July 2, 2009 :: 10:49am ET
Sbisa looks forward to time in Anaheim
By David Pagnotta
TheFourthPeriod.com

[Toronto, ON] -- Lost in all the hoopla of the NHL Entry Draft and the free agency frenzy that follows are the players traded to new teams.

Only a handful of trades have been completed since the Draft got underway last Friday. One of the players dealt in a major move was 19-year-old defenseman Luca Sbisa, who was packaged along with Joffrey Lupul and draft picks from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Anaheim Ducks for superstar defenseman Chris Pronger.

Sbisa, who played in 39 games with the Flyers last season, registering seven assists and 36 penalty minutes, talked to me about the move.

Here's our conversation:

DP: When and how did you find out about the trade?
LS: I found out about 10 minutes before the draft. I had a missed call from [Flyers GM] Paul Holmgren on my phone at about 4pm and called back about 6:50 pm. The funny thing was I just got in [to Philadelphia] on Friday too!

DP: What was your reaction when you found out? Were you surprised? Did you have any idea you might be traded?
LS: I was really surprised and kinda shocked; I had no clue this would happen. But I that's the business in the NHL and there is nothing I can do about it. I saw my future in Philly but that has changed. I'm really excited and happy about Anaheim.

DP: Talk about your time in Philadelphia. Did you enjoy it? What was your highlight?
LS: It was a great und unforgettable time in Philly. I will always remember Philly and I'll just have good thoughts about it. My career started here, it's an unbelievable place to play hockey in with its fans and its a great organization. They have always treated me great! My highlight was my first NHL game.

DP: Discuss your season, after being sent back how did you react?
LS: Obviously I was really disappointed. I saw myself in that Top-6 [defensive pairing] but hey, that's business again. They told me it wasn't just because I played bad, there were more things involved, but we all just thought it would be best for my development to go back to juniors.
I knew it could happen so I was kinda prepared for it, but it's always bad to get sent back or up to the AHL. I was really excited to play a lot of minutes again and I knew it's just another step of being an NHL player... and most importantly, I think it made me stronger mentally, and a better player.

DP: Have you spoken with anyone from the Ducks yet? If so, who and what did you talk about?
LS: Yes, I talked to a couple of guys. The GM, Bob Murray, told me that they are really excited to have me and they are really looking forward to next season.

DP: When are you going to be going to Anaheim to visit? What are your plans this summer to prepare for next season?
LS: I'm already in Philly because I was supposed to work out here in the summer. I will go as soon as possible to Anaheim to work out there with their guys and I think it's good to get to know everybody and the organization.

DP: Any cool things planned over the summer?
LS: I will spend most of my time in Anaheim, I'm sure there are a lot of good things to do like fishing or just hanging out at the beach, but I heard a lot about their golf courses.

DP: Do you know anyone on the Ducks?
LS: I know a lot of names, like Getzlaf, Perry, Niedermayer, but just personally I know Jonas Hiller who's Swiss, and obviously Joffrey Lupul.

DP: What are your goals for next season?
LS: I've set high goals for myself. I know I shouldn't put too much pressure on myself, but I will take it step-by-step and see how it goes. I want to play in the NHL the whole year and I want to be one of the guys you are gonna miss when he's not playing... breakout season! But like I said, it would be stupid to put too much pressure on myself, but I've always set my goals high and so far I've reached them.


David Pagnotta is the Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Period Magazine and covers the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL for TheFourthPeriod.com. He is also a contributing writer for NBCSports.com and MSNBC. His journals appear throughout the entire season exclusively on TFP.

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