Q&A With San Francisco Bulls Forward Kris Belan

By  December 07, 2012

Florence, Ontario native Kris Belan had never been to California when San Francisco Bulls head coach Pat Curcio called him last year. In fact, the professional hockey team Curcio was inviting Belan to join didn’t even exist yet. Even so, the 25-year-old decided to take a chance and hopped a plane. The 6-2, 200 pound forward recently spoke with us about his transition, how the NHL lockout has affected the Bulls (a San Jose Sharks affiliate), and what it’s like to play for professional program in its inaugural season.

Q:

What do your friends and family think of you being in California?

A:

It’s definitely been hard on my mom–she didn’t want to see me go–but everyone’s really excited. My parents actually watch every game. They stay up late to watch all of the games. They’re planning to visit soon. I can’t wait to get out and show them the city.

Q:

Have you been around San Francisco much since you moved?

A:

Right when we got here we were on the road for three weeks, so we didn’t really see too much. Since then, we’ve managed to get downtown and see Union Square and Pier 39 and all of that. Some of the guys just went to Twin Peaks and said it’s awesome, so I want to go there.

Q:

Because of the NHL lockout, San Jose Sharks’ player Ryane Clowe has been practicing with you. What’s that been like?

A:

Clowe is a class act. He’s really helping out and the guys are pretty happy that he’s hanging around. He’s so knowledgeable. When he’s talking you can tell all we’re all listening. He shares the small details that we wouldn’t even think of that he’s picked up on over the years.

Q:

Will he just come by and suggest things?

A:

Yeah. Right when he got here it was clear that he didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but I think he’s definitely settled in. Now he’ll just grab you and tell you to make an adjustment–just little stuff that you listen to. He’s right in there with us.

Q:

Does he ride the bus with you?

A:

Yeah. He came on the road. He’s doing the whole thing with us. It’s good.

Q:

What’s it like playing in an area that’s not as hockey obsessed as your hometown? Do you feel like you have to compete with the Giants and the 49ers?

A:

Obviously, back home hockey is THE sport, but so far our fans have been awesome. We can’t ask for anything better. I think that’s what San Francisco is about: they get a team and everyone is really supportive of it. Hopefully we can start winning and get on a roll so that we can get some more fans in here.

Q:

Why did you decide to come to a first-year team in California instead of playing somewhere in Canada after college?

A:

Because it’s the west coast! [laughs] No, you know, when I got a call from Pat [Curcio] it sounded like he was putting together a pretty good program here. Right when we got here, all of the guys connected and everything’s been really good. It wasn’t too hard of a choice. I knew how Pat coached and he liked my style of play, so it was a good match. And it’s San Francisco–you can’t get any better than that!

Q:

You are all new to playing with one another. How did you adjust?

A:

This is one thing I’ve never seen before: a group of guys that clicks like we have. There are so many good guys in this group. Lots of times on teams you can get cliques and things like that, but we’re one. It’s awesome.

Be sure catch Belan and company in action at San Francisco’s historic Cow Palace. Get the schedule here.