May 11, 2012, 3:53 PM EDT
Keith Yandle? More like Don Incognito.
That’s the story out of Phoenix as Fox Sports Arizona caught up with the Coyotes defenseman prior to Sunday’s Game 1 against Los Angeles.
Yandle — a two-time All-Star, Phoenix’s alternate captain, tied for the playoff scoring lead among defensemen — hasn’t exactly found the the fame and notoriety that comes with being four wins away from the Stanley Cup finals.
For example, here’s how Yandle described his Wednesday afternoon.
“I went to Best Buy, Home Depot and Fry’s Grocery Store,” he said. “I was in each of them for probably a half hour to 45 minutes, and I didn’t get recognized once.
“It’s fine for me flying under the radar. It’s nice to be able to do my thing.”
This anecdote embodies Phoenix on the whole: No stars, no huge profiles, no massive egos. Yandle had the highest salary of all the Coyotes this year — $4.75 million — which doesn’t even put him top-5o in the NHL.
(If you’re curious: New York Rangers center Brad Richards was No. 1, with $12 million.)
No Phoenix player was nominated for an NHL Award and none made it to the prestigious EA Sports NHL 13 cover vote finals.
Suits the team just fine, though — especially defenseman Rostislav Klesla.
Klesla finds comfort in going unrecognized, noting there’s been no increase in exposure since the team started its magical playoff run.
“Nobody’s looking at you, nobody cares what you’re wearing, how you talk, who you talk to and what you’re doing,” he explained. “You can life your life, and I like it.”
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