MANNHEIM, GERMANY - MAY 20: Dennis Endras of Germany celebrates after the IIHF World Championship quarter final match between Germany and Switzerland at SAP Arena on May 20, 2010 in Mannheim, Germany. (Photo by Thorsten Wagner/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Goaltending prospect Dennis Endras was interviewed by the German website SPOX.com recently. In the interview, he covered a range of topics from preparation for the coming season to some thoughts on the Wild. Since the original interview is in German,I pumped it through Google Translate, only to find what I thought would be the case. It was choppy and difficult to grasp the full meaning of what Endras and the interviewer were discussing.
We are lucky enough to have a translation from Jennifer Conway, aka @NHLHistoryGirl to make it much more clear for us. After the jump, the translated interview as it pertains to the Wild.
Before we go much further, let me just state that SBN has clarified the rules for foreign translation use after the PPP / Toronto Sun... um... incident. I sent an email to the company that owns SPOX.com, but did not receive a reply, likely because my German looked an awful lot like English. Thus, the entire interview is not used here, only a handful of quotes from it.
Trust me when I say the bulk of the interview has more to do with how he feels about Augsburg's chances, and if he is excited to be back on the ice (in other words... fluff).
Without further delay, Dennis Endras via SPOX.com:
SPOX: You are walking into your very last season with DEL, and next year you jump to the NHL with the Minnesota Wild. You have already signed a contract. Does that make it difficult to focus full attention on the DEL?
Dennis Endras: Absolutely not. I have one more year under contract. I knew this before, regardless of a NHL contract. I am concentrating normally on the new season and not ahead to next year. I even hope it will inspire the NHL contract a little.
SPOX: The move to the NHL is a completely different level and in Nik Backstrom you have strong competition. Was it made clear from the beginning that you are only the backup or do those in charge in Minnesota trust you more?
DE: I don't really care about which NHL team it is. Every team has a good goalie, and I have to play back-up first of course. That is the next step in my career. I hope I can make the most of it and break through. Maybe someday I will be a #1 goalie in the NHL. More than that I don't think about yet, I'm concentrating first on Augsburg.
SPOX: Would you be prepared to play in the minor leagues?
DE: I imagine every player must go through it. That would be ok. I hope that I can play well in the spotlight.
SPOX: They've already had the Minnesota Wild rookie camp and you and your colleagues were able to get to know the city. What impression do you have?
DE: The first impression was very positive. Minnesota is a very beautiful city. The manager and the entire coaching staff were very nice and greeted me immediately. I didn't feel that I didn't belong or that those in charge would be arrogant just because they come from the NHL. The entire setting passed.
SPOX: What is your current communication with MN? Do you make calls regularly with those in charge?
DE: Of course we have contact, but it remains limited. Sometimes I have to contact the secretary because some documents are needed from me. Sport is discussed little, and they let me play in peace. The goalie
coach comes two or three times a year to Augsburg, he observed and worked with me, which is not bad.
SPOX: We heard sometime before that Backstrom is seriously injured and backup Josh Harding was suffering losses. Was there a chance you could have gone to MN previously?
DE: Honestly, I did not know about this at all. Naturally, it was declared I would not come even this far. But when it happens, you don't actually know what happened. I hope to get quite a few games in the NHL. But now it's all uncertain.
SPOX: the Minnesota Wild have made guest performances for two competitive matches and a friendly game in Europe. Will you be there too?
DE: Yes, it is definitely planned that I will fly to Finland to get to know the team better and breathe in the NHL. My exact role is not yet clear.
SPOX: After your impressive achievements, you certainly had not just one offer from the NHL. Why, precisely, did you choose MN?
DE: It's true that I had conversations with many NHL clubs. My intention was to only play one more year in Augsberg, I have to thank the club and the city very much. The fact that Minnesota was the only team willing
to take me now while I'm under contract to Augsberg was decisive in this case. Moreover, it's also that you just feel better about certain people more than others.
After talking to Endras briefly at development camp, and now with this interview, it is clear that Endras expects to be here in North America after his German season ends. Whether that ends up being a stint in Houston, or if he comes straight to Saint Paul is yet to be determined. He seems to understand his role in the Wild organization, and seems fully focused on the season at hand with Augsberg.
The question about Backstrom being "seriously injured" caught me a bit off guard. If Harding had continued to struggle, and Backstrom could not have come back, would the Wild have really sent fro Endras to come over, mid season, with no North American experience at all? I find that difficult to believe, especially with some NHL back-ups available for trade, and Khudobin, Dubie, and Brust all available in Houston. I think Endras seeing the NHL last season would have been a pipe dream at best.
It is certainly interesting watching the goalie drama play out behind Niklas Backstrom. Harding is not going to be around, Anton Khudobin, Matt Hackett, and now Endras all seem to be fighting to be the heir apparent, and the Wild have to be hoping that they have a three way race for who takes the reigns after Backstrom. Certainly having too many goalies is better than not having enough.