|"My goal through training camp is to go out and prove to the coaching staff and management that I can play this game at the highest level," Marchant said. "I enjoy training camp. It’s fun and good to get back in the dressing room with the guys." |
Possessing a scowl in the faceoff circle that could seemingly burn through his opponent’s jersey, Todd Marchant plays with the type of grit that the Ducks have tried to instill throughout the club since 2005.
The picture is a little different off the ice of Marchant, a doting husband and father of four. His summertime is dedicated to spending time with the family, whether it is in Orange County or back in his native Buffalo.
The 5-10 center has been playing hard in the rink and nice off of it for quite awhile now, with NHL season No. 17 (six in Anaheim) of his career upcoming in 2010-11. Last year, Marchant totaled nine goals and 22 points (his most since 2006-07) in 78 games played (highest amount since 2005-06) while mostly centering the team’s third forward line.
Late last week, the guy who has long been known in locker rooms as “T-Bone” took some time to discuss several things in his life both in and out of hockey circles for an exclusive Q&A with AnaheimDucks.com. How has your summer been?
Actually, we had a great summer. My family and I recently purchased a motor home. We did a lot of traveling in that. After school got out, we drove from here all the way to Buffalo. We did a bunch of stuff along the way and a lot of sightseeing. We were in Buffalo for the better part of six weeks. We had a blast. We saw a bunch of national parks and monuments. We had a great time.You held the annual Todd Marchant Hockey School in Williamsville, NY at the end of July. How did that go?
This was our 12th year and we had a full, one-week school. We had 285 kids in it. It was great. My whole family is involved and my kids are all in it. We had a great time.When do you begin training for a new season?
Somewhere in the beginning of June, I start training off-ice. I still haven’t really been back on the ice yet. I’ll start going on next week just to get back in the swing of things and see the guys. A bunch of us still work out together. It’s always good to get back in a routine.As a veteran, is training camp a grind each season or is it more excitement that another season has started?
My goal through training camp is to go out and prove to the coaching staff and management that I can play this game at the highest level. I look at training camp as a way for me to gear up for the season. When you’re on your own, you’re never going to push yourself as hard as you are in training camp. It just won’t happen. You like to think that you do. Every year that you get older, you push yourself a little bit harder, but it’s never to the level of training camp. I enjoy training camp. It’s fun and good to get back in the dressing room with the guys.
What do you think went wrong for the Ducks last season in missing the playoffs for the first time since 2004?
|"The one thing that you can’t ever lose sight of the fact is that you have to be prepared," Marchant said. "If you are going to be the type of person who is going to speak up, you have to be able to back it up yourself." |
We couldn’t sustain any momentum, not only through the season, but also within games. It seemed like we would play well for a period and shut it down for a period. At the end of the day, we ended up losing or tying and then losing in overtime. Surely, our slow start did hurt things. It didn’t help us. We are traditionally a strong second half team. But that just goes to show you how important the whole season is. Every game and point is important.
It was a good eye-opener for our team and our players to know what it feels like to not make the playoffs. For a lot of the guys, maybe they hadn’t missed the playoffs in their careers. I’ve been very fortunate to have not missed the playoffs too often, especially late. It’s not a lot of fun, it really isn’t. It’s a long offseason and a long time before that season starts up again. Hopefully, everyone has put in the time and effort that they needed to this summer. We can put it all together with some chemistry starting right in training camp.What were your thoughts on Scott Niedermayer retiring?
A guy like Scott Niedermayer, it’s not so much what Scotty said in the locker room. When he did speak, obviously people listened. It was more the way that he carried himself. Now, with Scotty retiring, it’s an opportunity for other players to step forward and take more of a leadership role. It’s their chance to take that next step in the evolution of their careers. If you don’t, you’ll just stay along in the same path and you’ll never reach your full potential. We have several players who can definitely benefit almost from Scotty not being here. They can take their mental part of the game to the next level.What did it mean to you to have Teemu Selanne back for at least another season?
It’s great to have Teemu back. He’s one of those special people that when he walks into a room, it just seems like everybody is happy. He has that ability to lighten things up. Hopefully for him, he can stay healthy this year and pick up where he left off at the end of last season.How do you feel knowing that you are one of just six players left from the 2006-07 title team?
My family and I, this is our home. I feel very strongly about the philosophies and the direction that this organization has gone in and is going in. I want to be a part of it. Hopefully, for us, we can get off to a strong start as a team and be a team that, come March, we’re not looking to get rid of players because we’re not making the playoffs, we’re looking to tweak or add a player to make a strong run into the playoffs.What does it mean to you to have your family involved with the organization, as your wife (Caroline) is involved in some of the charitable efforts and your son (Tim) has done some work on Ducks TV?
The way I look at it is that when I’m done playing this game, they are the ones that are going to be there for me. My kids don’t miss many games. They come to just about all of them. They know that Dad can’t play hockey forever. I want them to be able to experience as much of it as they can.
As each season goes by in your career, does your focus change at all from one year to the next?
|"I was just one of those guys who had been (in Edmonton) for five years and nobody else had been there as long as I had," said Marchant of developing as a vocal leader in his career. "You take on that part of the role just by default. My personality is to be like that also." |
The one thing that you can’t ever lose sight of the fact is that you have to be prepared. If you are going to be the type of person who is going to speak up, you have to be able to back it up yourself. That is what being a leader is. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have an A or a C on your jersey. We have lots of leaders in our dressing room. That is something that is extremely important. When you have players from other teams – like this year we’re going to have a lot – they’re trying to figure out things like where to buy groceries. You need guys to be able to show them around.
When a new player comes in, they want to feel comfortable and right away. That is an easy way to do it, to have people who are willing to lend a hand and sit down to talk about things. That is something that I have tried to do the last couple of years. When I got here, there were guys like Jiggy and Ruslan Salei, guys who had been here for awhile that could help me out. That is part of the game that I think maybe goes unnoticed, but it’s a huge part of it. The more comfortable in the situation you are, the better you’re going to play. That is how you get the best out of everybody.When in your career did you start to develop as a vocal leader in the dressing room and a player who can assess the team’s pulse well at any given time?
It wasn’t right away. When you’re a young player, you’re there to work hard and learn from the older guys. Early on in my career, when I was in Edmonton, we didn’t have a lot of veteran players. We had a handful. The younger players were forced to take more of a leadership role. It just seemed like every year, if we did have a veteran, we were losing them. That was the way it was happening. We were constantly in a rebuilding mode. I was just one of those guys who had been there for five years and nobody else had been there as long as I had. You take on that part of the role just by default. My personality is to be like that also. But I also like to lead by example as well, by going out, working hard and doing things that are necessary to win hockey games.