Since he came to the Ducks in a February 6 trade with Pittsburgh, defenseman Ben Lovejoy became universally admired by teammates, fans and coaches alike. His tenacious play on the ice earned him immediate respect on the ice and was on full display during a tough first-round playoff series with Detroit. Away from it, he showed a quirky, humor-filled personality that endured on social media, where his Twitter identity @revlovejoy6
reflects a nickname he earned during his time with the Penguins.
So when Lovejoy was rewarded with a three-year contract by the Ducks on Thursday
, the news was met with universal love and joy from fans and teammates (see a sample here
Lovejoy himself talked Friday morning about making a home in Orange County for the long term. What is your reaction to signing for three years in Anaheim?
I’m so excited. I got there February 6 and just had the best time playing hockey that I’ve had in a long time. Everybody from the guys on the team to the coaching staff to the management to everyone who works for the team and the fans, I just had an awesome experience. When the opportunity presented itself to come back, I jumped at it. I was sure that I could be happy playing hockey a lot of places, but I knew that I loved my time being a Duck and why mess with a really good thing?
How did you feel the contract negotiations went?
|"My goal is to have the Ducks be invested in me. It’s a great situation, and I didn’t want to chance that. Maybe we could have gone back and forth more, but I didn’t want to risk losing my chance to be a Duck." |
I got an offer from Murph that is awesome for me and my family. My goal is to have the Ducks be invested in me. I wanted to be in a place where they wanted me, and I felt like a three-year contract accomplished that. I get to play for a team that has superstars and has ambitions to win Stanley Cups. I get to play for a coaching staff and management that has shown they really like me. It’s a great situation, and I didn’t want to chance that. Maybe we could have gone back and forth more, but I didn’t want to risk losing my chance to be a Duck. You’ve talked before how the Ducks gave you new life after acquiring you from Pittsburgh. Can you touch on that again?
Hockey is a game that is based for me on confidence. I think that when I’m a confident player, I play my best hockey. From Day 1, I was told to play my game, to be aggressive, to make plays with the puck, to use my skating, to hit people. Right away I was given an opportunity to play in Anaheim and my confidence just snowballed. I loved playing for Bruce [Boudreau] and [assistant coach] Bob Woods, and I’d like to play for those guys forever. They put players in positions to succeed, and from Day 1 they did that for me. I can’t wait to play for them again in October. What has been the response from fans on Twitter to your signing?
It’s been overwhelming. It’s been so cool to see all of that reaction. I wish that I could respond to everybody. It’s been so much and so cool that I want to bottle it up a little bit in case I make my first turnover and the Twitter reaction might not be quite as positive. But that’s the price we pay to be on social media. But it’s pretty cool. I’ve had great responses from Ducks fans and players. I got a call from Bruce, and I need to call him back. I got a text message from Bob Woods. I’ve heard from a lot of players. It’s just been overwhelmingly positive and I’m so excited and flattered. Tell us what this tweet means:
When I got traded, I got put in a corner next to Bobby Ryan, who has been awesome. We really bonded in that corner. Also in that end of the locker room is Teemu, Getzlaf and Perry. So now with me signed, we have all the high-rollers locked up. I need to text our trainers to make sure I still have my locker room spot next to Bobby.
Are you really a head case?
|"With the long-term commitment from Getzlaf and Perry, those are two cornerstone guys who are here to win Stanley Cups for the Ducks. Guys like me want to be a part of that. I felt good about my playoff run, but I’m not satisfied. I want to go deep in the playoffs." |
I’m not a superstitious guy, but I have a lot of routines. And I think Bobby is just as bad, if not worse. So he’s dishing it out a little. You had a very good postseason. What were your thoughts about your first playoff experience with Anaheim?
I had a blast playing in the postseason. I felt like I was playing a lot of minutes and contributing on all aspects of the ice. Like everybody associated with the Ducks, we were disappointed. That was a series that was ours to win. We were the favorites, the 2 seed. I think a lot of people have stewed about that all summer. We had a successful season, but that doesn’t matter. We want to go deep in the playoffs and we want to win a Stanley Cup. With the long-term commitment from Getzlaf and Perry, those are two cornerstone guys who are here to win Stanley Cups for the Ducks. Guys like me want to be a part of that. I felt good about my playoff run, but I’m not satisfied. I want to go deep in the playoffs.