What did you think of all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the pre-game ceremonies?
I thought it was so classy. It was great to see the boys get rewarded. It makes you wish you were a part of it. The rings are very nice.
How was your time in DC with the Caps this fall?
It was good. It was short; I was there for about a week. Camp was tough, but it was great to get my legs under me before I came down here. I wanted to have a good impression. It was definitely great to have that experience, playing with [Alexander] Ovechkin and seeing some of the best in the world.
What’s it like having Troy Mann, your head coach in Columbia, as a coach here in Chocolatetown?
It’s great. We had a great relationship two years ago, and we still stayed in touch. He’s a guy I really admire and look up to as a coach and as a human being. He’s hard on me, but it’s great to have someone in your corner.
Do you feel your role changes going from the ECHL to AHL?
I think, in the ECHL, I log a lot more minutes. Here, I know what my role is, and that’s being a physical presence and a good guy in the locker room. Hopefully, things will work out.
There’s a glut on defense with the Bears right now. Do you mind being a seventh or eighth d-man here in the AHL, or would you rather skate as a first or second blueliner in the ECHL?
Well, this is where I want to be. I want to be in Hershey, but we’ll see what happens. I can’t control anything. The only thing I can control is my play, and I’m looking forward to getting that opportunity, to get into a couple games. I want to prove my worth and make sure I establish myself as an American Hockey League player.
Has “Frenchy” (Bears Head Coach Mark French) or Troy given you an idea about how much you’ll be playing?
No, and that’s pretty typical. They don’t need to say too much. When it’s my opportunity to get in there and earn a spot, I’m ready and willing to do it.
Finally, what was it like winning the Kelly Cup on Alaska’s ice, where you won a championship with the Aces three years prior?
It was a great feeling. I was so happy for our guys; so many of our guys deserved it. To win it in Alaska was a little tough, because I actually loved my two years there. It was an awkward feeling to win it because I know how passionate their fans are. But they were really respectable, and it was definitely an amazing feeling. One of the best days of my life.
Mark your Calendars – The Stingrays Opening Weekend is set for Friday, October 16 against the Wheeling Nailers and Saturday, October 17 against the Charlotte Checkers.
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