SUN Hockey Pool

Gerber enjoyed KHL experience

Robert Tychkowski, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:41 PM ET

EDMONTON - Take away the shady-looking guys in black leather jackets and Martin Gerber rather enjoyed most of his KHL experience.

Not so much that he was willing to play there forever, but it was fun while it lasted.

Theres some really good stuff and theres also some bad stuff, said Gerber. You have to be kind of open and dont ask too many things. Language is a huge challenge over there. Things can get really, really complicated. Its a different lifestyle, thats for sure.

And the famous Russian henchmen?

Lots of those, he said. I think it looks scarier than it is sometimes, but sometimes you also think to yourself, Holy crap, what did I get into here?

Hes out of it now, having signed on with the goalie-heavy Oilers this summer.

I just want to get a chance to go somewhere and have the opportunity to show I can play, he said. Thats all I was looking for. I always said I wanted to try the Russian thing, I always wanted to do it and it just happened to fall in place last year. But I said if theres a chance to go back Ill definitely go back.

Its a crowded crease, with four guys currently in the same blue paint, but Gerber, 36, is staying away from the math.

I dont really think about it too much, Im just trying to take the opportunity that I have, put everything out there and let management decide whats going to happen.

I dont think its up to me to really think too much and try to figure it out. I just put a good effort forward and see how it goes.

Hes the second-oldest player in camp (four months younger than Nikolai Khabibulin), but says the Russian stint truly sharpened his skills.

Its a different game there, tons of speed and lots of passing, he said. As a goalie its really challenging, not to over-commit to the shot. You had to improve your lateral movement. It wasnt on the level of the NHL, but it was challenging in the way that it was played.