Talk about the goal you scored in the NHL?
"I was playing for the Los Angeles Kings and it was against Nashville. It was kind of a fluky goal, but a goal is a goal and you can never complain about putting the puck in the net. I was driving to the net and Ziggy (Zigmund Palffy) just kind of threw it on net and I just kind of knocked it in. It wasn't a highlight goal by any means, but definitely a high point in my life and career."
So a memorable night for you?
"Absolutely. I think I had fight that night, so I was looking for the assist to get the Gordie Howe hat trick."
Where's the puck now?
"It's mounted at home with the score sheet up on the wall."
Being a tough guy, did you get a hard time about scoring a goal from your teammates?
"They were pretty excited for me because it doesn't happen too often, but they let me hear about it. To be honest, I get more excited about fighting than I do about scoring goals."
Who's the toughest guy in the NHL?
"Georges Laraque. He's definitely the strongest guy in the NHL. He's at the top of the food chain. I fought him once and didn't do so great, so I'd like to fight him again."
Most memorable fight?
"It was against Philadelphia when I was playing with the Kings. I think it was my second season. I ended up fighting (Todd) Fedoruk in that game. Then I fought (Chris) McAllister. It was a man's game that night. A good, hard game. Both fights were really good fights. Fedoruk and I went at it pretty hard, and after that me and McAllister squared up and went at it pretty hard. I ended up getting the best of both of them that night."
Do you have to have a certain mentality to do what you do?
"No question. Definitely. It's mentally draining. You've got to be mentally strong and hard-willed to be able to do what any fighter does. I think you have to somewhat enjoy it. For me, it's something I grew up with and it has always been a part of the game."
The NHL is talking about taking fighting out of the game. I would assume you'd be against that?
"Taking it out of the game is not what they should be doing. It's always been a part of the game and it keeps players honest. Guys don't take liberties when guys like me are out there on the ice. You know when there's a fighter on the other team and you take a liberty on one of his teammates you know he's going to be coming after you."
Is it true most tough guys on the ice are actually some of the nicer guys off the ice?
"Absolutely. I get along with just about everyone. I like to have a good time. I try to keep things light in the dressing room. Make everyone laugh and relax."
So how do you separate the two sides of your personalities?
"I take out all my aggression out on the ice and that's why I'm such a good guy off the ice (laughing). Seriously, I'm a pretty easy going guy off the ice."
When you're playing in the ECHL, do you change your style of play?
"Not really. I still try to be a physical force out there and create space and open things up for my linemates. I had a great three days down here, I got a ton of ice time and kept my game sharp, and when Hershey needs me again I'll be ready to play. I didn't view coming down here as a negative at all. I love to play the game. I asked to come down here. I'd much rather come down here, get tons of ice time, and work on my game. To me it was a no-brainer. I think there are a lot of other guys up in the AHL that would benefit from coming down here, getting a lot of ice time and working on their games."
What's the biggest difference between the NHL and the ECHL?
"The speed of the game and skill of the players. I find it easier to play in the NHL than the AHL or down here. Guys are so more skilled in the NHL. Everyone knows where to be and there isn't a lot of running around. It's a little more organized up there, but every level has its pluses and minuses. I definitely have more room down here to skate and I have more time with the puck."
Who was the NHL guy that you followed growing up?
"I loved Wendel Clark. I was a (Toronto) Maple Leafs fans. He was a man. He played the game the right way. He was a tough guy."
Were you always the tough guy or have you been the skill guy at any level?
"I was always the biggest kid on the ice, so I was able to score as a kid, but that was because I was bigger than everyone else."
Do you think you'll make it back to the NHL?
"Obviously, that's my goal. I'm not happy where I am unless I'm playing at the highest level. I'm always working to get back to the NHL. I know what I have to do to get back to the NHL and I think I'm working toward that goal. Hopefully, next year I'll sign with Washington and take over for (Donald) Brashear. Hopefully, I'll have a good camp and can make the team."
Do you remember your first NHL game?
"Of course. We were playing against the (New York) Islanders and New York (Rangers), so I got to fly my family in. We played them in back-to-back games. To play your first game at Madison Square Garden was a thrill of a lifetime. It's one of the most historic places to play. I fought Steve McKenna my first game and did OK. That's something I'll always remember."
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