Having never been to Asia, former NHLer Ric Jackman wasn't prepared for that speed when he signed last year with Asia League Ice Hockey's Anyang Halla, the top pro team in South Korea.
"The hockey is a lot better than what I expected, definitely. They're great skaters. Their game is a lot faster than what I was used to," said Jackman, who played 231 NHL games with six teams. "That was one of the areas I had to improve on in the preseason. Getting faster and losing a few pounds. It was definitely an eye opener in training camp."
Former NHL player Ric Jackman has found stability in the Asia League, helping raise the profile of ice hockey in South Korea.
After winning the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007, Jackman spent three years playing in Europe before suiting up for 16 games with the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies in 2010. Looking to enjoy the last few years of his career in one place, the defenseman accepted a three-year offer from Anyang, which in 2010 became the first Korean club to win the Asia League title.