The Colorado Avalanche Mailbag is back for another season and the players are ready to respond to fan questions. This installment features Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn.
As always, your questions are in bold. If we feel the need to provide some additional commentary or clarification, it will come in italics before the player gives his answer.
Now, on to the Q&A:
Jamie McGinn, why do you wear the number #11? You wore #64 when you played for San Jose, why did you change? –Patrick, Bedford, N.Y.
Well 64 was a training camp number and I wasn't allowed to change. The years I was there, I didn't really have an option. When I got here, I chose 11 because 22 was taken, 44 was taken, 88 was taken and I've worn all those numbers. So you times 11 by two and that's 22, times 2 is 44 and times 2 is 88 so I thought I might as well wear number 11.
Hey Jamie, as a coach for my son's Atom team I always try hard to help the kids better themselves with their particular skills, but to keep "fun" in everything as well. So I ask, was there a particular hockey drill/activity a coach had you do that was great for practice and was really fun, too? –Robin, Labrador City, Newfoundland
Atom is a crucial age where you have to have fun playing hockey and keep them motivated and having fun and keep them skating. Every kid likes scoring goals so -- not to put anything on the goalies -- but probably some drills where they can score, like 2-on-1 drills.
Hi Jamie McGinn, I want to know what's your favorite sport other than hockey? And what's your favorite hobby? –Vinícius, Goiânia, Brazil
My favorite sport growing up other than hockey was lacrosse, and then I had to make the choice on what I wanted to take more seriously. I went with hockey, so I put away the lacrosse stick for now and I try to put a golf club in my hand as much as I can. I do anything to be active. I enjoy baseball a bit, especially in the summer. Tennis with my buddies, too.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off? –Kyla, Denver, Colo.
Well this year it's more difficult to do anything on a day off so I just enjoy relaxing, resting my body at home because there's so much hockey this year. With 48 games in 99 days, it's tough to do anything or even want to do anything. (If it's not a shortened season) I enjoy spending time with my teammates and do things away from the rink too to clear my head, whether that be playing golf or going to Nuggets games.
What did you do specifically as a child that helped you get to the NHL? – Tanner (no location given)
I grew up playing a couple years in my hometown, Fergus, and I had to make the decision of staying in Fergus or playing in the GTHL (Greater Toronto Hockey League) and moving to a more competitive league and trying to better myself. So that was a big decision my family and I had to make at a young age. I think I was 8 or 9. It turned out to be the right one. It was tough on my parents, though, because it was a lot of driving. I’m from about an hour or an hour and 15 minutes away from Toronto and doing that each way wasn’t very fun for my parents. My dad works in Toronto so he would drive back halfway and my mom would pick me up halfway and I'd switch cars. I owe everything to my parents for their sacrifices. They didn't say no and gave us every opportunity. It's amazing to look back on it.
What is your favorite thing about playing for the Colorado Avalanche? –Zach, Airdrie, Alberta
I'm enjoying my time here and having the opportunity to play, doing my best and wearing my jersey with pride. Growing up, I have two younger brothers as well and one of my brother’s their teams was the Colorado Avalanche. He had his bedroom painted all Avs colors and the wall covered. I think he was pretty excited when I was traded here as well, and hearing the excitement in his voice was great. Going to a team with two Stanley Cups in its history is pretty amazing as well.
Jamie, when it comes time to shoot the puck, do you really have time to figure out where you are going to shoot, or do you shoot and hope you get it through to the goaltender? – Chantal, Saint-Fabien, Quebec
I think over the years, you want to shoot as hard as you can and hope that it goes through. But at this level, the goalies are pretty skilled and they play their angles really well. So you have to predict what the goalie's going to do and pick a corner. One thing my dad taught me at an early age is if you're out far, you can shoot low. But if you're tight, it always has to be upstairs, so the goalie's going to go down... I hope. My dad watches me every day and lets me know how I'm doing. It's good to get support from my family.
Ginner, when you were playing for the OHL, do you remember playing against any Avs you suit up with now, and how were they? – Big Fan, Colin, St. Catharines, Ontario
I remember playing against Duchene for the Battalion, and he was a really skilled player from a young age. He had the speed and the drive and the hands, and just did amazing in that league. You could see his stats. We played against each other four times a year.
What was your favorite/most memorable moment with the Avs? – RJ, Tacoma, Wash.
I think scoring the 20th goal (of the season) last year against Vancouver was special. It was a power play and Varly passed the puck as hard as he could up the ice. It almost looked like he was falling over doing that. He made a great play to Stastny and I scored against a world-class goalie in Roberto Luongo.
Do you have any pets? Keep playing great! – Samantha, Boulder, Colo.
I don't personally have any pets. My family does, though. We have a Cockapoo dog named Lucy and she's 11 and has been around the family for a long time. It's amazing how they say every dog has its own personality, and are protective of their owner. A funny story is when we got her they warned my mom that since she's a girl dog that she won't like women. They're going to like men more, but she won't leave my mom's side. But I still say I’m No. 2. When my mom goes to work, she comes to bed with me. My brothers and my dad won't admit it, but I know I’m No. 2.
Question from a fellow Fergus kid. What's your pre-game food and do you have any pre-game superstitions? – Keelan, age 9, Fergus, Ontario
I have pasta and chicken every time, and on the road I’ll throw in some peas in there as well. It doesn't matter what time the game is. We played at 1 o'clock the other day and I was up at 8 a.m. cooking pasta and chicken. It's a different breakfast but it's what I'm most comfortable with, and I think I can play to the best of my abilities with that. I've tried [a normal] breakfast before and it's just not the same. I think I have a lot of superstitions that I don't even know about. They kind of just become a part of my routine every day.