You ask. He answers. Every Sunday.
This week's questions are from Sally and Jen.
Dear Hockey Player,
Have you ever played on a team with a cheap shot artist? I am not talking about an enforcer. I am talking full on dirty playing goon. I guess I am wondering if teams say they don't like cheap shots but behind closed doors they don't discourage it. As always I know this depends on the team and your personal experience. Just wondering if dirty players are publicly condemned but privately patted on the back. i.e. what has been the attitude "in the room"? I personally like to imagine guys popping each other upside the head and saying "What the hell did you do THAT for?" but I am a dork. This question of course assumes you are not a goon. I like to think that you don't practice gooney.
Sally from NC (Again)
Every team has a "rat" or a cheap shot artist. It's part of the game. So many people want to take away the things that make hockey different from other sports. Sometimes sports like basketball and soccer make me laugh -- players crying and being wheeled off on stretchers when they really have no idea what pain is and what kind of pain a person can truly fight through. If you take away instigators, fighters, and big hits what are you left with? Hockey's core is a player's heart and courage. Being a cheap shot artists is a tough job that most players don't have the courage to do. There are antics that I don't appreciate but that player usually pays the price by having to fight someone. And no, I'm not a goon. No goonery here.
What do you think about during the national anthem?
I like to pretend that I am a judge on American Idol judging the singer's talent in my head. I love when they have children sing, that's pretty cute. But more often than not I am wondering how this person got this gig and will this extended version they are shrieking ever end.
What’s the most penalty minutes you ever received in one game?
I once received 45 mins in one play. The opposing player two handed my linemate in the back of the legs as we were climbing in the bench for a change. He thought he could escape by doing this hit and run and then retreating to his bench. He thought wrong. I chased him, jumping into the bench with a swift spearing motion, dropping my gloves and fighting him, two other teamates of his and I believe their trainer even got some shots in. I received 5 mins spearing, 5 mins fighting, 5 mins second fight, 10 mins intent to injure, 10 min unsportsmanlike, and 10 min misconduct.
Has your team bus ever been pulled over for speeding?
No but I have been on a bus that broke down on the expressway, smelling of gas. I also got drunk on an overnight bus trip after a big win before Christmas break. I woke up the next morning on the top bunk. I looked down and noticed there was no one left on the bus. Everyone had left and no one realized I was still passed out. We had borrowed a sleeper bus from a team four hours away and the bus was half way home. Just slightly embarrassing waiting for my coach to pick me up two hours from home on the side of the road.
Minnesota Wild player Eric Nystrom has done it… have you?... Ned Braden’s on-ice strip tease from “Slap Shot”, that is.
No, no on-ice strip teases.
HW, if he’s never done that last one for you… tell him he can’t retire until he does. :) Have a good week y’all.