Flyers' Czech winger Jakub Voracek 'hopes and believes' athletes will be safe in Sochi
Notebook: ‘Obviously it’s a dangerous situation but I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be good security in Sochi’
VANCOUVER — Potential Olympians on the Philadelphia Flyers expressed the belief Monday that airtight security will keep them safe from suicide bombers or other terrorist acts during February’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
But are they concerned? Totally.
“I think in today’s world you have to be worried about everything, because you never know,” said forward Jakub Voracek, a native of the Czech Republic. “You have suicide bombs going off over there. You have people going into schools and shooting kids. I mean, the world is all (screwed) up this way. It’s crazy the way some people think.
“Obviously it’s a dangerous situation but I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be good security in Sochi. I’m sure the Russians will make sure nothing is going to happen. I hope so and I believe so.”
Voracek, 24, admitted he is concerned for the safety of all people in Sochi, not just those who will be competing.
“Obviously you have to be careful but there is nothing you can do if you go and buy a coffee and some crazy people walk in and bomb the place,” he said. “I mean, that’s what happens in today’s world. It’s going a little crazy, in my opinion, right now. It’s tough. But it is what it is.”
Barring injury, Flyers defenceman Kimmo Timonen will be appearing in his fifth Olympics in Sochi. The 38-year-old Finn expects the athletes will be tightly wrapped in a security bubble.
“When the Olympics start, probably the security is going to be pretty good there, at least I’m hoping it is,” he said. “Obviously you never went to see that (suicide bombers). It’s not good news. There are people out there who want to do something bad to other people. But I’m not too worried about it. It’s kind of out of my hands.”
Flyers captain Claude Giroux, a possibility for Team Canada, said he had faith that the security detail will keep people safe.
“Obviously (the bombings) are not something you like to see and it’s kind of dangerous for the athletes,” he commented. “But I’m sure they’ll do a good job of protecting everybody and making sure everybody is having a good time.”
WHAT’S BRUIN? New Flyers head coach Craig Berube should be a familiar name to junior hockey fans in Metro Vancouver. Berube played two seasons with the New Westminster Bruins from 1983-85 and rode shotgun for Cliff Ronning and Brian Noonan on the 1984-85 team. Ronning netted 197 points that year, Noonan had 116 and Berube added 69 points along with 191 penalty minutes.
“I was fortunate to play with two really good skilled guys and I collected a lot of points that way,” Berube chuckled. “I had to that other job, protecting them, which was OK, too.”
Coaching, he noted, wasn’t in his blood back then and was an acquired taste.
“I don’t think I ever thought about coaching until my last couple of years of playing, really,” explained Berube, 48. “I played with Dale Hunter in Washington and we used to talk about it a lot, and about hockey a lot, and I think that’s kind of where I started thinking about it.”
His philosophy is simple: compete and good things are bound to happen.
“You’re not going to win all the game obviously but, for the most part, if your team is working hard and following the system and competing hard enough, you’ll get your wins,” he said.
QUOTABLE: “Sami Salo and me in Sochi? We’ll see. A couple of almost retired defencemen playing together? We’ll see. We’ll see.” — Kimmo Timonen, 38, on the prospect of lining up alongside Sami Salo, 39, for the Finnish Olympic team.
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