1 Sep, Thu

Moscow (19:00)

2 Sep, Fri

Ekaterinburg (17:00)

2 Sep, Fri

Chelyabinsk (17:00)

2 Sep, Fri

Mytishchi (19:00)

2 Sep, Fri

Sochi (19:30)

3 Sep, Sat

Moscow (13:00)

3 Sep, Sat

Balashikha (14:00)

3 Sep, Sat

Minsk (16:30)

3 Sep, Sat

Saint Petersburg (17:00)

3 Sep, Sat

Moscow (17:00)

3 Sep, Sat

Nizhny Novgorod (18:00)

4 Sep, Sun

Ekaterinburg (14:30)

4 Sep, Sun

Chelyabinsk (14:30)

4 Sep, Sun

Mytishchi (17:00)

4 Sep, Sun

Sochi (17:00)

5 Sep, Mon

Balashikha (19:00)

5 Sep, Mon

Moscow (19:00)

5 Sep, Mon

Minsk (19:10)

5 Sep, Mon

Moscow (19:30)

5 Sep, Mon

Saint Petersburg (19:30)

TG: I went out for dinner my first week with the imports who had been around the league. I was almost like a kid in a candy shop, to be honest. I felt like I was in Europe—the buildings and the people, the food, everything. It really hit home that I was playing overseas. I think to have an opportunity to play hockey in Minsk is something that is really cool. We have so many fans at the rink, and I was so surprised by the passion here.

GK: Those Minsk fans expect a lot out of your team. 

TG: Yeah, they do. I don't know if it's good or bad that I don't really understand Russian that much, but they bring the noise and they bring the energy every game. It's great because in the minors, in the AHL, many leagues—you don't see that.

GK: Any “lost in translation” moments yet? 

TG: Oh, every day for sure. Try ordering just a glass of red wine, and you get white wine—but I've learned a lot! I’ve watched a few movies or tv shows with Russian characters, and I was like, “Oh, wow. I’ve picked up on it.” This whole experience has been really cool from a human standpoint.

GK: You have won two sportsmanship awards, which is the highest compliment you can receive in any sport—in my opinion. Did you have a coach or mentor who enforced that quality growing up?

TG: I think that just comes from my parents. I was raised to be the nice kid, and to play with respect and integrity. Sometimes it bites you in the butt too. You want to have that edge when you play the game, especially when you get to pro. I won those when I was in junior hockey, but when you get to pro hockey, it becomes more than a game. At the same time, I don't think there was any coach that instilled that in me. From a young age, my parents really instilled kindness and it elevated into my game.

GK: I saw that your Dad played. It sounds like your parents played a big role in your road to the pros. 

TG: They both had a lot of passion for the game. I think they just saw that I was really good at it. My Dad made a backyard rink when I was three years old, and he played hockey. He played as a role for the Cornwall Royals and Team Canada. He won two Memorial Cups. I always say that he met my mom and then stopped playing because they fell in love and wanted to start a family. I think they just saw how much fun I had playing, and I haven't stopped since.

GK: Who were some of your idols growing up? 

TG: I didn't watch too much hockey. I was raised in Brampton, Ontario, so we went to a lot of Brampton Battalion games. I would watch players like Jason Spezza and Matt Duchene and even Cody Hodgson. I'll never forget going to those junior games and seeing how great they performed every night. It was such a thrill. I'll never forget playing against Jason Spezza and these players when I made it to the NHL. I tried to take parts of their game and add them to mine. I guess those were my idols.

GK: How do you keep busy on the long road trips? 

TG: The imports love playing cards, so we'll play Shnarps on the plane. We have so much fun playing cards at times that after the 10–12 hour flight, we're almost like, “Ah, too soon.” That's really nice.

GK: I remember that the Scandinavians on Loko got really competitive with Shnarps. Do you have any clear winners? 

TG: We have many Swedish guys and a couple of Czech guys. They all think they've invented the game by the way they play! It balances out though. There are some road trips when some guys go home with a big paycheck, but by the next road trip, they end up owing a lot.