Interview with Sean Collins!

Image
Editors note: We are aware the font and stuff are off.
We're trying our best to fix this.

Yesterday, we had an opportunity to speak with Sean Collins. He currently plays for
the Springfield Falcons, the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Drafted in 
the 
7th Round of the 2008 NHL Draft (187th overall). So you can follow him on Twitter: 
@WhoYouGunnaCollins, and you can follow us on Twitter: @HkyBlogger and on Facebook:
 www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog

So without further to do, we are happy to present you our interview with Sean Collins.
As usual, we are in bold.

How has your day been?
It's been solid so far. Just went through the normal non-game day
routine with practice and workout in the morning.

So many of our readers might not know who you are, so who are you and maybe
a cool fact about yourself?
My name is Sean Collins and I'm a professional hockey player in the
Columbus Blue Jackets organization. I graduated in May 2012 with a 3.8
GPA in Finance while also playing on the hockey team at Cornell
University.

What's a day in the life of Sean Collins?
I usually start my day around 7:45 AM and proceed to make a very
nutritious breakfast. I tend to go with oatmeal and berries, two eggs,
and a banana. A well balanced breakfast helps keep me energized and
healthy. Around 8:15 AM, my roommates and I will make the 15 minute
drive to the rink for practice. Practice usually runs from around 10
AM until 11 AM. After practice, I will complete a team lift or some
other type of maintenance workout which helps to maintain strength and
decrease the chance of injury. After showering I head home to make
lunch. I usually have soup and a sandwich, along with a little greek
yogurt to top me off. After lunch, I will relax and do some reading or
watch a few TV shows. Right now I am reading the book 'Moneyball' and
I am currently watching the TV series 'Prison Break'. For dinner, I am
a huge seafood fan. My roommates and I usually collaborate and make an
absolute feast. After dinner, I usually watch a little hockey or
anything else exciting on TV. I wind down and usually head to bed
around 10:30 PM.

What kind of player do you consider yourself?
I am a strong two-way player who can play anywhere in the line-up. I
am a versatile enough to play all three forward positions as well as
both the penalty kill and the power play. My game is modeled around my
speed, which allows me to create chances for myself and my line mates.

When did you first lace up the skates?
I started skating on the outdoor rinks in my hometown of Saskatoon at
five years old.

Did you play any other sports growing up?
I was a very competitive baseball player growing up. I represented my
province a few times in my teens and had a couple offers to compete at
the collegiate level but I felt as if hockey was the right path to
take and would allow me at the very least to attend a prestigious
school and get a good education. I also was a long distance runner in
elementary and high school.

When you played for Waywayseecappo for Juniors, how did you manage to
spell/pronounce it correctly?
It is actually a lot easier than it looks. It's pronounced exactly as
it looks (Way-way-see-capp-o)

When you made the jump from the MJHL to ECAC, what was the biggest
difference?
The biggest difference I noticed was the size and the speed of the
players. Going from a junior league that doesn't send many players to
the next level, it was definitely a step up. Also, the age difference
was a lot greater in college, since players can be anywhere from 18 to
25 years old which adds to the range of physical development and
maturation of the players.

What is your best memory playing at Cornell?
Winning the ECAC Championships in 2010 was an amazing feeling but I
would have to say my last home game at Lynah Rink. The atmosphere at
Lynah Rink was second to none and the fan support we had from "the
Faithful" was outstanding. I was truly spoiled to have been able to
play in front of that crowd for four years.

Worst memory?
Losing on Senior Night last year. It was disappointing because a
victory would have clinched the Cleary Cup, which is given to the ECAC
regular season champion. Furthermore, my family and friends were in
attendance as there was a huge ceremony on the ice after the game. The
lose definitely put a sour note on what was supposed to be a
celebratory evening.

What did you study at Cornell?
I studied in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, majoring in
Applied Economics and Management or more commonly Business. My
specialty was Finance.

You wear the number 43, what does it mean? Or was it just any random number
given to you?
It was just a random number given to me. I didn't have any choice in the matter.

Take us back to the draft, what was it like? Were you scared you would go
undrafted?
It was an amazing moment for my family and I. But how it happened was
rather suspenseful. I was following the draft on the computer at home
in Saskatoon, when the internet connection in our house was suddenly
lost. At this point in time, the draft was in the middle rounds. I was
obviously very frustrated that I couldn't regain the connection, so I
went downstairs and was just stickhandling and trying to keep my mind
occupied. Finally a few minutes later, I heard the phone ring and my
parents answered the phone. It was Bryan Raymond, a scout with the
Blue Jackets and I jumped on the phone and found out I was drafted in
the 7th round by the Blue Jackets.

