Shawn Germain is done with hockey. He thinks.
Plan A is to be a firefighter in Edmonton, Plan B is to be a firefighter in Calgary, and Plan C is to play hockey. It’s fairly obvious that he’s hoping Plans A and B don’t fall through. Here’s what the 28-year-old defenseman had to say this morning:
I think the next couple weeks, I’ll hopefully be hearing from both Edmonton and Calgary fire. The next process is probably an aptitude test that I have to write. Do that, then it’s kind of a three-stage process. You do the aptitude test, do well on that, then you do a physical test. If you do that, they’ll ask you to do the interview. That’s the last process. It’s kind of spread out over 5 or 6 months. I probably won’t find out if I’m offered a contract until October, from either of those places. I’m just kind of waiting to see what happens. I’ll work this summer. … Edmonton is closer to family, probably priority number 1. Calgary is a great city as well.
But you’re not ruling out hockey?
I don’t want to be a guy that keeps saying, ‘yeah I’m done,’ then come back. I already did that once. I think one of the things this year has taught me is never count things out. I can never say I’ll never play another game of pro hockey. If I were to get on with a fire department, that would be it for me. That will be my next career. I want to put as much passion and effort into that as I did for my hockey career. If things don’t work out with fire, there’s always that possibility that I would come back.
Would you prefer to come back here?
Absolutely. I can’t see myself going anywhere else but here. It’s been a great three years. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. this has been a second home for me. Even if I were to move on to fire, it’d probably be a thing where I’m here once a year, come and hang out because I met a lot of great people.
How did the team change from the time you arrived (on Dec. 26) until the end of the season?
When I first came in … I think that 12-game skid they went on before I got here definitely wore on the team a little bit. I tried to bring probably just a positive attitude, a guy coming in from the outside – it was easy for me to be a little more positive, try to rub off some of my positive work ethic on some of the younger guys. (Knowing the system and coach) was a big thing, too. Knowing what he’s like, and some of the younger guys coming in and asking questions, just bringing that part of it into the dressing room, over the span of the season guys were definitely more positive. … It didn’t get a ton easier for us. Just battling for adversity. Even when we were eliminated, we were fighting for each other.
What made this team unique?
I think group had a lot of the characteristics of the group we had the first year. Guys really liked being around each other. That was definitely the case the first year. Why that didn’t transfer over into the wins we had the first year, I’m not sure. But I mean I think overall the guys got it, and this is a developmental league. By the end of the year guys had developed. Some of the younger guys were developing. (CJ) Stretch had a good finish. Kyle Kraemer had a good finish – he’s a rookie but kind of an older guy, but it’s a developmental league. Wins and losses – you can’t totally evaluate on that.
How much did you guys miss Chad Starling?
It would have been a huge difference. Chad’s one of the best defensemen in this league. He’s a good, steady stay at home guy. He’s a calming influence back there. It would have been a huge difference having chad back there. It definitely would have shored up our back end a little bit. We had some issues when I first got here. Toward the end it got better. Patty Bowen had a good finish. Craig Gaudet came in and played well. (Jason) Fredricks really made strides, shutting down lines at the end of the year, he made some big strides defensively for sure.