Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jamie McBain is off to a fast start in his NHL career. (photo by LTD)
Last week we started a new feature on the blog entitled "Fans Want To Know" and we thought that Jamie McBain would be a good player to start this off with.
There was such a good response to the idea that there were actually more questions than what there was time for, but McBain was nice enough to speak with me after the morning skate on Saturday and I was able to ask him the majority of the questions.
Perhaps we will have time on another date to finish them up or followup on some of his responses. A big thank you to those of you who submitted questions and of course thanks also goes to McBain, for being a good sport and taking the time for the interview.
Q: What do you have in your iPod right now? What kind of music do you like? Favorite groups?
A: I have a little bit of everything, but primarily country. I like Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, and Keith Urban. All kinds of country.
Q: What nicknames have you had in your career? Which one do your teammates use the most? Do you have a preference?
A: "Bain" or "Bainer". Those have always been around me and those have stuck. No, no preference really.
Q: Why did you attend the U of Wisconsin over another school or a major junior team?
A: College was always the route I was going to go. Growing up I used to love to watch the Gophers, (U of Minn). For me, watching college hockey was bigger, or I was more into it, than watching pro hockey. Wisconsin turned out to be the best fit for me because I had an opportunity to play right away. The facilities and the coaching staff are great and they have proven that they are able to develop players and get them to the next level.
Q: Why number 28?
A: That's the number the Canes gave to me.
Q: What areas do you want to concentrate on in your offseason training?
A: (Manny Legace, who was sitting in the next stall chirped in...hunting and fishing) For the most part, I'm going to stick with my overall conditioning program that I have been doing during previous offseasons. I want to make sure my conditioning is up in general. But I will also focus on upper body because it will help in holding up some of these bigger and stronger guys in the corners.
Q: Any plans between now and training camp in the fall?
A: Nothing yet, no. When we finish up with the Canes, I'll probably go back to Albany for the playoffs. After that, spend some time at home.
Q: What has surprised you the most so far with your experience in the NHL? Anything unexpected happen once you were recalled?
A: I don't think anything has really surprised me. It's been a great experience, so far, but it's still the same game. I guess the thing that is most different and fun is looking across the ice and seeing the star players, or even sitting in this locker room and spending time with the Staal's and the Brind'Amour's and the rest of these guys. And playing against the likes of Ovechkin and Crosby and the other stars. It's been more fun than anything else, but there really have not been any surprises.
Q: Do you have a pregame routine? Between periods?
A: Not really. I try to hydrate myself as best I can between periods.
Q: What is your impression of Raleigh so far and the fans?
A: Oh wow, it's been unbelievable. The fans remind me a lot of Wisconsin's. How crazy they are and how die hard they are for hockey. Especially with the tailgating beforehand and stuff like that. That takes me back to Wisconsin, which is great. The city of Raleigh is nice, I have really enjoyed it so far. It's a beautiful area. Everyone is really nice and it seems like a great place to be a part of.
Q: Who was your roommate in Albany and so far with the Canes?
Q: What part of game do you need to work on more, offense or defense?
A: I think you can always look to improve your game. You are always looking to be a more complete player. I am feeling pretty comfortable in both areas, but you know you can always improve. Like I said with the offseason training, I'm going to try to work on my upper body strength so I can contain some of the bigger forwards in the defensive zone and then on offense will work on my shot so that it will continue to be effective.
Q: Is there a player or specific style you try to emulate as you play? Who was your favorite player and team growing up?
A: Jordan Leopold was one guy I really watched a lot when he was at the University of Minnesota. I really enjoyed his play. Probably him more than anyone, but I like to take different things from a lot of players and put it into my game, and try to create my own game too. I didn't really have a favorite NHL team. Again I went the college route, so did not really pay much attention to the pro teams.
Q: Did you have any relatives play pro hockey? There was a McBain who played for Binghamton years ago.
A: Nope, no relatives that played pro.
Q: Do you have any expectations for next year?
A: Well, probably the biggest expectation is to make the club. After that, we will see what happens. Having a good offseason and coming to training camp prepared so I can be at my top performance and hopefully make the squad. Then expectations will go from there.