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Rapid Fire: Florida Panthers center Frank Vatrano

What was the best piece of advice Vatrano got as a kid? Why does he wear No. 72? All that and more in this month's Rapid Fire with Frank Vatrano.

What was the best piece of advice you received?
Work for everything. I was taught that at a young age, and I still use it now. Nothing is given to you in hockey, so you need to work hard for what you deserve.

Was there a player you looked up?
Sidney Crosby. He was becoming a superstar in the league when I was growing up as a kid.

Who was your favorite team growing up?
I was a Bruins fan, so obviously it was a dream come true to start my career (signing with Boston as an undrafted free agent in 2015).

Why do you wear No. 72?
It was given to me as a rookie, and I stayed with it.

Did you have a ‘welcome to the NHL’ moment?
Playing in Montreal my first game. I got hit by Alexei Emelin early in the game and that was a wake-up call.

Is there a part of your game you’d like to improve?
You can always improve your skating and your skill set. The game is so skilled and so fast that the more you can develop those skills, the more successful you’ll be.

What’s the best thing about being in the NHL?
Just the whole life and everything you experience. You spend a lot of time with teammates, on plane rides and road trips. You meet some great people and create a lifetime of friendships.

What’s the worst thing about being in the NHL?
The only downside is you don’t get much rest. Once the season gets going, you’re playing and practicing every day. You wish you had a couple of days off. But you’re working for that one goal, to win the Stanley Cup. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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