I had no fear of going undrafted because I knew that being a free
agent can sometimes be an advantage, especially if you have a strong
college career. In retrospect, I'm glad everything worked out and I
was able to be apart of the Blue Jackets organization.

What has been the highlight of your career?
My first NHL game has to be my fondest memory thus far. Being able to
realize a life long dream is incredible and it is an experience I will
never forget.

Lowest point?
The uncertainty of my hockey career was something I was forced to
endure during my second season with Waywayseecappo. I got off to a
strong start to the season and was in the top 5 in the league in
points but I still hadn't received any serious offers from any
Division 1 hockey programs. It was an arduous task going to the rink
everyday knowing that even though I was playing my best hockey that no
one was noticing.

How did you persevere from it?
I decided to continue to do what was making me successful as a player
and to maintain a high level of confidence. Eventually I was
approached and offered an opportunity to play hockey and attend
Cornell University. It was nice to know that all my dedication and
commitment had paid off.

Just a few questions so we can show the more human side of you, and so even
non-hockey fans have something interesting to read.

Favorite food?
Sea Scallops

Android or iPhone?
iPhone


What's on your iPod?
A little bit of everything, but primarily country music

Who has the worst taste of music in the locker room?
I would have to say my teammate in Springfield Michael Chaput

If you weren't playing hockey, what would you be doing right now?
I would be working on Wall Street in some capacity.

Best buddy on your team?
Jake Hansen

Best prank you've seen/done?
My freshman year at Cornell, we were coming back from Canada and
crossing the border back into the U.S. While our goalie, Ben Scrivens
(Toronto Maple Leafs), was sleeping we grabbed his passport. When the
border control officer came on our bus, he made his way to the back of
the bus checking everyone's passport ensuring that they were on the
list. When he got to Scrivens, who was furiously searching everywhere
for his missing passport, the border control officer was displeased
that Scrivens didn't have his ready. Everyone else was prepared when
he came, except Scrivens. Eventually, after his searches went to no
avail, the border officer told Scrivens to come off the bus and into
the building. The officer kept him in the building for 15 minutes,
lecturing him and even saying that he may have to stay in Canada while
the rest of the team goes back to school. A typically fun loving guy,
Scrivens was very distraught and worried that the officer was serious.
Eventually, the officer told him that the team had set him up and he
came back onto the bus with a shy smile on his face. The rest of the
guys just erupted. It was one of the funniest pranks I've ever been
apart of.

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
I think being able to fly. It would be unbelievable to travel anywhere
on a whim and see the world from a bird's eye view.

Last question:
Any suggestion for who I should interview next?
Colin Greening.

Thank you for your time.

One on One With Eddie Lack!

Eddie LackWe’re proud to release an interview we did with “The Stork”. Eddie Lack is a goalie in the Vancouver Canucks organization. We caught up with him during his busy rehab session. Just a little bit about him. He was undrafted, and played in Sweden until being signed by the Vancouver Canucks during the 2010 season. He was named to the AHL All Rookie Team in his first season. You can follow him on Twitter @EddieLack. You can follow me on Twitter @HkyBlogger, and you an “like” us on Facebook here:http://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog

Without further to do. Here it is! We are in bold.

First off, how has your day been?
My day has been good thank you. Lots of rehab right now so it’s kind of challenging but it feels good to see the progress.

Many of our readers are just casual hockey fans and might not know who you are. So who are you? Maybe a cool fact or something?
My name is Eddie Lack and play for Chicago Wolves in the AHL. Off the ice I love to cook and play Xbox.

Your pads are really cool. So when you get called up to an NHL team, will your pads change or are you pads Wolves for life?
I got several different ones so if i get called up im ready for that!

What kind of goalie is Eddie Lack? (Hybrid, stand-up)
I’m hybrid even though i’m still trying to react to shots instead of just drop down and hope for the best.

What was cooler? Playing in the 2011 Calder Playoffs or being a reserve for the Canucks playoff run?
Those two are so different so you can’t compare them. I enjoyed playing for the Moose very much that year and that game seven is still haunting me haha. Being in Vancouver was just nuts. Fans there are great and loved every minute of the playoff up there.

