Our own prodigy, Drew Doughty, has made the Canadian Olympic team. For the nhl.com report, click here.
Here is Drew’s interview with Hammond.
Question: What was your reaction this morning?
DOUGHTY: “You know, I was pretty surprised. I knew I had a shot at one of the last spots there, but getting that phone call this morning was real surprising, but definitely one of my greatest moments.”
Question: When you were at the summer orientation camp, what were you thinking then? That this could happen? Might happen?
DOUGHTY: “I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew I had a shot, but I knew I was young and that there’s a lot of good D-men who were trying out for the team. I was pretty surprised. At that camp, I didn’t know what to expect.”
Question: To what do you attribute your development at such a young age?
DOUGHTY: “I’ve had a lot of help over the years. When I played in Guelph, Ontario, there, they helped me out a lot. I had a lot of great coaches, in Dave Barr and Jason Brooks there. They taught me a lot. I was pretty much just an offensive defenseman then, and I kind of became a two-way defenseman. I think that has a great deal to do with why I made the team.”
Question: How much of a factor has the success of the Kings been, in terms of confidence and making your game more well-rounded?
DOUGHTY: “It’s definitely important, for all of us. The Kings have been struggling for quite a few years now, so getting those wins and being at the top of the conference for a little bit there, it was definitely a confidence-booster for all of us and it helped us grow and become more confident players out there.”
Question: Some big names on defense did not make the team. Do you feel for them at all?
DOUGHTY: “Yeah. I’m sure everyone who was at the orientation camp would love to be on the team. I think they’d do anything in the world to be named to this Olympic team, and some of them are great players, and guys that I actually thought would have been on the team. So I guess I feel for them a bit, but I’d definitely rather be in my position.”
Question: You seem pretty calm. Were you jumping up and down when you got the call?
DOUGHTY: “When I got the call, I was still half-asleep. It was pretty early for me. I was just waking up. I actually had a voice mail at first, because I was still asleep and I didn’t hear my phone ring. But when I woke up, I was definitely pretty happy. I woke up Brownie right away, my roommate, and told him, and I started calling everyone in the family.”
Question: How will you challenge yourself over the next six weeks to stay on an even keel, with still a lot of hockey to play?
DOUGHTY: “I’m always going to have Team Canada in the back of my mind, but right now I just want to help the Kings win. They’re my No. 1 focus. I’m obviously going to go out there every night and try to be a better player and play my best, and hopefully take my play into the Olympics.”
Question: How does it feel to be the young guy of the group?
DOUGHTY: “It feels good. I definitely might be a little nervous going in, just going in to meet the guys for the first time, being the young guy. It’s different, but I love it, obviously, and it’s great to be named.”
Question: Your roommate could end up being your opponent in the Olympics. Is there going to be a little joking around there?
DOUGHTY: “I’m sure we’ll be giving it to each other, chirping each other back and forth. It’s going to be fun playing against Brownie. I know he’s a hard hitter and stuff like that, so I’ll be looking out for him.”
Question: Did you sleep well last night, thinking about your chances?
DOUGHTY: “I couldn’t sleep last night. I’m going to be honest. It was a pretty tough night for me last night. I was up, then I was sleeping, then I was back and forth. I was pretty nervous. I didn’t really know what my chances were. I knew I had an outside shot. Making it is definitely a big surprise, as I said, but I’m just so excited.”
Question: Did you save the voice mail this time?
DOUGHTY: “I still have it on my phone. I haven’t deleted it yet. It was definitely a surprise, getting that call in the morning. Words can’t even describe it.”
Question: Who made the call?
DOUGHTY: “Doug Armstrong. I believe he’s the GM of the St. Louis Blues. He was our GM at the World Championships as well, so I kind of got to know him there. He was the one who made the call.”
COMMENTS FROM PLAYERS AND COACHES:
TERRY MURRAY (courtesy of Rich Hammond):
“It’s a great opportunity for him. It’s wonderful for a guy, 20 years old, to be selected as one of the top defensemen in Canada and play in the Olympic program. It’s great, it’s exciting.” Asked if he thought Drew would be picked, Murray said: “Yeah, I did. I thought that he had a chance. He had a great year last year. He really had an impact on our hockey club, playing a lot of minutes in all situations. I don’t know the reasoning behind what the process is, when you’re selecting defensemen for the team, but he is a pretty complete hockey player. He’s going to be able to get out there in all situations. He’s not a player that’s going to feel overwhelmed or nervous. He can handle the big stage. He’s done it in the past, and he will do it again. It’s wonderful.”
DUSTIN BROWN (courtesy of Rich Hammond):
Question: Drew said he couldn’t sleep last night. Was he pacing the floors all night?
BROWN: “Yeah, a little bit. I went to dinner with him, and we room together, and I think it kind of hit him at dinner. The TV was on, and they started talking about the team being named tomorrow, and it kind of hit him that the possibility was there that he would be playing. It’s funny to see. I don’t think he fully understands how big of a deal it is, especially being here in Canada while it happens. Obviously it’s a huge honor for him. He’s so young, and I think part of what makes him great is that he doesn’t understand how big of a deal it is, and how good he is. He just has that goofy attitude. He doesn’t realize how good he is.”
Question: He said he woke you up right away to tell you…
BROWN: “I kind of heard his rustle. I think he turned his phone on silent, because he didn’t want to get woken up too early. When he got up, I was kind of half-awake, so I heard him talking to somebody. I figured that was probably the call he was hoping for. He was pretty excited after that, making phone calls to friends and family.”
Question: What do you think about the possibility of being on opposite sides?
BROWN: “It’s always fun. Obviously there’s a fine line. It’s fun to compete against your teammates, but at the same time, you play hard and once they put on that jersey, you don’t really differentiate them from any other player on the other team. That could cause conflicts, not so much personal between me and Dewey. If something were to happen, that’s part of the game, and when he plays for Canada, I don’t think he’s going to differentiate between me and any other player, if I’m named to that team.”
Question: So you need to keep your head up, in other words…
BROWN: “I just have to watch out for his butt. That’s all he seems to hit with. I’m not too afraid about his body checks. It’s his hip checks.”
MIKE BABCOCK (courtesy of TSN):
BABCOCK: “The great players, they seem to just get better so fast. He’s a guy that plays with unbelievable poise. Great in his own zone. He’s a matchup guy, plays against the best players each and every night. We honed in on him, we watched him. Kevin Lowe spent a lot of time covering him, and in the end, we decided he was going to be a great fit. He’s a difference-maker. He can shoot the pill. He can get it going.”
“There’s no question there’s some tremendous players, and Mike Green is an outstanding offensive defenceman,” he said. “We felt that Drew Doughty in this case is a little bit more complete a player, and based on how he played at the world championships … that he was a better fit for us.”
Categories: L.A. Kings News