November 26, 2011

Ray Trenton of GetRealHockey Scores an Exclusive Interview with Eric Nystrom of the Dallas Stars

To say the 2011-2012 Dallas Stars season has been a rollercoaster would be the understatement of the year. With ownership changes finally done and a young core building the Stars back into a powerhouse, it's easy to get excited about the future.. something that was frankly scary a year ago. One of the key elements to the on-ice success is the Stars checking line. Eric Nystrom, Vernon Fiddler, and Radek Dvorak have been pressuring opponents up and down the rinks of the National Hockey League.

The son of the NY Islander's 4 time Stanley Cup winner Bob Nystrom, Eric has big shoes to fill. A veteran of the Michigan State Wolverines, Calgary Flames, and Minnesota Wild, Nystrom brings an energy to the Stars locker room that is both welcomed and embraced by his fellow players.

Starting the season with the Minnesota Wild, Nystrom was unexpectedly waived on October 6th, but quickly picked up by the Stars. With something to prove and a newfound energy, Nystrom has excelled. With 9 points, a positive +/- score, and more hits than I can count, Nystrom's contributions to the team have been immediate.

Recently I sat down with left winger Eric Nystrom who was kind enough to answer a few questions about the success of the NyFidRak line (I know, I need to come up with a better nickname), how he's adjusting to Dallas, and a few other questions including one that may settle an age-old dispute!

1) A lot has been made about the Stars 'youth factor' this season, especially with Glen Gulutzan in charge. Is there a noticeable energy in the locker room/on the ice?

Nystrom: There's definitely a noticeable energy both on the ice and in the room! The coaching staff is very positive and that rubs off on us as players. Everyone has a lot of enthusiasm. It's awesome!!

2) Since coming to the Stars, you've already started out on a career-best season. Any special factors leading up to this? Line chemistry?
Nystrom: My linemates have been awesome. We definitely read well off each other. Also, i have a bit of a chip on my shoulder and I'm super motivated to prove myself!!

3) Speaking of line chemistry, it's not often that a checking line is the talk of the league. Any keys to success? I think it's a blessing in disguise that you were picked up on waivers because you've made an immediate impact. Was there much of an adjustment period from being released to being picked up? Did that motivate you even more to put up the strong numbers you have already posted this season?

Nystrom: Devo (Radek Dvorak, RW) Fids (Vernon Fiddler, C) and I all play a pretty straight line, predictable game. Because of that, we know what's on each others minds and we're not guessing! Plus those guys have great speed on the forecheck which is tough for opposing d to handle. I'm very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to play with these guys. It has definitely made the adjustment really smooth. With us its a lot more than putting up points, theres so many small details we pride ourselves in!

4) Since I'm also participating in Movember I'm curious about this one.. on December 1st, are you going to shave or have you and your teammates grown attached to your staches?

Nystrom: I always have the scruff going. I hate shaving!! I'll prob just trim it up since my beard grows so quick.

5) I know you're sick of getting this one but... having lived in both Calgary and Dallas.. settle the score for us. Alberta beef or Texas beef?

Nystrom: I go grass-fed, so wherever that's comin' from is my choice of beef!! thanks Eric Nystrom for his time. Nystrom's Movember page can be found at, and you can keep up with him on Twitter, @enystrom23. I'm also on Twitter, @txhockeyroundup should you want to say hi!

November 26th, 2011
Trenton Ray

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