Throughout the 2013 off-season TexasStarsHockey.com will be checking in with the players to see how their summer is going. We will be posting a weekly audio interview with Texas Stars broadcaster Owen Newkirk joined by a Stars’ player or coach, asking about everything from off-season conditioning to vacation time to the Stars’ Fifth Anniversary season coming up in 2013-14. Episode 2 of Summer with the Stars features Minnesota native and Texas Stars Man of the Year Toby Petersen. Below are some highlights of our conversation with the Stars veteran forward, along with a link to the full audio interview.
Listen: CLICK HERE
What did you think of the new Texas Stars jerseys that you and Francis Wathier modeled at the unveiling in late May?
They look good. I’m a fan of the jerseys; I think it’s a nice design. They’re clean looking, they're sharp. I think that’s an important thing in hockey. I don’t like jerseys that are too busy, I think they distract from the product on the ice.
Being a Minnesota native, do you like the fact that Texas went to an all-green look like the old Minnesota North Stars?
Yeah I do. I thought it was a great look that the North Stars had, green jerseys and green socks. I liked it better when they had the green hockey pants. They eventually changed to the black pants with the stars down the side, but I was a big fan of the all green look with the yellow stripe up the side. I thought those were very classic.
Did you like the way Head Coach Willie Desjardins made a conscious effort to incorporate the leadership of the Stars to make sure all the players felt both a sense of ownership and accountability?
Absolutely. Before training camp really got very deep he was already holding meetings and having guys in to kind of get a structure for our team and what we were looking for for the season and what our goals were and different ways we could achieve those goals. I think he’s very intelligent; he has a lot of experience with running and coaching a team. By having everyone represented in the meetings and throughout the season it’s a good way to keep the team united and not let any divisions pop up within the team. I think that’s a good way to keep us strong throughout the season. He’s been incredibly consistent for everything I’ve read and everything I’ve seen with his teams. He’s been consistent with how he runs them and what he expects from his players. Obviously from year to year certain things will change as far as systems and what power plays are run, a lot of that will depend on personnel and what guys are able to do on the ice. The stuff in the locker room seems like it hasn’t changed at all and I’ve been with him in Dallas where he was an assistant and obviously in Texas where he’s the head coach. He demands a lot from his players and the players are very willing to give it to him because there’s a mutual respect between the players and the coaching staff.
With the amount of time you have spent with the Stars organization, is it more than just a job when you play that long in one organization?
Yeah, it absolutely is. I have a lot of loyalty to this organization. I’m watching, even the current drafts, I’m watching them very closely because I’m very tied up with what they’re doing. I’m not thinking “well, whoever they draft probably won’t be there for a couple of years, so what do I care.” I really want this organization to do well, I’m really pulling for everyone to do well, and that’s because of how long I’ve been here and how many guys I’ve seen come through. It’s been a pleasure to be part of this organization for so long and I look forward to being a part for next year.
There are a lot more ice surfaces available for skating during the summer months in Minnesota than in Austin. How long do you take off after the season ends before you start to hit the ice again?
I usually take four to six weeks off. It depends what’s going on. In Minnesota there’s a lot of ice and a lot of my buddies are actually still playing, even though they're old men. They’re still playing open hockey and I like to get out there with them once in a while just to keep the edges sharp and keep the hands loose. Then when late July, early August hits, I step on the ice and do a lot more up tempo stuff with more of the professional guys or the college guys and try to gear up for camp starting in early September.
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