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Q&A with the CBJ: Anders Eriksson

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets

Getting the puck past Jackets defenseman Anders Eriksson can be like trying to throw a penny between blades of a spinning ceiling fan, but the fun-loving Sweden native–nicknamed “Bubba”–wasn’t defensive at all when he sat down for this week’s “Q&A with the CBJ.”

( – Q: How did you get the nickname “Bubba?”

(Anders) – A: It started way back in Detroit when playing for the Red Wings. The boys thought I had a…uhh...large behind. It went from “Big Butt” to “Bubble Butt” to “Bubba.” It was Kris Draper who started it. I didn’t think it was going to stick, but it’s been here for 11 years.

( – Q: What is it about hockey that you love the most?

(Anders) – A: Being able to do something you love to do, getting involved with the community, being on the ice when 20,000 fans are screaming and being in the last seconds of games.

( – Q: What are your personal and team goals for the season?

(Anders) – A: Team wise, we want to play very consistent. We don’t want to have any ups and downs. We want to stick to the system and keep going, keep going, keep going. We’re not going to be a superstar kind of team. We’re going to be a hard-working, grinding kind of team. Personally, it’s the same thing–be very consistent. If the team succeeds, then everybody succeeds.

( – Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your family and growing up in Sweden?

(Anders) – A: I have an older brother–four years older. I played any kind of sport when I grew up. I played soccer in the summer, handball, floor hockey, bandits, cross country skiing, downhill skiing. I come from a small town, Bollnas, and everything was literally right around us. I moved away from home when I was 15 to go to a hockey gymnasium. I was following in my brother’s footsteps. He was a tremendous hockey player. He played with guys like Nik Lidstrom and Mats Sundin. [My brother] blew his knee out, but he came back and played....When I was 18, I got drafted by Detroit. I moved over when I finished school, and here I am.

( – Q: Who were some of your heroes growing up?

(Anders) – A: I looked up a lot to my brother. I think, as a younger brother, you think everything your older brother does is great. My idol growing up hockey wise was Slava Fetisov, whom I had the opportunity to play with in Detroit for two years, and he was my partner when we won the Stanley Cup. That was one of my truly great moments.

( – Q: That leads in to my next question. What has been the highlight of your hockey career so far?

(Anders) – A: I’ve been very lucky. I’ve won the Stanley Cup. You can’t put into words the feeling you get when you’re on the ice and you win it. When you win it once, you want to win it a hundred times. It was very early in my career, and at that point, you don’t really understand how hard you have to work. It’s been eight years since I’ve been there, and I want to do it again.

( – Q: What’s your favorite food?

(Anders) – A: I’m a big barbecue kind of guy. Anything on the barbie.

( – Q: I hear some country music playing right now in the dressing room. Is this the kind of music that gets you pumped up?

(Anders) – A: Well, I can listen to a couple of country songs in a row, but then I have to get a change. I’m a big fan of Pearl Jam. I do like Metallica. But I also listen to the new pop stuff coming up and rap, as well. But country…you can only listen to that so much.

( – Q: If you weren’t playing pro hockey, what would you be doing right now?

(Anders) – A: I think I’d be working in construction–either building or being in charge of building. I don’t mind manual labor. I like building stuff where you start from nothing and take it to a finished product.

( – Q: Everybody is saying Jason Chimera is the funniest guy on the team, but I’ve heard you’ve got a sense of humor, too. Who’s funnier?

(Anders) – A: Oh, I don’t know. I think that’s for other people to decide, but ‘Chimmer’ is a funny guy. He always walks around and talks to himself. He’s so hyper. I think I probably have more of the dry sense of humor than anything.

( – Q: Describe “Anders Eriksson” in one word.

(Anders) – A: Dedicated.

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