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Hedman enjoying time in KHL, hates eating horse meat

Victor Hedman, Mathieu Garon, Eric Brewer, Mathieu Garon, Alexander Ovechkin

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77), of Sweden, reaches for the puck under his chin after making a save in front of Mathieu Garon (32), Eric Brewer (2) and Washington Capitals’ Alexander Ovechnkin, of Russia, during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)


Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman is actually enjoying his time in the KHL with Barys Astana in Kazakhstan.

Hedman tells Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times his time away in the Russian pro league has been great and should help him when the NHL comes back.

“A great experience,” Hedman said by phone. “I’ve been playing a lot and developing my game. I’m very happy I chose to come here, and I’m very eager to get back to Tampa and prove I’ve gotten better as a player.”

That’s great news for the Lightning as they’re banking heavily on Hedman eventually being their No. 1 defenseman. In 21 games he has no goals but 18 assists. That’s getting the job done.

That said, it’s not all glitz and glamour in Kazakhstan. The one glaring exception to his great time abroad? The local menu where horse is a delicacy.

“It’s disgusting,” Hedman said. “It was chewy. It’s tough to explain what it tastes like.”

Wild guess on what it tastes like? Dog food. Yikes. Who says playing in a foreign country isn’t glamorous?