I had the pleasure of breaking bread with not one but two Russian-born security experts here in Las Vegas at the McAfee Focus 09 conference. Both Igor and Dmitri work for McAfee Avert Labs and I found them to be very knowledgeable gentlemen.

But what do you think a Canadian and two Russian really want to talk about? In a word: Hockey!

Dmitri currently lives in Oregon, not the hot-bed of hockey states in the U.S.; he came to Oregon after working for Solomon Security, which was acquired by Network Associates. Network Associates was McAfee’s brand in the early part of this century. Dmitri vividly remembers the historic 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the then Soviet Union National team. He was 11 at the time and told me that the whole country was really disappointed in losing the last game of that series on Paul Henderson’s shot heard around the world goal. However, the Russian people took a lot of pride in their performance. He said that it was the first time the Soviet Nationals played a team of professional players and to take them to within a few seconds of winning the series was looked upon as a tremendous accomplishment for Soviet hockey.

Dmitri also said that all hockey players in his country learned from the Canadian team to play with an edge and be tough during games. Before this series, it was thought that skating and puck control was enough to win.

Igor, on the other hand, lives in London, U.K., where hockey gets zero exposure. He said that in England it’s all about the English Premier League and nothing else. But he has attended many Montreal Canadians games when he visit that city.

They each asked me what Phil Esposito was up to these days.

We didn’t talk a lot about security or the IT industry, but can you really blame us? How often do Russians and Canadians get together for lunch in Las Vegas?

One quick hit before I go. Speaking of hockey fans, Ken Presti, an industry analyst for Presti Research and Consulting Inc., has launched his new Web site, prestiresearch.com. I suggest you check it out, Presti, who spent a long time at IDC is one of the best analysts covering this market.