Sammy Blais on Rangers trade, his hockey crossroads, eating from Stanley Cup

1 year ago 141

Left winger Sammy Blais, who was traded by the Blues to the Rangers successful July, takes a changeable astatine immoderate Q&A with Post columnist Steve Serby.

Q: When you deliberation backmost to your Game 7 triumph with the Blues implicit the Bruins successful the 2019 Stanley Cup finals, what was that acquisition like?

A: When you’re a hockey subordinate erstwhile you’re young, you imagination of playing successful the Stanley Cup Final, and for maine it was 1 of the champion moments of my life. Being a Stanley Cup champion everlastingly is thing that cipher is going to beryllium capable to instrumentality distant from me.

Q: Describe skating astir the crystal holding the Cup implicit your head.

A: My full household was successful the stands, and for me, I was a big, large instrumentality of hockey erstwhile I was young. For maine it was sleep, play hockey and eat. My parents knew however hard I worked to get successful the NHL. It was an unreal feeling for maine to enactment that large trophy connected apical of my caput with my arms. It was thing I’ll retrieve my full beingness and conscionable having my household determination [at TD Garden] with maine was thing truly special.

Q: What was it similar bringing the Cup location to Montmagny, Quebec?

A: I conscionable wanted to bring it backmost to the radical that person ever supported maine erstwhile I was young. They were conscionable each blessed for maine and conscionable blessed to observe that time with me.

Q: Why did you person to scrub the wrong of the Cup?

A: ’Cause I enactment immoderate cereal successful it, truthful I had to similar cleanable it a small bit.

Q: You ate cereal retired of the Cup?

A: Yeah I had cereal successful determination and successful Quebec poutine is similar a large happening too, similar French fry with food curds and gravy, truthful I enactment that successful there, too. It was conscionable memories that volition past everlastingly that day.

Q: So you had meal retired of the Cup astatine home?

A: Yeah, yeah, I had cereal successful the greeting successful the Cup, and past aboriginal astatine nighttime everyone had similar poutine successful the Cup and stuff, truthful it was good.

Sammy BlaisSammy Blais (r.) celebrates winning the Stanley Cup with the Blues.Getty Images

Q: There was a parade.

A: After the meal and worldly erstwhile I archetypal got the Cup, I had a parade successful similar the downtown of my tiny town. There was adjacent to similar 10,000 radical there, truthful it was thing peculiar and thing I’ll retrieve my full life.

Q: That was the St. Louis Blues’ archetypal Stanley Cup championship. Could you ideate what it would beryllium similar winning a Cup successful New York?

A: That’s my imagination now. I’m gonna bash everything successful my power, and I cognize we person a bully radical here, a radical that wants to win, a radical that’s precise bare to win, and I deliberation we person each the assets to bring backmost a Cup successful New York, that’s for sure.

Q: What drives you?

A: Just getting amended each day. I’ve been playing hockey since I [was] 4 years old. I conscionable privation to beryllium radical incorrect each day, radical who ne'er believed successful me, and radical that said I should ne'er play successful the NHL oregon wherever. I conscionable privation to beryllium radical incorrect and get amended each day. I play hockey ’cause I emotion hockey. I won a Cup successful St. Louis, and I conscionable privation to bring 1 backmost successful New York and hopefully I tin beryllium a New York Ranger for galore years to come.

Q: Why didn’t radical deliberation you would marque it?

A: I don’t know, erstwhile I was younger I got chopped by my midget squad similar doubly successful a row, and past I astir stopped playing hockey erstwhile I was 16.

Q: You astir gave it up?

A: Not springiness it up, but I astir went to play successful my hometown with my friends, similar insignificant hockey. I was similar done with competitory hockey. It was astir apt the lowest constituent of my vocation to beryllium honest. It was thing similar that bad, it was conscionable maine bushed of moving hard for nothing. … I conscionable kept getting amended and better, and past I’m present close present playing successful the NHL for the New York Rangers.

Q: What is it similar playing nether the New York microscope with each the pressure?

A: Pressure ne'er truly bothered me, to beryllium honest. When I spell to the rink, I person a occupation to bash and I conscionable effort to bash it my best. I don’t truly deliberation astir the extracurricular satellite erstwhile I’m astatine the rink, I conscionable play my crippled and effort to assistance my squad win.

Q: Describe your on-ice mentality.

A: When I was younger, I deliberation I was conscionable much of similar an offensive-minded player. I wanted to people goals and I wanted to person points, but erstwhile I came into pro hockey, my archetypal pro manager which was Craig Berube, helium told maine that I had to bring thing other to the table. I conscionable started playing hard and being a hard subordinate playing against and being physical, and I did that and it worked retired bully and I liked doing it.

RangersSammy Blais checks Christopher Tanev of the flames.Getty Images

Q: Does being carnal assistance get you into the travel of the crippled faster?

A: Yeah, erstwhile I spell into the game, my archetypal displacement I ever effort to spell hard and person a bully deed oregon something.

Q: What was it similar being connected that St. Louis-San Antonio Express that twelvemonth you won the Cup?

A: It was a brainsick twelvemonth that year. … It was hard mentally, to beryllium honest. I thought I was bully capable to ever enactment up there, but we had a batch of bully players successful St. Louis and I was inactive a prospect, truthful [GM Doug Amrstrong] had to nonstop maine down a mates of times adjacent though I was not agreeing for being sent down, but it is what it is. I’m conscionable blessed they gave maine my accidental to play successful the NHL, and to triumph a Stanley Cup with them is thing I’ll retrieve my full life.

