He’s excited to be with the Kings (even last place is better than the minors). He talks about his time in Detroit, what to expect from his game and his already-established relationship with several Kings. He played with Calder last year in Detroit and grew up a friend and teammate with Dallman.
“First and foremost, it was a bit of a roller coaster emotionally. Detroit told me that they were putting me on waivers hoping that Id possibly get through, head to the minors and help Grand Rapids. So I went home and started to get things packed up and prepared for whatever might happen. At about noon yesterday I hadnt heard anything so I kind of let my guard down and thought Im heading to the minors. Then about 20 after I got a call that I was claimed by the Kings. A lot of excitement. A lot of packing, a lot of travel — but all those emotions were overcome by excitement to come here, contribute and get a fresh start.
Theres an opportunity to step in here. It seems like a good group of guys. Ill play some hockey and see what happens. I have nothing but great things to say about the Wings organization. I was part of the organization for six years, five of them in the minors and this is my first year with a full-time job. They were great to me but part of the game is moving on, moving on to different things, and Im just excited to have an opportunity here. Hopefully Ill work my way in and fit in.”
On what to expect from his game: “The best way to describe what I do and the way I got to the NHL is that Im just a hard worker. Im one of the guys who lays everything on the table every night. Nothing flashy but the tank will be empty by the end of the game. I give whatever I have. If I can chip in with some points, great. Ill roll the puck over down low and provide some grind time, solid d-zone, do whatever it takes to fit in and play whatever role theyd like to see me play.
“I was a role player in Detroit. I was in and out of the lineup. I never complained. I was playing in the best league in the world. When I got in, I tried to make the most of my opportunities. When I was out, I tried to be upbeat and positive and to get better so when the next opportunity came Id be ready.”
On playing for the team with the best record in the league with top players like Zetterberg: “I think it does (make you better). Going against great competition, being part of it. Even when youre not in the lineup, to be able to watch what they bring to the table and take in as much as you can to help better yourself. It was great to be able to skate, practice and play with some great athletes.”
On already knowing a couple Kings players: “I did play with Calds last year. When he came over to the Wings, I was up at the time. We did play together a little bit. And I grew up just around the corner from Kevin Dallman. He and I have been good buddies since we were kids. We played together growing up. We went to the All-Ontario finals and were Minor Bantam teammates as well back home in Canada. Its nice to see familiar faces. I know Dally really well, I know Calds. Even getting in last night, Im rooming with Jeff Giuliano and he seems like a great guy. Theyve definitely made the transition a little easier.”