MONTREAL - Cale Fleury picked up some tricks of the hockey trade from watching several current and former NHLers.
Earlier this summer, we sat down with the talented Canadian defenseman to learn more about his top influences.
When I was younger, I really liked him a lot. I was a smaller kid and younger with the late birthday. I just really liked how physical he was as a smaller guy, and that's probably one of the main reasons why I'm a more physical player on the ice.
Being two years behind my brother, I never got to play with him. But, I always got to watch him every step of the way, whether he was with Notre Dame in Saskatchewan, Red Deer in the WHL and then getting drafted, playing in the AHL with Charlotte and the NHL with Carolina. I've seen what he's done and he's been able to help me out. I've been making the same steps so far. It's fun watching him. It was great to see him in the playoffs this past year with the Hurricanes, and then winning the Calder Cup.
When I was younger, he was my favorite defenseman. He isn't the fastest guy, but he's very cerebral. He's so smart on the ice. His hockey IQ is really what I want to do offensively. That's what I want to be.
I was a forward at one point, so I wasn't just watching defensemen all the time. I watched him from when he was really young and winning the President's Cup, and then his whole career so far. He was the top guy the whole time I was growing up.
I grew up watching Don Cherry's Rock 'Em Sock 'Em DVDs, and that was Don's favorite player. He always talked about him. I wore No. 4 because of that for a while. Obviously, I couldn't do that with Montreal.