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Getting To Know: Michael Raffl

In this week's Getting To Know, Michael Raffl talks about the first famous player he remembers meeting, missing an empty net and heaps some praise on teammate Jakub Voracek.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Status: Philadelphia Flyers left winger

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 195 pounds

DOB: December 1, 1988 In: Villach, Austria

First Hockey Memory: "Tough one, I don't even remember how I started playing so [smiles], probably watching my dad (Peter) play."

Hockey Inspirations: "My dad and my brother (Thomas)."

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: "What is famous? Like NHL-wise? (In your country, whatever.) I grew up around the arena so I always know all the players from hanging around there. Gino Cavallini. He used to be like a big import back at home. I loved watching him. I was young, he was by far the best player in the league. And was really a huge guy, (he played) with a small stick with a big curve. I kinda liked his style."

Greatest Sports Moment(s): "Playing in the NHL."

Most Painful Moment: "Every single injury I ever had I think is painful for itself. In different kinds of ways, so..."

Most Memorable Goal: "First NHL goal I think. Against Ottawa, in Ottawa. Just followed up on a kinda weird rebound, and I put it in. I don't know how it just bounced, kinda bounced in somehow."

Fiercest Competitors Encountered: "Claude Giroux maybe. Most competitive guy I've ever seen."

Favorite NHL Uniforms: "The Flyers [chuckles]. (Number two?) I don't know... my hometown team Villach, it's blue and white."

Favorite Rinks To Play In: "I love to play here at the Wells Fargo Center. And back home. I wish I can go back to play for my hometown team sometime. Or it will be when I'm done here, I'm pretty sure I'm going to go back there."

Embarrassing Hockey Memory: "Yeah, I actually missed an open net here, home ice. Bounced and I missed the open net. Thought it was gonna be an easy goal. Chipped it there, got slashed a little bit, and the goalie jumped out from behind the net - saved it. So it was kinda of a highlight everywhere. I was, like, the guy who missed it. So it was kind of embarrassing (vs Nashville)."

Strangest Game: "No, not that I remember... Nothing weird happened to me, man [smiles]."

Current Car: "Audi S7. (Color?) All black, black rims, black windows [smiles]."

Last Book Read: "Michael Jordan biography."

Last Vacation: "Italy."

Funny Hockey Memory: "Oh, every day there's something out there that makes me smile. But I can't think of a good one to tell you. If I think of one I will tell you."

Why Do You Love Playing Hockey: "Because it's the best sport in the world. It's got everything - it's got physicality, it's exciting, it's catching you when you watch it, it's tough. It's got everything."

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "Tennis."

Funniest Players Encountered: "From this team now? Or ever? (Both.) I love having fun so ... I think it's Jakub Voracek and Ryan White and Zac Rinaldo."

People Qualities Most Admired: "Just sense of humor and being willing to help all the time. I don't know the word in English."

Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: "Roger Federer, Tiger Woods and Jake Voracek - and maybe we should pick an Austrian [smiles]... Dominic Thiem (top 20 ATP tennis player)."

Mark Scoop Malinowski's latest books "Facing Nadal" and "Muhammad Ali: Portrait of a Champion" are available at Amazon.

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