The venue will be Feldkirch’s Vorarlberghalle, which seats more than 5,000 and was built in 1977. “Everyone there is crazy about ice hockey,” Rossi says of the home of the nine-time Austrian champion and now third-tier club VEU Feldkirch. “They’re singing and cheering there all the time. It’ll be fun.”
“That’s the biggest difference for North America,” he explains. “There they mostly watch the match, but with us we sing and cheer the whole match. I also like the choreography and things like that.
Naturally, Rossi will also act as a host for his teammates and show them the sights and area of his home country. “It’s not the biggest city,” he says of Feldkirch, which has a population of about 36,000 and is the second largest city in the state of Vorarlberg. “But I will probably show them the mountains and climb them. There are many beautiful places with great views. But there are also many culinary features that you can try. We have many good restaurants where they prepare delicious steaks. You can go almost anywhere there. This would be it “My focus.”
Rossi also knows who among his team will particularly like this. “There are some people who aren’t in the mountains that much,” he explains. “They’ll be amazed at how beautiful it is. I can imagine Vinnie Letteri will enjoy it.” The Wild forward grew up in Minnesota.
Rossi also has ideas about which NHL teams he would like to welcome to Feldkirch alongside the Wild. “It will probably be the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings because two Austrian players will be playing there soon. Playing against David Reinbacher and Marco Kasper in Austria would be great.
He has a good opinion of each of his compatriots and believes that they will move to the NHL sooner or later. “We come from the same area because he lives just 20 minutes away from me,” Rossi explains, referring to Reinbacher. “I got to know him better at the World Championships and he’s a nice kid. On the ice he’s very tall and has a long stick. He plays smart and makes good decisions. That makes him difficult to play against.”
He even sees parallels with the development of fellow forward Kasper, as Rossi spent most of the last two seasons on the farm team before becoming an NHL starter this season. “He still has to get used to the style of play in North America,” he continues, talking about Kasper. “It’s different from Europe. He still has to learn how to fight in tight spaces. Europeans are not used to this. It’s a process you have to go through and it’s not necessarily easy. I had to go through this myself too. But he’s working hard and I’m sure he’ll get through That’s in the future.
But back to the World Series in Feldkirch. According to Rossi, the ceremonial disc drop has to be done by a very specific person. “Of course, Wayne Gretzky,” he answers like a shot. “But Pavel Datsyuk would be great too.”
Things get more relaxed again when it comes to the national anthem singer and Rossi adds a special treat. “Andreas Gabalier, I really like him and we heard him in the dressing room before training today,” Rossi says frankly. “We started it off with team building before the season and everyone immediately liked the Hulapalu song. So we played it again today.”
Rossi already has an accurate idea of the outcome of the games against the Canadiens with Reinbacher and the Red Wings with Casper. “Of course we will win, there is no doubt about that.”
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