Snapshot follows slapshots

AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

For some of the teams in the world hockey championship, the experience is more important than the result.

For many of the players, the opportunity to compete against world-class players, especially the Canadians, is the highlight of their careers.

Even so, it came as a bit of a surprise to Canadian goaltender Martin Brodeur yesterday when his opposite number from Ukraine, Konstantyn Simchuk, asked him during the post-game ceremony if Brodeur would consent to having the two of them photographed together.

This is not the kind of request that opposing players make. At one time, interaction was almost non-existent, but in recent years, it's not too unusual for a star to be asked by an opposing player if he can have a stick as a souvenir.

Sometimes, a player might to ask have his stick autographed by a noteworthy opponent. But a post-game picture is definitely out of the norm.

But Brodeur, one of the more affable players in the game, agreed to the request and followed Simchuk to the Ukraine bench.

On the way, he chatted briefly. "I asked him if he'd ever been drafted," Brodeur said, "but he hadn't. He's 31 years old."

Still, even Brodeur wanted to keep the camaraderie within limits.

"As we're posing for the picture," he said, "I could sort of see out of the corner of my eye that some other guys on the team were kind of gathering around and I figured they might all want to have their picture taken.

"So I just kept looking down and not making eye contact and as soon as the picture had been taken, I left."


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