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"Ask the Leafs" with Paul Healey

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Welcome to a new feature on 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 ask Jyrki Lumme anything you like. We will pick the best questions for him and Jyrki's answers will appear here and also on the FanCam epsiode Saturday, February 15 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' young gun Paul Healey.

Q: What would be your message to young players who hope to reach a professional level in hockey?

Paul: Just to keep working hard and have a fun. If you get the opportunity to play that's great. But as long as you're having fun doing it and hopefully things will work out for them.

Q: Who encouraged you to play hockey and how old where you when you started?

Paul: Well, that would have to be my parents. They got me started in hockey and I believe I was six years-old when I first started. So, I do give them a lot of credit.

Paul Healey
Q: How does it feel to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Paul: Oh, it's incredible! It's an incredible hockey city, the fans are terrific, and you know everyone here is pro Leafs. The city's great. It's a dream come to true to play here.

Q: Who was your mentor growing up?

Paul: Well, I grew up in Edmonton, so the whole Edmonton hockey team. There were about four or five guys. You had Gretzky, Messier, Anderson, Curry and Coffee. So, I had a few to pick from.

Q: What did you learn from watching the Oilers teams and do you apply it to the way you play now?

Paul: Well, I think just watching them and the way they played an how successful they were as a team When you're a little kid you try to imitate your favourite on the ice. You can't always do that. A guy like Gretzky is so skilled. But, a guy like Messier, who works hard and gives everything he has every time he's out there, that's the something I try to do.

Q: When did you know that you had what it takes to make it to the AHL and the NHL level?

Paul: Well, I guess I finally realized I had a good chance when I started playing junior hockey in Prince Albert, and then got drafted by Philadelphia. That's when the dream really started to sink in a bit and say hey 'you know, I've got a chance to play pro hockey' and went from there.

Q: What's the best part about being a Toronto Maple Leaf?

Paul: The best part about being a Toronto Maple Leaf, there's a lot to choose from there. But, just to be able to put on a Leafs jersey and come out. This organization has so much tradition and character behind it. Just to be able to wear that jersey and come out in the Air Canada Centre is probably the best feeling.

Check back in upcoming weeks for the next installment of ASK THE LEAFS.
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