September 30, 2023

New Polar Bear Captain Kai Weissman: ‘Everyone knows they never want to experience something like this again’

Status: 08/22/2023 at 4:57 PM

After a year in the United States, Kai Weissman is back with the Polar Bears. In Boston he could not assert himself, but in his home ice hockey in Berlin he is the leader. A conversation about a difficult time in North America and its goals.

rbb|24: Mr. Weissman, after a year in the USA, you’re back with the polar bears. Have you settled back in Berlin yet?

Kai Weissman: You’ve settled in really well. My girlfriend and I were here for a couple of months in the summer before we all got together at the start of the season. So we had enough time to prepare and settle into our apartment. I’m glad everything is now up to date and starting over.

What is your impression of the team so far?

It’s only been two weeks and it’s always hard to say, of course. But so far the signings have been great and things are looking good. Everyone arrived fit and worked hard. I’m already looking forward to Sunday, which will be the first endurance test against a big opponent (Polar Bears test against HC Sparta Prague, editor’s note).

How did the Polar Bears struggle last season abroad?

I’ve followed the league in general and of course the polar bears mainly. It was hard sometimes to see, and it took me far even though I didn’t play there anymore.

What needs to be different this year for things to get back to normal?

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We have to pay attention to all the little things. I can’t say much about last year because I haven’t been there. But I think after two tournaments, it’s kind of human. It was an amazing achievement and now I’ve had a year where it’s been even more difficult. Everyone knows they never want to experience something like that again. Everyone wants us to be where we were and have a great season full of wins and fun. And when you win, it really becomes more fun.

So the goal is to play for the championship right back?

I didn’t mean like that. Of course our goal is to win every game. But it is also clear that we will not win every game. We want to make the season positive. And when you get everything out and you have a good team at the end, you want to play for the championship, that’s very clear.

I’m still the same kind of player as before. But with the new experiences and the many coaches I worked with there, I think I’ve improved.

Is there an official goal for the season?

We haven’t talked about it directly yet. After a season like this, we’d better take a step-by-step look, I think. But everyone knows that FC Berlin wants to win titles.

You must have imagined your time in the United States differently. She did not get an NHL game with the Boston Bruins and played exclusively for the Providence Bruins’ farm team in the AHL. How was this experience for you?

were mixed. It was really good in the beginning and I got really good feedback. Then I got infected and was out for a month. After that I didn’t really get involved. However, it is an experience that I was able to take something with me from. That’s the way it works in sport, it’s not always about going up. I learned that in this situation and I’ve grown personally. Living in the US for a year is certainly not harmful.

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Has your playing style changed since leaving Izbarren?

I’m still the same kind of player as before. But with the new experiences and the many coaches I worked with there, I think I’ve improved.

Is the NHL dream forever imploded?

For now, I’m completely focused on the polar bears. But in the long run, I would never say never. If the right opportunity arises, I will try again. But then it has to be a team that has a realistic chance for me. At the end of the season, Boston was the most successful NHL team of all time, I think. So it was not easy to get the chance.

Thank you for this interview.

Interviewed by Lukas Witt from rbb Sport.

Broadcast: rbb24, August 22, 2023, 9:45 p.m