One of the more debonaire gentleman in the National Hockey League, Sir Calvin de Haan speaks like a poet.  He is so proper, courteous, and polite.  Good thing he’s not like that on the ice.  The 12th overall selection by the New York Islanders in 2009—the same year his team chose now-captain John Tavares—de Haan is the diamond in the rough for the Long Islanders.  This d-man is able to contribute both offensively and defensively, on both the power play and the penalty kill, and even scored a goal on this very night:  2/6/2014.  

RK:  What have you learned from the veteran D on the team?

CDH:  I’ve learned to keep things simple, play my game, and try not to do too much.  That’s basically it, and that’s the recipe for success.  Sometimes less is more. 

RK:  How easy has the adjustment been from the AHL to the NHL, do you get better equipment, and what brand of hockey gear to you get to wear?

CDH:  Down in the A[HL], you have to wear Reebok stuff; it’s a league-wide thing.  Here, you can wear whatever.  I prefer to wear Bauer.  Here, everything is a little different.  We travel by plane versus bus [in the AHL], we play games during the week versus in the AHL, the majority of the games are on weekends.  The speed of the game has been the biggest transition on the ice; everything happens just a little bit faster up here.

RK:  After your injuries of the past, how satisfying is it to finally get called up and be a difference-maker for the Islanders.

CDH:  It feels great!  Last year, especially, was a long year.  I played a couple of games last year, and mentally it was depressing, almost.  Well, I’m not saying it was depressing, but it was hard to battle through. 

RK:  My dad’s a psychiatrist; I can completely understand.

CDH:  Oh, good, haha!  But, yeah, as the months went on and I was cleared to do more.  [I was able to] work out a little harder and use more weights, and do everything else like skating, shooting, stuff like that.  Once I spent more time with the team, the transition was a lot easier.  I had a big summer, and I’m here now.  I’d like to think I’m helping the team win and it’s been fun so far. 

RK:  You’ve been called a “versatile” player, and someone to watch, who will blossom into one of the Islanders’ top defensemen.  What’s that analysis mean to you?

CDH:  It’s an honor!  It’s cool to have fans and critics.  The coaching staff pump me up, but at the same time, I have to be humble and keep doing what I do best.  I can’t let my head grow too big with the diva stuff; I’m not like that to begin with, but it’s pretty cool to have nicknames like that and it’s a great honor.

RK:  The PK has recently improved, but the PP still seems insecure.  During the post-Penguins presser a couple weeks ago, coach said, “The guys were trying too hard and waiting for ‘the perfect play’ and waiting too long, over-thinking it.  If you’re going to be successful on the PP, you move the puck and you shoot.”  Is that a fair assessment or are those directions easier said than done?

CDH:  It is a fair assessment, and I also do think it’s a bit of both.  Sometimes just putting pucks on net in the power play is always a safe thing to do.  It creates opportunities and scrambles.  But at the same time, it’s easier said than done because sometimes things aren’t going your way on a given night, maybe you’re not getting the bounces.  You could have four open nets in a game, but miss all four of them:  that’s just hockey.  On a power play, keeping things simple and putting pucks on net once in a while is not a bad thing.

RK:  Do you guys have any side bets going on; Team Canada wins the Gold, you make Fransy wear a Canadian jersey?

CDH:  Haha, that’s not up to me.  I don’t bet on sports and stuff like that.  Some guys might have some stuff, but I can’t really spill the beans on that.  Me?  Nah.  I’m lookin’ forward to [the Olympics], though!  It’ll be a good time.  I love the Olympics; every sport is pretty cool to watch and it’ll be fun!