What’s the difference between playing in Sweden and playing in North America?
The smaller rink makes it a different game over here and I like it. Games are so much faster and there are lot more scoring chances

You’re one of the first guys I’ve interviewed who’s made it to the NHL not by playing in the NCAA or CHL, but through Europe. Do you have any special skills that you don’t think the North American bred guys don’t have?
I don’t know. The goalie game is kind of the same wherever you come from. The biggest adjustment for me was playing the puck. That’s way harder over here.

What has been your highest part of your career so far?
Getting called up for the first time for sure. Even though I only sat on the bench, it was really cool. Something I worked for my whole life.

Lowest point?
That’s right now being hurt.

The following are some “weird” questions. It interests even the readers who aren’t big fans of hockey. It also gives you some things to remember about our interview years from now.

Goalies are usually part of two groups. Weird and crazy in the locker room (Ilya Bryzgalov) or the calm, cool guy in the room reading a book (Martin Brodeur). Where are you?
I think I got both sides. Definitely the weird and crazy guy in the locker room but I have a serious side outside of the rink when I have too.

What’s on your iPod right now?
Lots of Kanye West right now.

Who has the worst taste in music in the locker room?
Definetly Bill Sweatt

You love to cook, what’s the best dish you make?
My favorite is Chilean seabass. Very tasteful fish, you cant go wrong with it.

When you were young, what was your worst subject?
Music, I love music but i’m not very talented at it.

Best subject?
Gym

Every hockey team does pranks, whats the best you’ve seen/done?
Haha don’t know if I can go in to the best ones here.

If you could have one superpower, what could it be?
To be able to fly.

What came first? The chicken or the egg?
The egg.

Final Questions
Anyone you suggest me to do an interview with?
In my team I would go with Darren Haydar!

Any advice for aspiring goalies?
Just have fun, that’s what its all about!

Thank you:)
Thank you for your time.

Interview with NHLWiki!

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We’re honored to present you an interview we did with @NHLWiki. Like everyone else, we have no clue what his real identity is, but we know him as the guy who knows everything that’s happening in the NHL. He’s a great follow on Twitter @NHLWiki. Now in a shameless plug, you know who else is a good follow in Twitter? Us. Yeaup. We’re a great follow. Follow us @HkyBlogger, or like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog . On a side note, he’s actually the nicest guy I’ve met. Seems like the type of guy you’d just want to just sit down and have a beer with. Well I don’t know him so I can’t, but he just seems really awesome.

Without further to do, if you’re a longtime reader, you know the drill, we’re in bold.

So nobody knows your name. Can we at least get your first name and maybe a cool fact about you?
I’d rather not say, I enjoy my privacy and am not looking for any type of recognition. As far as a cool fact about me, well, I probably know more about movies, past, present & future than I do about hockey. Don’t know if that’s considered cool though, haha. 
Have you ever played hockey before?
Sure have, since  I’m about 7 years old. Have less time for it now due to my career, but every chance I get, I’m out there. I love and respect the dedication the game can bring with so much passion. 
So you run the handle @NHLwiki, how did you get started?
I truly only gave myself the time to discover what twitter was about 2 years ago. I wanted it to be useful as I saw how reaching it could be, so the decision came down to start a handle on either film or hockey. Since the film industry information I have access to, is much closer to me and much more sensitive, I decided hockey which has always been a passion of mine, was a good way forward.
How do you keep up with all of the moves in the NHL?
I’m lucky enough to be close to daily NHL information almost in real time. Not always privy to the more closely guarded private information on a team by team basis, but always get information quite quickly and share it as I can, sometimes way before the mainstream media does. It permits this twitter account to be effective. Although I have a tremendous amount of respect for NHL media, beat reporters and the daily job they do. Due to their internal protocols, a lot have agendas, of which I don’t.
Is this your full time job or is this more of a hobby?
It’s purely a hobby. One of which I’m struggling with at the moment due to career projects, but I will continue to entertain it as long as I possibly can.
Do you have a favourite NHL team?
Yes I do, but i’d rather not divulge it out of respect for the numerous different team fans that follow this account. I try and play it neutral and fairbut i will tell you they are East coast based. 😉
Favourite player?
I actually don’t have one. Never really have. I have always been a team concept guy. You can be the least talented bunch, but if you learn to look out for one another, be positive and play as a team? You can accomplish great things.
Is it not boring/tiring to be on top of everything at all times?
I have to admit, that sometimes it is. I have become more filtered in the news I deliver on Twitter. Sticking to the most important, controversial, truthful hockey news out there. I don’t like to protect the NHL’s image when they purposely have strategy and timely schematics written all over some of their public moves. I protect the game of hockey, because that’s what will always live on.
How do you keep motivated all the time?
When you have a passion for something, it isn’t hard to keep yourself motivated. Although, I have to admit, the NHL lockout truly pissed me off, since I knew it was coming, knew the outcome (of an actual shortened NHL season, had written it on twitter) but did not like the way the league and the Fehr brothers played it. They both knew where they were heading with it and played the fans for fools. Hard to forgive them for that.
Now just a random question to end this interview on a lighter note.
Are you a dog person, or a cat person, or neither and why?
Nice one. Actually both. We have a dog and a cat, both can be wonderful friends and companions to those in the household, especially if treated with lots of love and respect for the living, feeling, earth creatures they are. i say it that way because i’ve seen to may people take their animals for granted or simply mistreat them.
But OK, enough with the sappy stuff, haha, so, heading to the half-mile point, how’s that playoff race shaping up? your team have what it takes to go all the way this year? are they playing like one? answer that question and you’ll have your answer. 😉
Thanks for your time, and it was a pleasure to be a part of your blog .
 
