BlueJackets.com: How is it preparing for you first year as a pro?
Marc Methot: It has been a pretty tough summer. I think after the long season I had last year in London playing for the Knights, it shortened up my summer and shortened up my training a lot. That's a battle in itself. I think playing on defense you have to have a little strength, and I think it will take me a little while to adjust to it, you know, the speed and the size of the players. It's just a trial and error thing. I just have to go out there and do my best.
CBJ.com: What has it been like being around the veterans?
MM: It's really cool. Having guys like Brian Berard (Methot's teammate on Team White in training camp) and playing against guys like Rick Nash and Adam Foote (players on Team Red in training camp) is just unbelievable. There's a lot more out there that I could name. A lot of these guys I grew up watching on TV, and I look up to them a lot.
CBJ.com: What is it going to take for you to become a better player?
MM: Gain the confidence that I need out there. I think adjusting to the new game and getting the strength that I need, like everybody else, is something you always want to improve on. I think mainly that's my goal, to get stronger, faster and improving on handling the puck.
CBJ.com: How do you feel you have progressed the past two years since you were drafted?
MM: I think my biggest strength has been maturity. I am getting more comfortable with the puck and carrying it around a little more often now. It is a pretty physical game, and that is a pretty big aspect, so I just have to keep learning from the older guys and get more confidence.
CBJ.com: What was it like winning the 2005 Memorial Cup?
MM: It was unbelievable. It's a huge tournament and it was televised all across the nation. I think just to play and win the tournament in front of my family in London, which is pretty much my hometown, it was an unbelievable feeling. You couldn't ask for better ending to the season.
CBJ.com: You and the rest of the Blue Jackets rookies won the Rookie Tournament a few weeks back, what was that like?
MM: It was tough. There were penalties left, right and center. I think I had a hard time with that, that's for sure. We came up with a win and you can never get tired of winning. I think we all played really well and we all have our own little things we need to work on, and I have my own.
CBJ.com: Do you remember the biggest hit you laid on an opposing player? What was it like?
MM: Last year, I got a guy and kind of drove him into the boards and he kind of did a back flip and landed right back over on his face. It was a pretty intense hit. I got that replayed a lot throughout the year.
CBJ.com: What is the worst road trip you have been on?
MM: Definitely back in the OHL, going to Sault Ste. Marie was always tough. It took about seven hours to get up there, and it's always an annoying trip to make. I think the city always seems to be really dark when we arrive. I mean it's so far away. Normally you have to make a few stops along the way. It's a long one, and thank God we only had to do it once a year.
CBJ.com: Who is the best player you have played against?
MM: Definitely Sidney Crosby. In the first game we played him, we had a hard time trying to contain him in the first period, but after that we made adjustments. But the guy is a complete player and he's really hard to stop.