Translations by Tomas Jandik
Hlinka Interview - Blesk - 6-Sep-01
(Interview conducted at the Prague International Airport, just before Hlinka's boarding)
Werenít you afraid that you would miss the plane due to the threat of the pilot strike?
Not at all. According to my information I wasnít supposed to be affected by it. I was OK.
You donít have much luggage with you. Why so few pieces?
I am returning back with just what I brought with me here. And actually, the biggest bag contains just my golf clubs. And I am not sending any big boxes, either. And hopefully, I wonít even have to for quite some time.
In other words, you expect to stay in your position. But Pittsburgh lost Jagr and a few others, and they havenít made any big trades. Wonít you be a weaker team?
I believe not. Of course, one canít predict everything in advance. But we will be able to form the team until March, as long as trades are allowed. We will miss players like Jarda, thatís a sure thing. Sometimes it just happens that the budget will not allow you to get such players.
Jagr admitted in his interview for Sundayís TV talk show ďStraight ShotĒ that one of the reasons he left were his conflicts with you. Did you see it?
For anybody who sits there, it is extremely difficult to withstand the brutal forechecking of that reporter. To a certain degree, such a pressure isnít fair. Jarda was answering quite rationally.
So there is some truth in it?
In life, people have different opinions, and they communicate with each other. There can be conflicts; even married couples sometimes fight even though they deeply love one another. I donít think that Jarda gets any rash because of me, and neither do I.
Did they offer you to be Jagrís opponent on that show?
Yes, but I did not think it would be appropriate to create a big theater for the cameras.
As a GM of the Olympics team, you are responsible to watch the Czech players. How will you manage that during the season?
As the coach of the Penguins, it is my responsibility to watch all the good players. And the Czechs will no doubt play well. Iíll know enough about them.
What will you enjoy the least back in America?
Basically, I know what I got into. During that year and a half, I have already found out how hard and difficult a season can be, how it tastes. So I just wish to have more ups than downs during that upcoming long season, and I hope we will be able to enjoy it as well.
Did you manage to do everything you planned during the summer?
The summer was quite chaotic because of the renovation of my house. So I spent my time among bricks, mortar, and mud.
Were you helping or just supervising?
Basically, I was just looking; I did not want to slow down the speed.
Tomas Jandik is the resident Czech on LetsGoPens.com and is a man who unifies all the goodies of the American dream - meaning, of course, being a Pitt graduate, a Razorback, and a Penguins fan.
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