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Courage and Perseverance: Alex Auld

by Colleen Coleman / Boston Bruins
Before the road trip, and even before Alex Auld’s two excellent outings against Washington and New York, sat down with Boston's newest netminder and picked his brain about his season, the Bruins and his future in hockey. Here is that Q & A:

CC: It seems that everything has been new to you so far this year; a new team, a new city, and recently a new baby. How have all these new experiences been for you so far?

Auld's helmet. (photo by Colleen Coleman)
AA: Yeah, you’re right, everything is new and it’s been an adjustment. But it's gone well. I think that when you come to a new team it's tough, but at the same time everyone has been through that situation. Usually when you go to a team you know a few guys, I didn’t really know anyone here, but everyone was really welcoming. Everyone has been in my situation and everyone’s been friendly…it's kind of been like a family right away. In fact, it's probably been easier on me that it has been for my wife, because she came when she was nine months pregnant. Then we had the baby, so it's been tough for her to get out a lot and to meet a lot of people. But she’s been starting to come to some games lately, so that’s helped.

CC: You play a very significant role on this team. Earlier this season, you were playing in the AHL and previous to that you were playing quite a bit for another NHL team. How have all those experiences helped you here in Boston?

AA: This year has been kind of crazy, I started in Phoenix and then got sent down. And you know, I think that still even though it was just two weeks down in the American League, it makes you appreciate the NHL that much more. Coming back up, just getting the opportunity, I wanted to make sure I seized it and took advantage of it. I wanted to show Boston, [and] everyone in the league, that I belong in the NHL and that this is where I should play.

CC: I’ve heard that you have a motto about “always being ready” that you like to follow. How does that motto affect your outlook and play of the game?

AA: Yeah I think that it’s important to always be ready. One of my coaches in minor hockey said, "you never know whose watching." Practice or a game…for your teammates, you always have to be ready. And you have to just make sure you’re professional about it. Even days I’m not playing I try to follow sort of the same routine, I’m not as strict about it, but I make sure I get my rest and I’m ready to go just in case, because you never know.

CC: I see that you have initials on each side of your helmet, two B’s on one side and two A’s on the other, and a quote on the back, what are they and what are their significances?

AA: Those are my initials and then that’s Boston Bruins [points to each side of his helmet]. And that is my family motto in Latin it means ‘through courage and perseverance’ [points to the back of his helmet].

CC: You also have a tattoo of your family crest on your forearm. How did you decide on that tattoo and why?

The Auld Family motto. (photo by Colleen Coleman)
AA: Well, I had been thinking about getting a tattoo for a while and I wanted something that was always going to mean something to me. So, something to do with your family is always a thing that will be with you. And I guess probably five or six years ago now I did a little research on our family crest and I found [our family motto]. I thought it was pretty fitting for anybody, really, but especially so for an athlete. You’re always overcoming different obstacles. I ended up getting it after I had knee surgery at the end of last year. [The procedure] made me miss the last two months of the season. It was a long rehab and right in the middle of it I decided to go get the tattoo.  I wanted it somewhere [prominent]. People are surprised when you get your first tattoo on your forearm like that. I wanted to make sure it was somewhere where I would always see it and it would always remind me [how important] courage and perseverance [are in life]. At that time I was pretty low I had had a rough year…and it was a time where there were a lot of challenges. It helped me get through that and it just keeps those words in the front of my mind [reinforcing] that focus…in order to always overcome anything that comes your way.

CC: Are you a free agent after this season?
AA: Yes.

CC: Touching back on your ideas of ‘readiness’ and ‘always being ready’ how does being a free agent play into your plans as far as your career in the future?

Photo by Alan Sullivan
AA: Well, the thing I’ve learned is that you can’t plan too far ahead. I think that you kind of have to live in the moment in a lot of ways and plan for what you can. There is so much uncertainty in this life that the one thing you can [do] is just to be ready for anything. Obviously, here with the Bruins, there are goalies under contract already, and a great young prospect in the American League in Tuukka [Rask]. I’m here to fill a role right now…and I’m just trying to do what I can here. When you do you’re best…good things will happen. And there's a lot of focus on "right here, right now" and on meeting our goal of making the playoffs…and we’ve got a lot of games left, so I know that I’ll have to play and even if Timmy [Thomas] plays the bulk of the minutes. So, I’ll have to play some important games down the stretch for us, and staying ready is a huge part of that.
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