We’re back with another edition of the Colorado Avalanche Mailbag, which allows fans to ask their favorite players a question.
As always, your questions are in bold. If we feel the need to provide some additional commentary or clarification, that will come in italics before the player provides his answer.
Now, let’s get to the Q&A:I have a question for Chris Stewart. Chris, do you get inspired when you see a fan wearing one of your game jerseys at Pepsi Center? P.S. I was the guy wearing your Kingston Frontenacs gamer that you spotted during warm-ups vs. the Red Wings.
Bob from Parker, Colorado
Nice way to kick off the mailbag this week. Bob, I talked to Chris and he definitely remembered seeing you before the game against Detroit. After talking with some of the other players, they pretty much echoed what Chris has to say here:
“Yeah, I get a little excited. That jersey was from my rookie year when me and my brother played on the same team. That’s why it has ‘C. Stewart’ on the back. You definitely love seeing that and I try to give them a nod or a little wink to let them know it’s appreciated.”This question is for Matt Duchene. I was at the Avs’ Charity Brunch last week (like I am every year) and thought it was a great event. Since it was your first time at the event, I was wondering what you thought about it.
Laura from Denver, ColoradoIn case you missed any of our coverage from the event, you can check out a photo gallery here and watch a video from the event here.
“It was a great day. It’s always nice to do events with kids like that and help put a smile on their face. Any experience like that for them can be really huge and us players have a lot of fun with it as well.”Hey Peter Mueller,
I'm really excited to watch you play for the Avs. You've had a great start so far, keep it up! I have two questions for you. What is the best part about Denver so far? My other question is who has stepped out of his way the most to welcome you to the team? Good luck and I hope you have a long and successful career in Colorado,
Kurtis from Winnipeg, Manitoba
“Colorado reminds me of home. It’s obviously a lot greener than Phoenix. It has beautiful scenery with the mountains. I’ve always liked coming here. I used to come here when I was younger for Team USA tryouts, etc. It’s always nice coming here, and playing for the Avalanche is quite an honor. And I think everyone has gone out of their way to welcome me. Obviously you look at the veterans. Guys like Footer have really gone out of their way. But the whole team and whole organization has done that as well. They come up and welcome you to the family, which is an unbelievable thing.”This question is for Milan Hejduk. You’ve been a part of this organization a long time. Other than the obvious players (Joe Sakic, Adam Foote), who are some of the best locker room leaders you’ve played with?
Sarif from New Zealand
“Obviously, like you said Footie and Joe are two of them. Then also Patrick Roy, Ray Bourque and Rob Blake. Those guys were unbelievable, on the ice and off the ice. I’ve been around long enough and lucky enough to play with future Hall of Famers. It’s fun to be around those guys and they show you what real hockey is all about.”To Stephane Yelle: First off, it is great to have you back in Colorado! I am really excited to have you back. You have always been one of my favorite players. When you were traded, how did you feel knowing that you would come back to Denver? Are you looking forward to having a leadership role with all the young talented players that this team has? Good luck for the remainder of the season!
Jamie from Littleton, Colorado
“It feels good. It took me a few days to get back into the swing of things and get familiar with some of the stuff. I left almost eight years ago, so it’s been a while, but it feels good to be here. Back then I was a lot younger than I am now, so you see things a little differently. The guys have been great. It’s a friendly group of guys. I just want to play how I’ve always tried to play. Be solid defensively, kill penalties, block shots and play physical. If I can help out the young guys with tips here and there, that’s something I’ll look forward to.”To Ryan Wilson: Name one favorite band, movie and sport (except hockey). Thanks, you are the best!
Monika from Slovenia
“My favorite band right now would have to be the Black Eyed Peas. They have good dressing room songs that sound really good when you turn the speakers up. I have a couple favorite movies. Rounders is a good one and I just watched The Rock the other day for about the 100th time. The Shawshank Redemption is great too. My favorite sport to play now is golf, but growing up it was definitely baseball. I like watching baseball better than golf, but I like playing golf better than baseball now.”Hi, my question is for Peter Mueller. How much does the altitude affect you when you first play in Colorado?
Paul from Ontario, Canada
“When you come in as an opponent, you’re here just for one day and then you’re gone. You think about it a little bit and it definitely wears on you. Living here you see quite a difference. I definitely had to go get a humidifier. You notice the difference, but your body starts to adjust to it more and more. The better you take care of yourself the more you’re going to become accustomed to it.”My question is for John-Michael Liles. Was there ever a time growing up when you thought you might be something other than a hockey player? Did you think you might want to play a different sport for a living, or maybe do something totally unrelated to sports? Maybe something in business? Thank you!
Kara from Indianapolis, IndianaLike you know, Kara, many professional athletes have interests outside of their sports, whether that comes in the business, music or movies industries. Hockey players are no different. For example, John-Michael is part-owner of the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League. Still, his main interest has always been in playing sports.
“Growing up I played baseball mainly. That was kind of my dream. Both of my grandfathers played minor league baseball before the war. I’m not exactly sure what level they played at in the minor leagues, but that was kind of my passion growing up.”Matt Duchene: Now that you’re starting to make your mark with the Avalanche, how often are you recognized around town?
Adam from Santa Fe, New Mexico
“A little more lately I guess. I’ve been here a little longer so people start to get a little more familiar with the team. There are times when I’m out somewhere and I’ll get recognized, but it’s not too much, which is actually nice.”My question is for Chris Stewart. How did it feel to score your first hat trick with the Avalanche? What did the guys have to say to you in the locker room after the game? Also what was your strategy going into the penalty shot?
Bridget, Golden Colorado
Even when players do something special on the ice – like Stewart did on March 6 against St. Louis - their teammates will still find something to bust their chops about. A prime example:
“I was obviously pumped and all the boys were pumped too. It was just a great night all-around and one I’ll remember forever. After the game, Galiardi and Stastny complained that I fell on purpose during that breakaway so they couldn’t get the assists on the play.”