Q: What was the debased constituent emotionally that year?

A: I didn’t truly person a debased constituent that much. I inactive loved the crippled truthful much. I knew I had to get amended and I had to beryllium stuff, but I conscionable kept moving hard and I knew they loved maine successful St. Louis, and it was conscionable a substance of clip for maine to beryllium a regular there.

Q: The pursuing twelvemonth was your wrist injury.

A: I was retired for 28 games. I was not truly blessed astir that injury, to beryllium honest.

Q: How would you comparison Rangers manager Gerard Gallant with Blues manager Craig Berube?

A: I spot a batch of similarities. They don’t truly shriek astatine you successful beforehand of everyone. When you spot that successful a person, you conscionable cognize that you person to respect them ’cause, for me, the mode they played the crippled and they some played for a agelong clip successful the NHL. … Just trying to marque maine a amended subordinate each day. Berube successful St. Louis was truly important for maine successful my career, and I person thing atrocious to accidental astir him and conscionable privation to accidental convey you to him for everything helium did. Gerard has been really, truly bully with maine and he’s truly important for a team, he’s bully with the young guys, and I deliberation everyone successful the locker country has a batch of spot successful him. Just truly blessed to beryllium present successful New York and person a manager similar that is truly immense for sure.

Q: In what mode is helium bully with the young guys?

A: Making them comfortable, and that making a mistake is OK, and past you inactive person a accidental to spell backmost retired determination and beryllium that your mistake was not that bad. I conscionable deliberation that helium gives a batch of players the assurance and conscionable spell retired determination and play your crippled — like, you’re successful the NHL, you’re a bully player, truthful conscionable spell bash your happening and everything’s gonna enactment out.

Q: Have you ever watched clips of him erstwhile helium played?

A: Some fights yea connected YouTube, but not similar clips of him playing games, no.

Q: Why did you ticker his fights connected YouTube?

A: I don’t know, I conscionable enactment his sanction connected and that’s what I saw (chuckle).

Q: Whatever comes to mind: the astir astonishing happening you’ve seen Artemi Panarin bash connected the ice.

A: Just the mode helium handles the puck, conscionable unreal hands and the hockey IQ helium has is conscionable connected apical of the database for sure.

Q: Mika Zibanejad.

A: One of the champion 200-foot players I’ve seen play the crippled successful a agelong time. The magnitude of accomplishment helium has and conscionable however bully helium is defensively too, helium plays [penalty kill], helium plays [power play], helium plays the crippled the close way.

Q: Adam Fox.

A: You tin spot it each time successful signifier and successful games that he’s 1 of the champion defensemen successful the league and nary 1 should ever uncertainty that.

Q: Kaapo Kakko.

A: Big kid with a batch of skills. Just an astonishing kid, helium loves the crippled and helium wants to get amended each day, and I deliberation he’s gonna beryllium a huge, immense subordinate for america this year.

Q: Chris Kreider.

A: One of the champion skaters I’ve seen successful the league, I would accidental similar fastest skater, works hard, plays the crippled hard and goes to the nett and evidently a large person for us.

Q: Igor Shesterkin.

A: Unreal goalie, to beryllium honest. Just truly calm successful beforehand of his net. When he’s successful the net, the assurance we person successful him is truly great, and he’s gonna beryllium a large portion of america winning hockey games this year.

Q: What is it similar playing successful beforehand of Rangers fans?

A: Pretty amazing, to beryllium honest.

Q: If you could person a breakaway against immoderate goaltender successful NHL history, who would it be?

A: Carey Price, for sure. I scored him erstwhile connected a breakaway, truthful I would emotion to bash it again for sure.

NHLSammy BlaisCorey Sipkin

Q: If you could prime the encephalon of immoderate subordinate successful NHL history?

A: Either Wayne Gretzky oregon Sidney Crosby.

Q: Describe Laurie-Anne, who has Morquio syndrome, a uncommon upset that means she won’t turn immoderate more.

A: She’s from adjacent to my hometown, and she’s a large instrumentality of hockey but she couldn’t truly play hockey. When I won the Cup, I invited her implicit to my location to travel spot the Cup quick, and I had a mates of drinks of orangish foodstuff successful the Cup to springiness her. It was conscionable thing peculiar for maine to springiness backmost to kids similar that, it’s conscionable thing that I look guardant to.

Q: Three meal guests?

A: Sidney Crosby, Carey Price, LeBron James.

Q: Favorite movie”

A: “American Sniper.”

Q: Favorite actor?

A: Liam Neeson.

Q: Favorite singer/entertainer?

A: Luke Bryan.

Q: Favorite meal?

A: Pasta.

Q: Personal goals?

A: Just beryllium to radical I’m not conscionable lone a carnal player, I tin play an violative game, I person immoderate bully skill, and I conscionable privation to amusement radical that I tin beryllium a powerfulness guardant with accomplishment that tin enactment up points for sure.

Q: What portion of your crippled bash you deliberation needs the astir work?

A: Keep getting amended defensively. I’ve made immense advancement implicit the years, I’ve worked hard connected it. Keep increasing my game, keeping moving hard, and past bully things are gonna hap I’m sure.