Getting To Know: Kevin Klein

In this week’s Getting To Know, New York Rangers blueliner Kevin Klein talks about one of the strangest shootouts, getting beaten by Pavel Datsyuk and practicing against Patric Hornqvist, which can be a tough task.

Status: New York Rangers defenseman.

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 200 pounds

DOB: Dec. 13, 1984 In: Kitchener, Ontario

Early Hockey Memory: “Was probably just driving to the rink early morning with my parents. I was probably six or seven. That I can remember. That’s what started it all, get those early mornings. And I was lucky enough to continue on with my career.”

Hockey Inspirations: “Not really. I just loved the game, I just had fun growing up. I didn’t really take it too seriously as a kid. I just went out and had fun. I played a few sports. Inspiration just would be my dad – him working hard to give us the opportunity to play.”

Last Book Read: “Would probably be… Done.”

Current Car: “Tesla, save the world, baby [laughs]. (Color?) Gray, four-door.”

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: “Bobby Orr. He was an agent at the time. I was fifteen when I met him.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “First NHL hockey game (2006 with Nashville).”

Most Painful Moment: “Losing in the playoffs the last two years (in Stanley Cup finals and Conference Finals), definitely.”

Funniest Players Encountered:Marc Staal. Wade Belak.”

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Toughest Competitors Encountered:Patric Hornqvist. Him and I used to battle all the time in practice too, he loves to use that stick.”

Favorite NHL Uniforms: “Who has the nicest uniforms…we do for sure. (Number two?) Classic…I guess I gotta go with the Leafs. Grew up watching them.”

Most Memorable Goal: “Probably playoff goal against Detroit.”

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: “Golf.”

Embarrassing Hockey Memory: “[Laughs] Where do I start [laughs]. Probably (Pavel) Datsyuk stripping me from behind and then deking our goalie. That was a good one.”

Strangest Game: “Probably the shootout thing last season, where we had to come back on the ice, get our stuff back on, come out against Pittsburgh. That was the weirdest.”

Why Do You Love Playing Hockey: “It’s fun. The guys. That’s the one thing I know I’ll miss after my career is just being around the guys, being on the road. You can’t replicate that.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “Kindness. And work ethic.”

Mark “Scoop” Malinowski’s latest book “Facing Nadal: Symposium Of A Champion” is available at Amazon.