Thank you for your time.

Sabres dismiss Lindy Ruff, Ron Rolston to replace him

At 3h12pmET today Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier made the announcement that head coach Lindy Ruff was relieved of his coaching duties. The 2-1 loss to Winnipeg yesterday on home ice was his last game as head coach of the franchise. With the loss the Sabres are the first team in the Eastern Conference to reach 10 losses in regulation time this season. They are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games with the league’s top scorer in their roster and much better goaltending provided by Ryan Miller this season. The team is just not responding well anymore. With the next game tomorrow evening in Toronto the timing was good to make the announcement today. It also comes at the third of the season. Buffalo is 13th in the East with more games played (17) than Florida (15) and Washington (15) at the bottom.

During the press conference Regier held with the media he announced that Ron Rolston, 45,  will replace Ruff as head coach of the Sabres until the end of the current short season. Rolston was acting as head coach of the Rochester Americans, the organization’s farm team in the AHL. Regier has clearly stated that Rolston could be candidate as permanent head coach next season if he can demonstrate he can handle the job and hopefully turn things around during the last 31 games of the season for the team.

Regier faced a barrage of questions from reporters close to the team who saw the dismissal coming for more than a week. Regier has admitted that Ruff and him had been ”talking” lately about a possible change behind the bench. Regier has denied that he was told by Sabres’ owner Terry Pegula to dismiss Ruff right away mentioning it was his sole decision made earlier today.

Lindy Ruff is the first coach to be fired this season in the NHL. The word around the league was that Claude Noel of the Winnipeg Jets was  to be the first coach fired this season before today. However when you think about it perhaps a change after 16 vears with the same coach may not come that much of a surprise after all.

Note: Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators, now the longest-tenured coach in the NHL, was hired two weeks after Ruff in 1997.

Being a UK NHL Fan

Editors note before anything: I contacted Mark about two weeks ago about writing this article. Mark is a Toronto Maple Leafs fan somewhere in United Kingdom. Exactly where? I have no clue at all. At Not Your Average Hockey Blog, we like to write about things that you won’t find at your average hockey blog, and we thought, man how many blogs get this? So we jumped on the opportunity to ask Mark. So here is the life of a NHL fan in UK. You can “Like” us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog and you can follow Mark on twitter: @MarkUKLeaf and you can also read his own blog here: http://ukhockeyfan.wordpress.com/

I’ve been asked many times whilst in Toronto, “what is it like to be a hockey fan in the UK?”
Why Toronto you may ask?

The reason is because I’m a Toronto Maple Leaf fan who happens to live in the UK. I try to make one or two trips across the pond every season to watch some live hockey but for the rest of the season I’m left to follow the game here.

Being a NHL hockey fan in the UK has more than a few obstacles involved, starting with the time difference.
For fans of east coast teams, our games start mostly at midnight and finish around 2.45am and that’s if there isn’t OT or a SO. West Coast games start at 2-3am time.  Tough if you work long or difficult hours, have a family or both!

We don’t have the same level of live games coverage but I’m guessing that goes without saying right?

This season though it’s even worse and has driven more fans than ever to watch illegal streams.
The UK have a standalone TV channel (Premier Sports) that shows 15 games a week, the majority live but no Hockey Night in Canada(with coaches corner/HotStove) on a Saturday evening. There are no intermission shows broadcast and the channel is not in HD. Also unless you subscribe to Sky Television, a satellite broadcaster, there is no access to this channel.

