Media can go to Hale

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

Greeted by the media his first day roaming the Calgary Flames dressing room, David Hale was calm and collected.

It appeared dealing with the crush of tape recorders, microphones and cameras was old hat.

Which brought about the question: How much did the newest Flame deal with the media while part of his old squad, the New Jersey Devils?

"Just Telemundo, the Spanish channel," the defenceman stated.

Naturally, the assumption is the product of Colorado Springs is fluent in the language.

"No, not at all. I don't know why me," he replied.

But aren't the Devils one of the few hockey teams with a Spanish-speaking player, and standout at that, in Scott Gomez?

"I think they were just coming over to me until the media wave settled around him. Just trying to kill time," Hale said.

Rest assured, Hale -- acquired just before the trade deadline -- knows he'll likely do more interviews in the Stampede City than ever with the Devils.

He'll face more scrutiny, too, despite the fact he's widely viewed as a depth defenceman.

But that's exciting for the 25-year-old, who has 146 NHL games to his name.

"Going from New Jersey and coming here, the difference is night and day," he said.

"In New Jersey, you are close to the media capital of the world, at least for the United States, but here people know the game. They love the game. I think it's gonna be a great experience."

Hale was chosen 22nd overall in the 2000 draft, held at the Saddledome, The 6-ft. 2-in., 215-pounder was called "the next Scott Stevens," an unfair expectation.

He's not being counted on to crack Calgary's top-four and may not play more than a handful of contests en route to the playoffs.

However, Hale is looking forward to the long-term opportunity that comes with joining a new squad.

"(The Devils) felt it was time to part ways and that's the nature of the business," said Hale, who came with a fifth-round draft choice in exchange for a third-rounder.

"I've been in Jersey for four years. Coming here, you have a whole bunch of new faces and new people to meet. But that's good. It's a fresh start. It's a chance to maybe re-prove myself and the ultimate goal, win a Cup."

That's down the road. For now, Hale is trying to figure out his new home. As for his new teammates, he knows one, Jeff Friesen, with whom he played in New Jersey during Hale's rookie season.

"We'll see if he remembers me, though," he said.

Yesterday, he was getting the lay of the land, having arrived in Calgary hours after the Flames beat Minnesota in a 2-1 shootout Wednesday.

"It was a bit different to learn this is my team now."


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