Q&A with Petr Kanko

By John Logue

Right wing Petr Kanko was taken by the Los Angeles Kings in the third round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He has played for the OHL Kitchener Rangers for the last three seasons, and joined AHL affiliate Manchester Monarchs for six games at the end of the 2003-04 season.

Hockey’s Future caught up with Kanko at the Pacific Division Rookie Tournament at Disney ICE
in Anaheim after the final preliminary game.

HF: How did you make the decision to leave the Czech
Republic and come to North America to play hockey at
such a young age?

PK: It was my agent’s idea to come over and give it a
try. I think it’s been a great experience for me. If I
could go back a few years, I would make the same
decision. The European style is different from the
North American. It is different from A to Z. I made a
great choice coming over here.

HF: Was it tough to move so far away from your family
and friends?

PK: The first few months it was hard. The guys on my
junior team helped me a lot.

HF: How would you describe your style of play?
PK: I play hard for 60 minutes, try to help my
team, and score some goals. Or make an opportunity for
a guy to score.

HF: You have a reputation as a practical joker, do you
ever pull any pranks on the guys in the locker room?

PK: I try to keep the guys focused during the game,
but after the game it’s no longer business. If we go
out and do something after the games yes, but during
the game it’s business time.

HF: What do you like about the Kings team that is
playing here at the rookie camp?

PK: I think we’ve got a great group of guys here and
they want to play hard and they want to play hockey
and that’s what it’s all about. We play great as a
team and I think we have a great chance in the finals
tomorrow, I know we are going to compete.

HF: Do you have any pre-game superstitions?
PK: I just try to stay focused and be ready for the
game. Have a lot to drink. I try to get a few hours
of sleep before each game.

HF: I’ve noticed you tuck the back in your jersey into
your pants. Is that a superstition or do you do it so
it’s harder to hook you during the game?

PK: I started doing that during the Memorial Cup in
juniors and it was good luck for me, I am still doing
it hoping it brings me luck.

HF: You had the mohawk during the Memorial Cup a few
years ago. How did you get the idea for to do that?

PK: It was the guys’ idea, I had a little bet with
them that if we win the first playoff game that I
would shave for a mohawk and if we went on to the next
round I would change the color. I think it was good
luck for my team.

HF: So if the Kings make the Stanley Cup finals while
you are playing for them, are we going to see you in a
mohawk?

PK: I am not sure right now. If the guys want to make
a bet for me to do it, I will.

Copyright 2004 Hockey’s Future. Do not duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.