PITTSBURGH - The distance between Pittsburgh and Montreal is 475 miles.
The cultural divide is much wider.
Take a province like Quebec, where 75 percent of the residents speak French and send one of those residents to a place like Pennsylvania, where hardly anyone speaks French on a regular basis.
That can make for hard times for hockey players who have grown up in Quebec and suddenly find themselves in the United States as professionals.
It happened to Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, when he came to town in 2003, a season that also landed him in Wilkes Barre for a time.
"It was hard," he said.
The experience was shared by winger Pascal Dupuis, whose first professional stop was Cleveland.
"Obviously there's not a lot of French-speaking people there," Dupuis said. "Just to get organized, it was difficult. To get a pizza ordered, that's hard. Any kind of bills, it was just hard to get done."
Learning English on the fly is a sink or swim proposition. Until Dupuis got a handle on the language, dining out with teammates wasn't much easier than making that call for a pizza.
"You eat a lot of 'same thing' when you go to a restaurant with guys," Dupuis said. "You say, 'I'll have the same thing.' It's easier to say. Its obviously an adjustment."
Dupuis is now fluent in English. He said he picked up the language just by being immersed in it. Surrounded by English-speaking teammates, there was little choice.
"TV helped a little bit, too," Dupuis said.
In fact, television was a learning tool for Mario Lemieux when he came to Pittsburgh as a 19-year-old in 1984.
He was unsure of himself, but later grew to be comfortable speaking English.
He still uses French when he goes home or when his parents visit. Otherwise, Lemieux has United States citizenship and maintains homes here and in Florida.
Fleury said teammates helped him adapt to the language change.
"The guys on the team were great to me ," he said. "They helped me out off the ice. That made it easier."
With goalie Brent Johnson:
n Vacation spot: Beach, mountains or city? "Am I answering this just for me or for my wife and me? I'm a city guy. My wife will go to the beach any day."
n Sports car, SUV or truck? "Sports car."
n Steak, sushi or pasta? "Steak."
n Movies: Comedy, drama or something scary? "I like scary movies."
n Football: Pro, college or none? "Pro football."
n Day off in the summer: Golf, tennis or swimming? "I want to golf. But I want to swim, too."
John LeClair, who played for the Penguins from 2005-06, has a new job.
He's an agent with Sports Professional Management, based in Englewood, New Jersey.
LeClair, 42, played his last NHL game on Nov. 25, 2006. The Penguins released him a few weeks later.
The agency he works for now represents, among others, Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, assistant coach Todd Reirden and defenseman Brooks Orpik.
Apart from contract negotiations, the company also assists clients with investments and insurance, tax and estate planning, marketing and endorsements and post-career planning.
LeClair, who went to the University of Vermont, has been associated with the agency since 1991. He and former teammate Chris Therien also operate a shipping logistics company.