The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/02/14 at 05:36 PM ET
Former Wings defenseman Mike Commodore's lived a "gypsy" existence since his divorce from the Red Wings in 2012, playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs and (Austin) Texas Stars, and then heading all the way to Vladivostok, Russia--a city so "far east" in Russia that it lies northeast of North Korea--spending this past season with the KHL's Vladivostok Admiral.
Commodore addressed his wanderings in an interview with Top Sports Report's Allan Brown, and while the interview isn't Red Wings-related, it's an intriguing read (and it's apparently the first of two interviews with the "cult hero"):
“My decision to give the KHL a try was pretty easy,” he said. “I had no one-way contract offers, so I decided at my age it was time to try something new.
“I have no desire to play in the AHL in my 30s,” Commodore continued. “The AHL is a good league, but it’s a league for prospects. The KHL is the second best league in the world so I figured I would give it a shot. I am happy with the decision I made.”
As for the differences in playing style, Commodore said he learned to adapt, a trait that has served the veteran well throughout his vagabond NHL career.
“The biggest differences were the size of the ice and the style of play,” he said. “The Olympic-size ice just takes some getting used to. I played on it in college so it wasn’t a huge surprise. With my speed, I just needed to play the dots and not run around trying to check people. Let the game come to you.
“The style of play was much more puck possession due partly to the size of the ice,” he continued. “There was not as much dumping and chasing, not quite as physical. Overall, it wasn’t a tough adjustment for me.”
Despite the language barriers inevitable with such a huge move, Commodore said it simply made his stay there more of a challenge.
“Probably the most interesting part of my time in Russia was finding ways to spend my free time,” he said. “Language was definitely a barrier because there wasn’t much English spoken in Vladivostok. You just learn to get by. Translator apps on the smart phones were priceless.”
Commodore and Brown continue, discussing the most recent lockout and his future plans...
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.