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Chatting With Willie

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
Willie Mitchell sat down with Rick Ball on the Team 1040 this past Monday to discuss the playoffs, fishing and the Police.

As always, Mitchell has a lot to say and knows how to keep us entertained while doing it. Listen to the full segment.

What are your thoughts on the Stanley Cup finals?

To be honest with you, I picked Ottawa. I like their forwards up front, I thought they’d give Anaheim some trouble and obviously that wasn’t the case [Monday] so expect them probably after the layoff to come out a little bit flat. It’s the first time they’ve had to jump in an airplane and travel, they’ve been bussing out east pretty much so I expect them to be much better next game.

How tough is it to have nine days off?

It’s got to be tough, you’re in a groove like that and especially for them, they’ve basically been pumped all along, playing really great hockey. Now all of a sudden, you’re sitting around, waiting, waiting, waiting and that’s why it’s the Stanley Cup and that’s why it’s tough to win. Teams get into a groove and get the timely goals and win a Cup.

They were obviously getting lots of goal scoring from their top line. They had a bit of a tough game last night, with a couple of assists on the power-play goal but they’ll be much better next game. I think with their depth up front, I think they have three great lines in Ottawa. They’re going to score some goals, it’s just a matter of time. I think Anaheim’s going to have to match that.

What makes Samuel Pahlsson so effective as a shut down forward?

Any time you can get a line to go out there and minimize – you’re never going to keep the top players off the score sheet, especially with power-plays – but the way to do that is to keep them off the score sheet on even strength and when you’ve done that, you’ve done your job. When you get a line like that to hold that line in check and then get a timely goal, it’s a huge momentum swing for your hockey team.

I believe a big part of their success has been that line. They may not score as many goals as Teemu [Selanne] and Andy McDonald and so forth but I think it’s a timely goal and also when you’re playing against a team like that, minimizing them. It changes the whole dynamic of the game.

What did you think of the Police concert?

It was good. I’m a big fan of Sting and The Police. It was my first time watching them live and I’ve watched a lot of concerts so it was good. I’ll give it a good. Hopefully he’s not listening, hopefully he’s busy doing something… it was good. I think if it was in a small venue, it would be unbelievable.

I’m not a big fan of his music but the best concert I’ve actually seen live was Bruce Springsteen. I watched him in the Meadowland in New Jersey and the guy just plays his heart out and it was in New Jersey and he’s from there so I don’t think he had to sing a word in the place. I always stack my concerts up to that one and that’s always a tough act to follow.

But there’s no doubt [The Police] sounded incredible and I’ve seen a lot of concerts where live they sound terrible but there’s no doubt, [The Police} were exceptional sounding, they were faboulous but I guess it’s a different concert. It’s not the type where you’re standing up the whole time with the crowd going nuts.

What does your dad do? Did he get you into fishing?

My dad works for the logging industry up on the North end of the Island, he’s a mechanic. He’s done it for a long time, he’s starting to look towards retirement. I love fishing, me and Brendan Morrison do a lot of fishing and it’s a passion of mine. For me, it’s my therapy in the offseason and to be away from the grind of the busy hockey season and obviously [my dad] introduced me to that. I usually take him up all the time and we go up there and relax.

If hockey didn’t work out, what would you be doing?

I could be up in Port McNeil working side by side with my dad. I did that for a little bit as a kid working in the bush but I don’t know.

Now that I’ve kind of seen the world and traveled, I’m a finance guy now, that’s my day-to-day passion during the season. I like reading books and I like the art of it all and stocks and all that stuff, I’m kind of addicted to that stuff. I like learning, I like the challenge. I don’t know if I want to broker or anything like that. I don’t want to sit in an office all day but maybe down the road I could open up my own fishing resort, that’s something I’d like to do.

How are the home renovations coming along?

They’re getting there. It’s a tough time in this city, it’s booming and it’s tough trying to find a contractor but we’re getting there. We’re starting to make some progress. It’s kind of the thing where everyone’s busy and the appointment’s next week or the week after that and you’re sitting around just waiting but it’s getting there. But I don’t mind sitting around and enjoying this weather.
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