In case you missed my story today on Pierre-Andre Bureau and Dusty Collins signing with the Reign, go check it out online here.
Here’s how the rest of my interview with Bureau went:
Describe yourself as a player.
I’m – it’s hard to say – a hard working player who can play offense and defense. I’m a center, I can play on the PK and on the power play as well. I’ve always been known to be good in the faceoff circle. I like a different challenge during the game, when we have a 1-goal lead, in the faceoff, on the PK.
How were you able to set the QMJHL record for most games played with the same franchise (346 for the Montreal/P.E.I. Rocket)?
I’ve never been injured, never been traded. I played five years with the same team. My first year I wasn’t a healthy scratch, even though I wasn’t playing a lot. I missed maybe 10 games in five years. You always get bruises. You always have a little bit of an injury when you play 70 games during the season. I had one serious injury during the playoffs, but never had a serious injury in the regular season.
What was that injury?
A broken jaw during the playoffs, when I was 18.
What impressed you about Karl Taylor and the Reign?
I had just finished my university year in New Brunswick. I wanted to give it a try. I’ve been playing hockey my whole life. I wanted to see if there would be any team interested in me. Karl called me. He knew some guys in New Brunswick that had seen me play, and was interested in me playing for him. After three or four calls on the phone, I decided to play for him.
Most of your Moncton University teammates who have gone on to play professionally go to Europe or the LNAH. Why have so few gone to the ECHL?
It’s hard to say why players don’t look at the ECHL. I think, it’s hard to say. I have a lot of friends that went to Europe. I look at it a little bit, I wanted to play more games – in Europe, it’s a 30-game season. I wanted to play hockey rather than just go there and visit, go around cities. I wanted to play hockey. I’m 26. I don’t have – I’m still young – but if I want to play professional hockey it’s now or never. I decided to give it a chance. When I’m 30 I’ll take a look at where I am. Maybe Europe would be a good option. Now I want to play more games and be in a league where I could get called up to the AHL sometime during the year.
Were other teams interested in you?
I talked with 5 or 6 other teams. Some in the ECHL, some in the Central Hockey League.
Any in the AHL?
Nope. Well, I’m going to the training camp in Manchester. I don’t know what’s going to happen there. a day or a week, I’m going to do my best.
Since so many of your teammates continue playing in Europe, do you see going all the way to California to play in a different league as a risk?
I have some friends that played there and are still in the league; no one in Ontario. I don’t see that as a risk. A hockey organization in California or New Brusnwick, I don’t see that a risk. I’m looking forward to it. Maybe at the beginning I’ll be lost, but professional hockey is a big thing, but it’s not going to be that different from what happened in Moncton.