Welcome to a "Ask a Leaf" on mapleleafs.com where you can ask a question of a member of the Maple Leafs each week and see selected answers posted here. You will also be able to see the answers on FanCam, one of the more popular shows on Leafs TV.
This week you can Nik Antropov
anything you like. We will pick the best questions for him and Nik's answers will appear here and also on the FanCam episode Saturday, April 5 at 11:30 am. FanCam also has repeat broadcasts throughout the week so check the Leafs TV schedule.
Recently, we had the chance to do a Q+A with Maple Leafs' tough-guy Wade Belak. Q
: Was it your dream as a kid to play in the NHL? Wade
: "Of course it was, I think it's every kid's dream and definitely mine too." Q
: How old were you when you were drafted to the NHL?Wade: "I was eighteen, and it was for the Quebec Nordiques in 1994. It was awesome, especially Quebec, I was never expected to go there but it was a big thrill with Owen Nolan, I guess Mats just got traded from there. It was great, I was really ecstatic."
Q: What was it like to play your first NHL game?
Wade: "Very nervous, fast, kind of scared out there, but excited at the same time. It was more nerve racking than anything. Once the game started I kind of got into the flow, it was exciting, and had a lot of fun out there."
| Belak picked up his second goal of the season vs. the Capitals. |
Graig Abel Photography.
: What is your proudest NHL moment so far? Wade
: "Probably scoring my first goal, I guess, it was a two point game that night I was playing on a line with Sakic and Adam Deadmarsh so it was a big thrill for me and it was the game winner and it couldn't come at a better time." Q
: What makes a good physical player like your self? Wade
: "Somebody who's willing to take the body. Anytime a forward comes down on you just take him out with a hard body check just punish him in front of the net don't let him be standing in front of our goalie too long, just kind of be dirty out there, but not too dirty so the refs catch you." Q
: What's the best part about your job? Wade
: "Fighting is only fun when you win, it's not good when you lose or you hurt your hands or get hit, I think the most fun I have is body checking people it's great, especially at home when you get the crowd into it, big hits, nothing feels better than that, except for probably a goal." Q
: What goes through your head when you're fighting an opponent on the ice? Wade
: "Nervous, don't want to get hit, don't want to lose. I think the biggest thing is trying not to get hit and trying not to embarrass yourself out there and try to win the fight I guess is the bottom line." Q
: Who's the toughest player to play against in the NHL? Wade
: "Probably Georges Laraque from Edmonton, he's a big man and he's strong and he's a tough opponent to fight." Check back in upcoming weeks for the next installment and see the Features Archive for past installments of "Ask a Leaf".