JS: I asked you earlier what your most memorable goal was, but what about your favorite fight?
TM: Probably the most memorable is a guy I fought, Matt Kassian, in Vancouver (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjvdwXBle1Q). And that was one of the best, punch for punch, fights that I’ve ever had. I kind of had him a little at the beginning and then he got his left loose, getting quite a few punches in on me. And then at the end of the fight he pulls a little cheap move, slamming my face on the ice. That was probably the best in junior. My best pro one so far was against Kip Brennan last year in Hershey (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_-BtxpBUBU). I’m in Hershey, trying to make a name for myself, and I go after a guy who played in the NHL for quite a while and has fought every tough guy in the NHL. He’s playing against his old team. I think it was just a real cool situation; it was two days before my birthday.
JS: Did you ever get a rematch with Kassian, and did you hold any animosity towards him for doing the face slam?
TM: I definitely had quite a bit of animosity. If you watch it, it’s just an absolutely ridiculous cheap move. He got suspended for it and the league reprimanded him for it. I had a pretty bad concussion from it, and quite a few stitches in my forehead from it. I think he probably wouldn’t apologize, but I heard he felt pretty bad about it. I’m still kind of upset about it, but I did fight him after that.
JS: Tell me about playing for the 2003-04 Medicine Hat team that won the WHL crown.
TM: It was awesome. I don’t think I realized how much talent was on that team until you look back. Guys now playing in the NHL, there’s quite a few of them. It was just an awesome ride. The guys on the team I’ll be friends with forever. We actually got together in Medicine Hat a couple summers ago and kind of had a roast for our radio guy who had been there for thirty-some years. It was just an amazing team and I’m just really glad to have been a part of it.
JS: You’re originally from Spokane, Washington. Did you grow up a fan of the Chiefs?
TM: Huge fan. I always wanted to play for them, and when I turned 16 and went to Medicine Hat I was actually pretty disappointed I couldn’t play for the Chiefs. I got to play against them a few times in Spokane, so all my buddies got to come and watch. I skated with them a few times this summer when I was getting in shape. It’s a first-class organization, they treat you like gold, and [Spokane Chiefs Governor/General Manager] Tim Speltz is one of the best guys in this business you could ever meet. I’m just glad that we have a good relationship. I called them up over the summer and said, hey I’m looking for a place to skate. I said, would it be okay if I skated with you guys? I was out there the next day. They really take care of you.
JS: Even though you never played for Spokane, were you glad to see them win their first Memorial Cup in 17 years this past season?
TM: I was so happy for them. I got to go to a bunch of playoff games. It couldn’t happen to a better group of guys. They worked hard and they were the most talented team. Doug Peters really got them all on the same sheet, taking 20 guys and getting them to think the same thing. And that’s what happened. They went back there and they stunned a lot of people. I was extremely happy for them.
JS: One of your Stingrays teammates, Matt Scherer, is also a Washington state native. Did you know each other before joining South Carolina?
TM: No. He’s a few years older than me. When I was in pee wee he was in bantam, and so forth. We talk quite a bit and we know a lot of the same places and a lot of the same people. It’s pretty fun to have somebody from your home state. When you tell someone you’re from Washington State, a lot of people have no clue where that is or they think you’re talking about D.C. It’s fun to have somebody to tease and make fun of Seattle, and he makes fun of Spokane. It’s a fun relationship.
JS: You worked at a golf course this past summer, correct?
TM: Yeah. I actually worked at a golf course in summers when I’d come home from Medicine Hat. There was a country club right down the street from my house; it was a really nice place. I walked up there one day and asked if they needed any help around there. They were like, “yeah, we need some manual labor.” I thought, maybe I’ll come down here a couple days a week. I had to be up pretty early, about five (a.m.). I just loved the free golf, and you got to be outside getting a tan. If hockey doesn’t work out that might be something I look into.
JS: What’s your best score?
TM: I used to be pretty good in high school; I was a four-year varsity player. My best score ever, I shot a 68 when I was 15.
JS: I hear you’re a Philadelphia Phillies fan. It must be nice to see the city win a major championship after such a long drought.
TM: Yeah. I had a girlfriend who lived right outside of there, in New Jersey. After my first surgery in Phoenix, I had a few months off. My agent knows a bunch of guys with the Flyers, and they actually skate right by there. I lived with my girlfriend’s family and skated with the Flyers and worked out with them every day. It worked out perfect. I went straight to Washington, and then went to Hershey and ended up playing against a bunch of the guys who were at Flyers camp. But while I was there I caught quite a few Phillies games. What an awesome year for those guys. It was pretty fun to watch.
JS: Any routines or superstitions?
TM: I always tie my right skate first. It’s just kind of subconscious; I don’t mean to do it. Somebody pointed it out to me one day. I don’t know why. I always kiss the clock on 11:11, or 2:22 or 3:33, and make a wish.
JS: What are your favorite websites to visit?
TM: It’s so embarrassing, but I’m gonna have to go with Facebook. I think it’s so cool how you can see people you haven’t seen in years, whether it was high school or middle school. They add pictures, you can see what they’re doing…who’s single, who’s engaged. It’s kind of sad how much I’m on it. That’s probably number one, and then nhl.com, my e-mail, echl.com, YouTube – that’s probably it. I don’t have a huge selection. My banking I do online too.
JS: Speaking of Facebook, I noticed you and Matt Scherer have almost the same amount of friends on that site. In fact, you had 574 friends compared to his 573.
TM: No way, really? I’m going to have to start adding people then, just because you said that. That’s funny because I didn’t even notice that. We must know a lot of the same people in Washington. That’s what it is.
To read the first part of Maxwell’s interview, please click here: http://www.stingrayshockey.com/news/index.html?article_id=775
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