In between the Top 5 Under 25, we have something different for you guys! Do you watch the Amazing Race? Do you know of the Amazing Race? Well if you don’t follow it here’s a little introduction, it’s a show where two people form a team race around the world completing races. So our interviewee played hockey for many years, and in the 22nd Season of the Amazing Race, entered an won! Here’s our interview with former, Hurricane, Leaf, and Capital, and a few more teams Bates Battaglia! He was drafted 132nd in 1994 by Anaheim Ducks, and before he turned pro, was traded to the Hartford Whalers. He was also part of the famed “BBC” line (Brind’amour, Battaglia, Cole)!
You can follow him on Twitter @BatesBattaglia, and follow me on Twitter: @HkyBlogger. You can also “like” our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/notyouraveragehockeyblog
As per usual, we are in bold.
Back when you were playing in the NHL, what would game day be like? Take us through an average day.
Well average day is pretty low key. Morning skate with the team, pregame meal at about 12:30. The usual chicken and pasta, then a hard shut down. Good three hour nap and then head to the arena to be there at 5PM for a 7PM game. Then it’s go time!
Now that you look back at your career, what kind of player would you consider yourself?
I would consider myself a power forward and 2 way player. Wasn’t a natural goal scorer but put the puck in the net here and there and was never a liability on defense.
Was there one place you just loved playing?
As far as city loved playing in? I loved road trips. I liked hitting all the NHL cities but I guess I like Chicago since that’s where I grew up and still have lots of family and friends there.
Was there one city you just loved playing for?
I loved playing for Carolina which is why I still live here today. Great fans and great organization.
Playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, is it hard to ignore the media pressure?
The media in Toronto is definitely different than a lot of other places in the NHL. But it comes with the territory and you get used to it, and the media is always a lot easier to deal with if you are winning haha!
People often say that chemistry is often very important in determining the success of a team or a line. Do you agree with that or disagree? Why?
Definitely agree with chemistry being a big part of a lines success. Definitely helps when you have a good combination of skill, work ethic and knowledge of the game.
Who has been the classiest play you’ve ever played for, and against?
As far as classiest player that is pretty tough to narrow down that. I have played with so many. From Ron Francis and Rod Brind’amour in Carolina to Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin later in my career. I think hockey is definitely different in that way since most hockey players are class acts and you don’t find that in all sports.
After many seasons in North America, you joined Jokerit in 2009-2010, what was the biggest difference between playing in Europe and North America?
The biggest difference in hockey between Europe and here is the size of the ice and the physicality of players which incidentally play off each other.
What was your highlight of your career?
My highlight and lowlight of my career are pretty much the same. I never had as much fun as I did when I played in the Stanley Cup Finals. But on the latter side, it was the pretty heart breaking to lose in the finals.
Tell us your experience at the Amazing Race. What was it like, and was it tougher than playing in the NHL?
The Amazing Race was just that “amazing”. It was definitely tougher than I had expected. You experience so many things you thought you would never experience and countries you never thought you’d be in. Playing in the NHL is definitely tougher in so many ways which is why we probably did so well. The physical aspect of the race was easier for us than the others but it’s not all physical, its mental and interactive as well.
Your grandfather was Sam Battaglia (Wikipedia) a high level member of the Chicago mob. I know he died before you were born, but were you ever told any cool stories about him?
Yes my papa was involved with some organized crime in Chicago and yes I’ve heard lots of stories over the years, but those are saved for family sorry haha.
Tell us about Lucky B’s?
Lucky B’s is my bar I opened in Raleigh,NC in 2005, we have been open for 8 years now and still kicking. We are somewhat of a sports bar but get to be a party place later in the night and weekends. Lots of the Carolina Hurricanes as well as visiting teams visit the bar. We have skeeball, pool, corn and beer pong to name a few activities to enjoy while throwing back a few beers watching your favorite hockey game.
You can check out the bar here: luckybsbar.com
Thanks for your time!