In part two of his interview with Daren Machesney, which took place prior to the start of this year’s Calder Cup Finals, the Stingrays’ Joe Shetrom asks the first-year goaltender about playing in the CHL Prospects Game, taking online college courses, and perfecting his autograph.
JS: You had the opportunity to play for Team Cherry at the 2005 CHL Top Prospects Game. What was that experience like?
DM: That was an awesome experience. That whole year – my draft year – I just took it all in because I wasn’t really highly touted. Everything kind of snowballed quickly. That was one of my greatest hockey moments, so far.
JS: What do you think about the glut of goalies in the Capitals organization right now, especially with Michal Neuvirth and Semen Varlamov getting selected within the first two rounds of last year’s draft?
DM: We don’t have a lot of room for error here. I’m a little disappointed in the year I had this year, but I’m really looking forward to next year and proving that I can be a top prospect to this organization. I know there are two guys right on my butt, (Laughing) so I’ve got to really step it up and have a good summer.
JS: Switching gears, what’s your current mask design? Do you have ideas you present to the artist, or do you give them creative freedom?
DM: I’ve got a guy from
that did it. He put a Hershey Bear on the sides, a capital building on the front and a brick wall background. That’s pretty much it, although there are some little things on the back. It’s pretty basic.
JS: Are you going to keep that mask for next season or will you have a new design?
DM: We’ll see. (Laughing) If they pay for it I’ll get a new one.
JS: What’s some of your favorite goalie masks you’ve seen over the years?
DM: I always liked Felix Potvin’s. I just liked the way it blended with the uniform.
JS: Speaking of equipment, what are some of the rule changes you’ve had to adapt to over the years?
DM: Well, this year was the first year I went with the smaller gear. The biggest thing I noticed were the gloves; they’re a lot smaller. You take two inches off your blocker and about an inch of width off the glove – it makes a difference. You get used to it, though.
JS: Who were your heroes growing up?
DM: I just loved watching all the boys play in the NHL…probably Felix Potvin. I don’t know if he’d be a hero, but I used to watch him when I was a kid.
JS: Did you ever meet him?
DM: No, I never got to meet him.
JS: What team did you grow up rooting for?
DM: I’d probably be somewhat of a Leafs fan. But they just kind of make you mad, sometimes, when they don’t win.
JS: Goalies are known for their odd rituals and superstitions. Got any you can share?
DM: Before the game I try to go in the stands or somewhere and collect my thoughts. Nothing too superstitious, though. I don’t have to tie my shoes a certain way or anything. Just play the game, I guess.
JS: Do you ever pay attention to other team’s goalies?
DM: I’ve seen some weird stuff in my day. This one guy in
JS: Barry Brust?
DM: (Laughing) Yeah! He taps his pads like 15 times after each save. I’m like, “Oh my god.” If you do it, you do it. If you don’t, you don’t. It’s no big deal. Goalies are weird, though.
JS: Do you have any hobbies?
DM: In the summer I love to fish and play golf. I’m a pretty outdoors-y guy. Just relaxing and enjoying the fresh air.
JS: Your Brampton Battalion bio noted that you were taking online communication courses. Are you still doing that?
DM: I did that last year, but not this year. I wanted to see what the pro life was like first. I think I’m going to do it again next year. You’ve got to keep up with your schooling…you’ve got to have something to fall back on.
JS: What would you hope to pursue with a degree?
DM: I don’t know. I haven’t really given it much thought because I’ve pretty much dedicated my whole life to hockey. When people ask me, “What are you going to do after hockey?” I’m like, right now I’m just going to give it all I’ve got. If it doesn’t work out, I’m not going to worry about that. But I’m not going to be stupid with my money.
JS: What are your summer plans?
DM: I haven’t been home for probably nine months, so just getting home and spending time with friends and family. Just relax and get away from hockey.
JS: One of the cool benefits of going up to the NHL is getting your image plastered on new hockey cards. Did you sign cards for any of the trading card companies?
DM: Yeah, it’s weird the other day my dad was checking eBay; I guess there are some cards out with me in a Capitals jersey. I was like, “Oh, cool.” I hadn’t even seen them. I don’t know how that works, if they’re going to send me a bunch of copies to sign or what.
JS: Do you ever Google yourself?
DM: No, I don’t, but my parents usually tell me what’s going on. I go on the internet, but it’s usually to check different sites not hockey-related.
JS: How long did it take to perfect your signature?
DM: That’s pretty much what I accomplished in high school. I’d sit in the back of class and just scribble. I wasn’t paying attention to the teachers.
JS: Lastly, what teammates have you added to your Facebook?
DM: My two roommates right now, “Willie” (former Stingray Kyle Wilson) and “Huntsy” (Jamie Hunt). All the Black Aces (Hershey’s in-residence practice squad), too, like “Gordo” (Andrew Gordon), [Sean] Collins, “Deano” (Dean Arsene), and “Busy” (Marc Busenburg).
Come join the Stingrays for their 15th Anniversary Season! The 2007-08 season begins on Oct. 20 at 7:05 p.m. as the Rays take on in-state rival Columbia Inferno! Deposits are being taken now for the 2007-08 South Carolina Stingrays season tickets! For just $100 you can reserve your seat to every hard-hitting, action-packed game at the North Charleston Coliseum. For more information including benefits, pricing, and package options, please call the Stingrays front office at 744-2248 or view the information online at www.stingrayshockey.com. Stingrays Hockey – A Whole