He’s notched a modest two assists and a plus-1 rating, but he’s still looking to add to his 765 career goals. And his teammates are doing all they can to help.
“My teammates tried to find me to score the goals,” he said to Scott Oake and Louie DeBrusk on After Hours after the Flames lost 4-2 to the Minnesota Wild. “I was close, but close is not enough. I’m not happy about it. They tried to pass to me all the time and I couldn’t finish it.”
The 45-year-old is currently playing in his 26th NHL season, largely due to a work ethic that is second to none. He discussed that work ethic, the difference between current and past training regiments, goal celebrations and his magic mullet with Oake and DeBrusk during their sit-down interview on the segment.
On being strong
“From the mother’s side, that part of our family, is pretty strong. I’ve worked so hard off the ice. I’ve done a thousand squats a day since I was seven years old until 18. So, it was a lot of squats and I was living on a farm. Playing hockey was so easy compared to working on a farm. You know you have to work five to six hours a day. Playing hockey is like a vacation to me.”
On celebrating goals
“In Europe, every time we score goals we were really happy about it so we celebrated. Here it was kind of different. When guys from the NHL scored a goal it was like automatic and those five guys would hug, but in Europe the whole team would jump on the ice. I remember when I was a young guy and my teammate scored a goal I didn’t play very much and I would have to jump and chase the guy and all the guys would try to catch the one guy would scored the goal. We always celebrated so I always try to have fun with that. And it’s not easy to score goals, so when I had a chance to score I would try to celebrate it.”
On present-day training
“Twenty years ago we practised differently than the young guys practise right now. We were riding the bike all the time. We didn’t do anything else: just ride a bike, ride a bike, ride a bike. And my legs got stronger. But when you look at the young kids right now, all the power in skating comes from the hips, and I don’t have that. After the bikes and bikes, you’re just using the bottom of the legs and we never used the hips.
“This is the reason, I think, why my skating is not the same as the young guys. They don’t have to practice the way we did. I had no other choice. We didn’t know any better.”
On his power coming from his mullet.
“That’s what I always thought. That’s why I did it. The power is in the hair. It doesn’t work for me right now but hopefully it’s going to change.”
Listen to the full interview in the video player at the top of this page.