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January 18, 1998

Keith Tkachuk


KEITH TKACHUK: He stalled me a couple times, and I got on him. Fortunately, I slipped on by him. I can razz him the rest of the year now.

Q. Did he say anything to you after you did it?

KEITH TKACHUK: No, he didn't say anything.

Q. Keith, how did you like the format of North America versus the World?

KEITH TKACHUK: I thought it was great. I think it was great for fans. It was a good game. I enjoyed playing with some of these guys that I don't normally play with, in the East-West game, I don't usually play with. So it was nice. I think the fans enjoyed it. Fortunately, we won, too.

Q. How about now looking towards the Olympics? A lot of guys you'll be battling against? Did you talk about that at all?

KEITH TKACHUK: No. Everybody knows it's going to happen. When it comes time, to, when they put on the Canadian jersey, we put on the U.S. jersey, there's a lot of pride. It's going to be feisty. That's the way it should be.

Q. Mark Messier, the winning goal. Kind of strange he's not going to be in the Olympics?

KEITH TKACHUK: They can't afford not to have him on that team, he's such a talented player and a great leader. Mark Messier means so much for the game of hockey, he should be there.

Q. Was it fun?

KEITH TKACHUK: I loved it. Different type of game.

Q. Tell me a little about the Olympics. This is an important time for the NHL, especially hockey in the U.S. Also.

KEITH TKACHUK: It's going to be big. It's going to be bigger than the World Cup. The fans are going to get great hockey over there. I think everybody is expecting the U.S./Canada final. Who knows if that will be the case. I think it will be great for hockey.

Q. How big do you think that would be for the sport? Increase the popularity of the game at all?

KEITH TKACHUK: It will help. I think it will definitely help. You can't really compare the NFL and NBA and those things. I think it's going to be great for hockey. Some of the best players in the world are playing. Looking forward to hopefully winning a Gold Medal.

Q. Is it too much hockey in too little time?

KEITH TKACHUK: There's a lot of hockey. We'll be dragging by the end of the year. We'll see.

Q. (Inaudible)

KEITH TKACHUK: It's incredible. It's going to be very emotional.

Q. (Inaudible)

KEITH TKACHUK: Come on, Nickie, you can't make those saves, you have to let us score for once in a while (laughter). Didn't say that. Said, "Come on, Nick." I thought it was a lucky save.

Q. Did you?


Q. Can you imagine what (inaudible) would mean for Teemu? Five goals and an assist.

KEITH TKACHUK: It's hard to say. He's a great player. He showed it tonight.

Q. I know your training regimen (inaudible). How was it playing with him?

KEITH TKACHUK: We had fun.

End of FastScripts....

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