NHL Game Centre Live has been available for two years now but this season we have blackouts. Yes blackouts. Even though we live in the UK, the games shown on PS channel are blacked out for 2-3 days on GCL. As you can imagine this is incredibly frustrating.

The lack of NHL coverage extends beyond our limited way to views games.
There is no media coverage as North American fans would know it. Unless of course there is a huge controversy of course like the Vancouver riots, which then only shows the sport in a bad light.
Even the Stanley Cup victors would just be a ticker tape story across the bottom of a sports news channel here.

Without the internet there is no way any fan here could follow North American hockey, let alone watch games. I say North American hockey because personally I also watch AHL as well as following the OHL and OJHL.
In my experience, every UK fan has a unique story when it comes to following their NHL team, and mine is as different as anyone else’s.

I work a night shift during the week so I miss watching most games as I start working at 5pmET.
I try to keep track through twitter and some friends who occasionally text me with live updates.
I’m also able to pick up game radio on my iphone which I usually do on my break if possible, though I have been known to sneak away to the wash room to listen to the end of a game on occasions. Don’t tell my boss though ok!
Last season when I subscribed to GCL, the first thing I would do to when arriving home would be to catch up on the game that night. Even if I knew the result was a 6-0 pummelling by Boston.

When I do get to watch hockey I’m a little obsessive to say the least.
Take yesterday for example, which as I’m writing this would be Saturday 16th February.
I started watching hockey at 8pm UK time with a Toronto Marlies game online. By the time that game had finished there was only an hour before the Toronto/Ottawa match up. So not much I could do but grab something to eat and drink before settling down to watch that game which finished at almost 3am for me. I started to watch the Edmonton game afterwards but my bed was calling!

Almost seven hours spent watching hockey sat in front on a computer screen.
Not most peoples idea of a good Saturday night in the UK but the only way I get to feed my passion, hockey.

Hockey For Bandwagoners

Do you want to pretend to know hockey? Can you name the amount of players you know with your fingers? Do you cheer for one team cause everyone else? Well this is for you! After this, you’ll be able to convince anyone you’re a hockey fan!

1. Know at least 3 players and a top prospect. When these players are brought up, you’ll be able to say, “oh I saw him stack his pads last night! That was pretty cool!” Even the best hockey fans will have to believe you!

2. Don’t flip flop on teams. One of the worst things to do. Often, bandwagoners will join teams doing well that year. But if you want to be a hockey fan, choose one! Even if they aren’t doing well, it looks dedicated! Unless you’re a Jackets fan, don’t be a Jackets fan. They suck. Kidding guys. We love you Jackets fans.

3. Admit you’re a new fan! Tell your friends that you like hockey but you don’t have a team to cheer for! They’ll introduce you to a plethora of teams and you’ll find one! Don’t worry! You’ll fall in love with one!

4. Use hockey lingo! Words like celly, stacking the pads, and undressing the goalie make even the most casual fans look like a brain trust of hockey knowledge!

5. Know who Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr is. I’m not going to explain this one. It’s self explanatory.

Once you’ve mastered these things, you won’t look like a Bandwagoner anymore and you’ll look smart in front of your friends!

Follow me on twitter @hkyblogger !
“Like” us on Facebook: Facebook.com/notyouraveragehockeyblog

Ellerby Traded to Kings

Little late on the wagon here, but Keaton Ellerby has been traded from the Florida Panthers to the LA Kings in exchange for a 2013 5th Round Pick. Just an opinion here, I expect him to either be sent to the Monarchs, or be the six defenseman with Drew Drewiske being sent down. As the tenth overall pick in 2007, he certainly hasn’t been living up to his potential. Players such as Ryan McDonaugh (11th), Kevin Shattenkirk (14th) have been leaving their footprint in their respective NHL teams. Just going to give you guys a little scouting report on Ellerby. Skinny 6’4 Defenseman out of Okotoks, Alberta. He’s a shutdown defender who has the potential of greatness. Do not expect him to be the next Erik Karlsson. He’s the type of guy you want on the back end just to stable the ship. He will not have highlight reel hits or flashy goals, but he will be the first one in back in a rush. He’s a good skater, but has trouble staying out of the penalty box. If he worked on his frame and his discipline, he could become a good second pair defenseman.

It’s really hard to say who wins the trade because with a draft pick, you really never know if they will pan out. You can have gems like Pavel Datsyuk (171st) and Carl Gunnarsson (194th), but you can also have top picks not pan out, most notably Hugh Jessiman (12th) and Alexandre Daigle (1st). If you come back to me a few years from now when the draft pick has developed a bit i’ll give you a definitive answer.