Willie Mitchell sat down with Rick Ball on the Team 1040 to discuss the hockey, fishing, and fighting. There’s a few things he’s quite adamant about and he’s not shy about his opinions, that’s for sure.
As always, Mitchell has a lot to say and knows how to keep us entertained while doing it. Listen to the full segment.
How was the fishing trip last week?
It was fabulous, it was a great time. We ended up raising I think $525,000 so add that to last year and that’s two years – a million bucks – for BC Children’s [Hospital]. I think the West Coast Fishing Club was very happy and everyone who was part of it was too. It was great.
Did the weather cooperate?
The weather was exceptional, we had great weather. It was a really good first couple of days and up there when you have flat seas, it doesn’t matter too much what the weather’s doing.
Did you get a chance to watch some of the Stanley Cup final?
Yeah, I did actually. I watched the final game. It was a similar position to what we were in. It’s tough when you’re down 3-1, it’s a big hill to climb. Sometimes I thought Ottawa should’ve come out with a better effort but mentally it’s tough when you’re down that deep and I think that’s what got the better of them in that game. Anaheim obviously played very well.
Any consolation at all that…
None, I know where you’re going. It hurts that much worse. A lot of people have asked me that. It’s not to look ahead and what ifs. I liked how we matched against Detroit when Anaheim who they ended up playing. Ottawa didn’t impress me as much as what I thought. I’ve seen them play against teams in the West that check very tight, I kind of thought they exposed some weaknesses to their team but defensively I didn’t think Ottawa was as good as I thought they were either.
I just keep going back to game four against Anaheim, where we were up 2-0 going into the third, we win that game, there’s a lot of could’ves but we have to learn from our experiences and next year maybe it’s our crack at it.
How well do you know Scott [Niedermayer]?
He’s a very quiet, composed guy, who doesn’t get too high, doesn’t get too low. Everyone who watches him knows he’s an exceptional skater. We joke around how he doesn’t even get a sweat on during games – he’s such a good skater. It’s a bit of a joke but it’s barely, really, he barely does sweat but, no, he’s just a quiet, composed guy and he’s won at every level. He’s very well respected and he’s got a great mind for the game.
What are your thoughts on a hockey fighting camp?
Boogey [Derek Boogaard], what’s he doing? I played with him. I don’t like it, I don’t like that at all. My personal opinion is that – everyone has their own opinion about fighting and stuff like that – but guys fight in the heat of the game, it’s passion. If it boils over and it happens, then so be it but I don’t think we need to be teaching kids how to fight at a young age.
There’s arguments both ways towards it but I don’t think that’s the route to be on. To be honest, in junior hockey I think they’re competing, a fight breaks out and that kind of evolves, well I think at that point, you’re not really strong enough to hurt each other in a fight and you learn from it. I think that’s the way it should play out. I don’t think it’s something you should train to do.
Do you remember your first fight?
Yeah, I was in Kelowna Tier 2 Jr. I was on top of a dog pile and someone was pulling on my shoulder and I knew so I was holding on for dear life because I knew as soon as I turned around I was taking one in the chin and I had one. I managed to get out of the ice in a big line brawl and be on top so that’s always a positive.
It was [scary at the time] but it’s like anything else in life, it’s always kind of scary the first time once you get involved and then it gets a little easier.
What’s this about you biking?
I was supposed to but [it didn’t happen]. Trevor Linden’s big into biking so he was going to go out and show me the ropes. I’m trying to get into it so we’re schedule the two of us but I as going to do it this morning but he couldn’t do it this morning so it didn’t work out. Hopefully I’ll get out there and get into it sometime soon.
I don’t want to give away too much stuff but he’s actually big into biking. He’s got a big race, he’s doing a little bit over seas so he’s been training really hard. About three to four hours a day. I don’t know if he’s going to give me crap for saying that but he’s doing a big big bike race and incredible shape right now.