Lawson Crouse of the Arizona Coyotes got the chance to sit down with ESPN Australia and talk about the exciting and busy week that the team has ahead of them in Melbourne.
The 26-year-old out of Canada thought that NHL would take him a lot of places, but never did he think he would find himself taking the game of hockey to a new place that is rather unfamiliar with the sport.
“(I) never thought I would be here. I’ve never played in Europe so I thought I would be there before (Australia),” Crouse said “This is fun, this is exciting, it’s an opportunity to play, for everyone that is here to grow the game and play some hockey in a different environment.”
With the heavy turnaround in players this season compared to last, Crouse is considered one of the teams vets. He has recorded 80 goals, 75 assists and 155 points over his seven years for the franchise.
He was excited to shake things up this season with a trip to Australia to get some extra practice in and be one of the first two NHL teams to play in a game in the southern hemisphere.
“I remember last year when the NHL PA came to us and pitched it to us,” Crouse said. “Obviously we had a completely different team last year at the time and we all thought it would be a great opportunity to come over here and thought it would be a lot of fun.”
Crouse haș spent all seven years of his NHL career with the ‘Yotes and knows how much of an edge the heavy amount of team bonding and early start to training camp will give him and his team over their competitors.
“We have pretty much our entire roster here right now,” Crouse said. “For us to be together as a group, get team bonding, especially with the new team that we have, to be able to kind of grow and bond together early is defiantly a big benefit for our group.”
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Taylyn Hadley is a sports and general assignment reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow her on X via @TAYLYNH11.