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Ron Hainsey: Finding Success

by Chris Kreviazuk / Winnipeg Jets
Bolton, CT: Born in Bolton - Earliest hockey memories

“We had one rink that sort of served about four or five towns. I played there until I was eight. My grandparents also had Hartford Whalers season tickets, so those are my earliest memories, playing House League in Bolton, and going to Whalers games.”

Springfield, MA: Springfield Pics - Increase in competition

“When I was eight I began playing for the Springfield Pics. We played in the Metro Boston Hockey League, which is where guys like Jeremy Roenick, Keith Tkachuk and Bill Guerin played in several years earlier. I played there from eight until 17. The Pics system went all the way up until junior, so I played until then.”

Ron HainseyAnn Arbor, MI: US Development Program

“The developmental program has changed over the years. When I played, the Under 17 team played in the North American Hockey League, and the Under 18 team played in the United States Hockey League, which is the stronger of the two. That situation provided a great mixture of playing league games, but also international tournaments throughout the season.”

Lowell, MA: UMASS-Lowell – College years

“There are not many 18 year olds playing college hockey. The average age was around 22, so it was a big challenge that first year. Also there isn’t as much ice time when you are 18. I finished with 11 points in the first year. I certainly felt more comfortable in my sophomore year. A year makes a big difference, and I finished with 36 points in my second and final season.”

Calgary, AB: 2000 NHL Entry Draft – Taken in round one by the Habs

“I had an idea that I would be selected by Montreal if I was still available at the 13th pick because I had done a lot of interviews with them. It was a very exciting time. I went back for one more year of school after that, and then turned pro the next year.”

Ron HainseyHamilton, ON: Hamilton Bulldogs – Turning Pro

“In my second year in Hamilton we went to the Calder Cup finals. I got hurt midseason, and came back just in time for that playoff run. We went to game seven of the finals, and as disappointing as the outcome was (losing to Houston), that was the one standout memory from my time in the AHL. Claude (Julien) was my coach for most of my time in Hamilton, and then with the Canadians, and he was a huge help for me.”

Manhattan, NY: Madison Square Garden – First NHL game

“It was a game against the Rangers, in New York. We won 3-1. It was toward the end of the Rangers’ run with all of those standout players, like Messier, Leetch, Lindros, Fleury and Richter. It was neat to get to play against that group of players. I remember I got scored on in the first period, and then was on for a goal for in the second. It was neat to play at Madison Square Gardens. I had a lot of people there, as I grew up two hours away. It was definitely a cool place to play my first game.”

Ottawa, ON: Corel Center – First NHL Goal

“That goal was kind of a tap-in. Joe Juneau set me up backdoor for an easy one at the end of a powerplay in Ottawa. That was the first game of the year the following season after I had made my NHL debut.”

Columbus, OH: Becoming a fulltime NHL player

“I don’t know if you ever really have that feeling that you’ve made it, or your job is safe. Those were some good years in Columbus. I was able to start playing full seasons and was happy to produce, and have a good amount of success.”
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