This afternoon, Jimmy Bellamy from the Duluth News Tribune hosted a live chat with Rob Bordson, our favorite rags-to-riches (relatively speaking, I mean he did go to Marshall) Bulldog-turned-Duck. Since it wasn’t my chat, I’m not going to provide a transcript, but I will give some of the highlights (with my own commentary, of course.)
“Dawn”: Which former teammate are you most looking forward to playing against?
Rob: I am looking forward to playing against Jason Garrison and Evan Oberg. I played at UMD with those guys [yes, we know] and I got to know them pretty well when we played together.
Jimmy: Who on the Ducks did you get to know the most in your short time with Anaheim this year?
Rob: I got to know Dan Sexton pretty well. [Dan Sexton is my enemy because he prevents MacGregor Sharp from playing in the NHL.] We were both staying at the hotel together as we were both rookies. He is also from Minnesota and played high school at Apple Valley. He was a very nice guy and I learned a lot from him about how everything works and what it’s like to play in the NHL. [Still my enemy.]
RWD: [That’s me! Holy smokes!] Hey Rob! Congratulations on a great year with the Bulldogs and your pro contract! [I’m nice.] There’s a lot of talk [on USCHO, where losers matriculate en masse] about college vs. major juniors as the right route to the NHL. Do you think that the Ducks’ organization respects the college game or are they biased toward MJs? [I asked a question! I didn’t chicken out! Like I always do at the Coaches’ Show. Except when I won a sweatshirt and screamed.]
Rob: That’s a good statement. [Which one?] I think both college and major juniors is [sic] great hockey. A lot of good players come from both leagues. The Ducks definitely respect the college players because they have a history of signing college free agents. Guys like Dustin Penner [Maine], Andy MacDonald [Colgate] [Wait, what???] and Chris Kunitz [Ferris State]. I think a lot of teams are starting to look at the college players as much as major junior players.
RWD: Don’t forget MacGregor Sharp… 🙂 [!!!]
Rob: I will actually probably be on the same team as MacGregor. I am very excited. [Me too.]
Jimmy: Have you had a chance to check out the almost-completed Amsoil Arena yet?
“Jamie”: Are you disappointed you won’t get to play in the new arena?
Rob: I have not seen the new rink since our team took a tour during the year. I am a little disappointed I won’t get to play in it, but it was one of the things I had to give up to sign pro. [Also given up: a 2011 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Champions ring.]
Bruce C.: [A CLEVER DISGUISE!!! Why not B. Ciskie?? Oops, gave it away.] How cool would it be to get to play on Sharpie’s line, since you didn’t do that much — if at all — at UMD? Oh, and did you get to meet the Ducks radio guy? Is he nearly as cool as I am (probably not)? [Good lord. And we were worried I would be the one to make an ass of myself.]
Rob: I would definitely like to play with Sharpie. He is a great player and since we didn’t get to play together at UMD I think it would be a lot of fun. And no, I didn’t get a chance to meet the radio guys yet. Haha.
Jimmy: No one tops you, Bruce. Ciskie is Spanish for “cool.” [THAT’S NOT TRUE, JIMMY! YOU LIAR!!!] Did it take you a second to get over the fact that you were sharing a locker room in practice with Teemu Selanne and the now-retired Scott Niedermayer?
Rob: Yeah, I was in shock for a few days before I actually realized who I was skating with. It was pretty unbelievable to skate with those guys after watching them for years. It is unreal how much skill they have and how well they know the game.
RWD: [I’m monopolizing this chat.] Who are you working out with this summer? [RESTRAINING ORDER ALERT!] You’re in Duluth now, right?
Rob: Yes, I am in Duluth for the summer. I am working out with the UMD strength coach Justin May. It is a good place to workout because there are a few current Bulldogs there and some other guys around the area that play Division 1 elsewhere around the country or juniors. It’s a good workout. [Men Made By May! Isn’t that sexist? Your wife should totally have Chicks Created by Christyn.]
Jimmy: When does training camp begin? Do you have to report earlier than vets?
Rob: I actually have to report next Monday for rookie camp. That will be for a week. And the main training camp begins in September. I am not sure if the veterans will be there right away.
Jimmy: You came from the WCHA, which is arguably [though I don’t know why people even bother to argue, it’s true] the best conference in college hockey. How much of a speed difference is there in the pro game from what you saw this year?
Rob: It is a bit of a difference. The players are faster and stronger and the puck moves very fast. Everyone is a good passer so the puck zips around pretty good. I felt I could keep up pretty good when I practiced with the team.
[Celebrity guest alert! I mean, other than me. And “Bruce C.”]
Sean Avery: What is your take on enforcers? Do you think you could have the mindset to be one in the NHL or have ever taken on that role at any level?
Rob: I think every team needs enforcers. You have to have skilled players and role players to make up a good team. I don’t think I will play the role as an enforcer because Anaheim sees me as a skilled forward, but I will definitely learn to play tougher at the pro level.
Bruce C: How ready are you for a gig in the AHL, Rob? Do you think you’ll fit in there right away?
Rob: It will definitely be an adjustment. But I think I will learn how to play at the pro level. It might take a few months, but I hope to pick it up fast.
“Tom”: Hey, Rob. It’s no secret that the Ducks have a lot of great veteran players on their roster. Is there anyone in particular that you’re really excited to play alongside?
Rob: Anaheim has a great group of veterans. They have guys that have won the Stanley Cup and medals at the Olympic Games. I think if I made the team I would enjoy every day. It was pretty awesome skating with Teemu Selanne during practice.
RWD: [Yes!!!] Rob, you helped win me 2nd place in my WCHA fantasy hockey league, so thank you. What are some of your personal highlights from last season or your college career?
Rob: Haha. Well, I had a rough couple years to start out my college career, but last year was full of memories. I had a couple 4 point games that were pretty awesome. I think the sweep down in Minnesota [UMTC] was awesome. It is always nice to beat the Gophers and we beat them twice in their barn. As a team that was one of our better weekends. [It was also one of my better weekends for being a total hag to opposing fans.] It was also fun beating CC in the playoffs to get to the Final 5.
Bruce Ciskie: [Whoa, wait! Was that Bruce C. another person??] How about your boy Alex Stalock maybe getting a shot in San Jose this year? [Well if that NNIITTYYMMAAKKII person doesn’t get it] Even if he doesn’t, how cool is it going to be to face him in the AHL or NHL? [Uh, well, if he doesn’t get a shot, then he won’t be in the NHL, Bruce.]
Rob: Yeah, Al has a great chance at playing in San Jose. I think the GM of San Jose said it was pretty much wide open. I think Al has a great shot as he played well all year and tied an AHL record for wins as a goalie. It would definitely be fun to play him again.
Bruce C: [See!!! What is going on here???] Where do you shoot on him?
Rob: That’s a tough call. He is good all over. He is quick down low so maybe up high.
Jimmy Bellamy: Do you know much about the incoming freshmen at UMD? How do you think the ‘Dogs will fare this season?
Rob Bordson: I think UMD will have a good year. [WE DO NOT WANT A “GOOD” YEAR. WE WANT A FANTASTICAL YEAR!] I think they have some good recruits coming in. I know Faulk will be good as he was just drafted in the 2nd round. [Er, yes, that is correct, second round draft picks are always… oh right.]
Fffff. I prepared a question LAST WEEK, I was going to ask if he had experienced any rookie hazing, but I FORGOT. Ugh. Swear words.