and after this morning’s skate I chatted with British Columbia native Colin Fraser to learn about of some of his legends growing up, as well as playing against a particular Calgary Flames icon who will oppose L.A. tonight. We also discussed ways to disrupt the mobile Flames defense.

On whether he ever got to know Jarome Iginla:
“The only time I ever met him away from hockey was at the PA meetings in New York. We were on the same flight and took a car to New York. He’s a nice guy, you know? It’s kind of what-you-see, what-you-get on TV and interviews. When I played in Red Deer watching him, he was one of my favorite players. It’s self-explanatory. The guy’s a heck of a player, right? One of those Flame legends, I guess you could say – or will be, one day.”

On playing against Iginla:
“He first and foremost plays the game hard, and he’s got a lot of skill, obviously, to go with it. He’s scored 500 goals for a reason. He’s been their captain forever and he’s their leader. You’ve got to definitely respect him, but at the same time you’ve got to play him hard and play him straight up. You can’t give him too much respect, because he’ll pick you apart if you do.”

On any favorite goaltenders of his, considering Kelly Hrudey is being honored:
“Growing up watching, I was a Canucks fan. In the ‘94 Stanley Cup run…Kirk McLean stood on his head, really. Twice they were down three-games-to-one and came back and won in Game 7. They lost to the Rangers in the finals, but Kirk McLean was the guy that sticks out in my mind as one of those magical runs where he was stopping everything. He was on fire.”

On whether he wore #16 growing up, as many British Columbians did to honor Trevor Linden:
“I did. That was my number my whole life. I wore 16 all through minor hockey until I went to junior and I didn’t get to pick. They just kind of gave us our numbers. Trevor Linden – he was my favorite player. Always. Always has been. He’s a great player. He wasn’t the best player, per se, but in Vancouver he’s a huge deal, and still is even though he’s retired. People still talk about Trevor Linden. He’s just an icon down there, really.”

On what made Linden such a legend:
“I don’t know. He was just one of those guys that was always in the public doing appearances or charity events. Stuff like that. I’ve never really met him past ‘Hi, how’s it going,’ but he’s just a good person, really, and a good leader. Good in the community. I guess one of those faces you saw on TV all the time, and as a Canucks fan, I just really took a liking to him. I was really young when I liked him, and I just stuck with it the whole way.”

On the keys towards playing against a mobile defense, such as Calgary’s:
“I think on the forecheck you’ve got to finish your checks. It doesn’t necessarily mean putting guys into the third row, but have to be physical on them in the sense that they can’t jump by and get up the ice. You eliminate them in their end so they have 200 feet to go. If you give them room to skate, they’re going to jump in the play and create three-on-twos, or even four-on-threes, even when you have numbers back. Especially in the new NHL, it seems like a lot of teams want their D-men jumping up to create those odd-man rushes, and Calgary has a lot of offensive guys to do that.”

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