When Radek Martinek was growing up in then-Czechoslovakia, pro hockey teams wore stuff like this.
As part of their evolving (and honestly, usually progressive) social media outreach, the Islanders solicited questions via Twitter for Radek Martinek to answer. As you likely know, that means each answer (unless broken up) is 140 characters or less.
While I'm far from the world's biggest disciple of brevity -- see how I just took 10 words to say "I'm wordy"? -- 140 characters is a challenge for even the simplest thoughts beyond "Help!" "Fire!" and "OMG i saw justin bieber!!! #faintsforcelebrities"
So to help clear things up, we present expanded translations of Martinek's Twitter answers. Or, what we think he would have said with more than 140 characters to work with:
CurtisP11 Radek, Who was your favourite player and team when growing up? Did you always want to play in the NHL growing up?
Martinek: Growing up in Europe I didn't know many NHL players. I looked up to Fetisov (Russian D) and Paul Coffey later on. I remember having a picture of the Capitals. I liked the name! I just wanted to play hockey. My NHL goal came much later.
Translation: You know my childhood was spent behind the Iron Curtain, right? Satellite TV was for Party members only, NHL exposure was sparse, Petr Klima was a (luxury-addicted) rarity. Punishment for casting longing eyes toward the West was severe. The Czech team I played for used to wear jerseys that looked like this:
Iron Curtain hockey: Where every team gets a red star
katieescee Radek, what was your favorite season that you played with the islanders?
My first season was my favorite (06-07). We made the playoffs at the last possible moment and I got to be part of it.
Translation: My first season after emancipation from the reign of Milbury was my favorite. We made the playoffs and we had a GM determined not to repeat past mistakes. [Either the above was a typo, or Marti refuses to acknowledge any seasons before Milbury. Or maybe Twitter is restraining him.]
DOhockey11 Martinek, what has been your most memorable moment as a New York Islander?
In my first season when I got to see Trottier's number hung up in the Coliseum. That was something.
Translation: [a-HA! I think our previous translation was right. Martinek's first season was 2001-02, when Trots' #19 was finally retired.] My first season, when we started hot, made the playoffs, celebrated history, and I was blissfully unaware of what the next decade would be like.
matcat1116 Radek, how's the knee feel? Think you're ready to show full potential at camp this year?
My knee is at 100%. Yes, I'm completely ready.
Translation: It took three questions before someone brought up my knee? Impressive. I'm fully ready -- not like DiPietro "ready," but Martinek ready, which is to say genuinely 100% healthy before the hockey gods smite me yet again with some health misfortune I do not deserve unless I really, really tortured someone in a previous life and do not remember it.
DanKarell15 What kind of work are you doing to get back on the ice?
Now I'm doing regular training. I don't have any limits. Rehab started 2 days after surgery with the bike, etc.
Translation: Have you ever done physical therapy? I have. Like every other year. It's grueling, monotonous, and takes forever. FOREVER. And I've been doing it since last winter, while a third of my teammates have changed over. You want to smack your PT every morning. You start to dream about making your therapist do 1,000 lunges while you shout, "Push! PUSH!" and sip on a pina colada while wearing a "no pain, no gain" t-shirt. You have NO IDEA how ready I am to play a meaningful game again. ... What was the question again?
chipper39 How did it feel to win Gold in the World Championships with the Czech national team in 2001?
Wow. 2001 seems like such a long time ago! It felt great. It's always nice to win.
Translation: Thank you for bringing up a Milbury-era moment that doesn't involve Milbury. Bless you, chipper, it was lovely.
I like to work out. Especially road biking with a group of racers when I go home to visit.
Translation: I have to laugh when people in the U.S. say "share the road" with bikes. In Czech Republic, the biking roads are two-lane and lined with trees that loom over the road like executioners. If a autobus -- which does not "share" -- pushes you off, that's the end of it. I don't think Jan Hus was killed by Crusaders, I think it was a roadside tree that took him out. Road biking back home is a fantastic adventure.
Maude_21 What's your biggest goal for the upcoming season?
My goal this year is to stay healthy and do my best.
Translation: Very subtle, Maude. But I know what you're getting at. If you look at my career as a constant pattern of healthy year, devastating-injury year, healthy year, devastating-injury year, then 2010-11 should be happy and healthy, no?
NHLArenaNYIsles What is your favorite type of food to eat before games?
Pasta with marinara sauce. Sometimes chicken or salmon.
Translation: Whassup TMC! Since every single NHL player* says he eats pasta with chicken before a game, I'll throw you a bone and let you know I sometimes mix it up with salmon. (*except Trevor Gillies; that man eats little Rangers fans basted in pig's blood before each game. It's frightening. And kinda cool.)
TCogley Radek, how do you think the chemistry will be in the D this year with the new additions like eaton, wisniewski, jurcina etc..
It'll be good. We're going to be pretty good on defense. I met our new guys and I'm looking forward to the season...
Translation: I like our new guys. They are just good enough to help team but not so good that I will be last apostle on the Astronomical Clock. Win-win, they say. Dobry.
TheGKB who do you think you have the most chemistry with for your defensive pairing?
I think I might find that I have the best chemistry with Streit and Hillen but that's a tough question. We'll have to see.
Translation: "Chemistry" ... this is American euphemism for "good players playing well," yes? In that case, I have the best chemistry with the two best defensemen on the team.