Mark Friedman is a defenseman for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and formerly the Philadelphia Flyers. We managed to bring him in for a question and answer piece where followers asked questions on our Instagram story for him to respond to.
Q1: How comfortable are you making the jump to a consistent NHL role in the replacement of Cody Ceci, and what do you think you bring to the table?
Friedman: I am very comfortable with making the jump to be a consistent NHL defenseman. I am ready for the opportunity and will work even harder than I currently do to not lose the job. I feel I have been improving every year and can’t wait to get my chance to prove to people that I can be just that. I feel I bring a high-speed compete level game, and I can put up numbers offensively as well.
Q2: What happened in Philadelphia that made the Flyers target you in your first game against them?
Friedman: During the game with the Penguins against ‘Philly, things were just played at a high pace. It’s hockey, and stuff happens.
Q3: What is your take on jersey advertisements? Like or dislike?
Friedman: I think for the sports world in today’s game, jersey advertisements are a great idea.
Q4: What is it like playing with players like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kristopher Letang?
Friedman: Playing with three future Hockey Hall of Famers every day is a true honor. To watch what they do everyday in practice and games is ridiculous and I learn something new everyday.
Q5: How mentally challenging was it with the unique taxi squad situation last season, with lots of training and being in and out of the lineup?
Friedman: It was a difficult year playing with the taxi squad and not playing as much as I would like to, but that is the life of an athlete. You just have to wait for the opportunity and when you get it, don’t look back.
Q6: Do you or other players ever pay attention to analytics? Or is that more of the coaching staff?
Friedman: Some guys pay attention to it, other guys not so much because they get caught up in it.
Q7: You have played in both the NHL and AHL, what would you say the biggest difference is between the two leagues?
Friedman: The biggest difference between the NHL and the AHL is the smarts that guys play with. Everyone is always in the right places.
Q8: What were you thoughts when the Penguins picked you up off of waivers, when they were at the time your biggest rivals?
Friedman: I was super excited. Pittsburgh is one of, if not, the best organization in sports. Great city, great sports tradition, so I was really excited!
Q9: What is your relationship with Ron Hextall, as he drafted you in Philadelphia, and you were his first pick up in Pittsburgh?
Friedman: We have a great relationship. Hexy and I have known each other for almost eight years. He is an awesome guy who knows his stuff. I was very happy when I saw he was calling to claim me off of waivers.