"On the Fly" is a new regular feature on DallasStars.com. Senior digital correspondent Scott Burnside sits down with a member of the Stars for a few random, off-the-cuff questions to gain insight into their lives, thoughts and careers on and off the ice.
Today's edition features Stars captain Jamie Benn.
Scott Burnside: When you signed your first NHL deal, was there a celebratory purchase?
Jamie Benn: I was in Kelowna when I first signed, so I didn't have a vehicle up there at the time. So, I bought myself a nice F-150 truck and my dad drove it up for me from Victoria and dropped it off and then flew home that night. And I actually crashed into a snowbank first day I got it up there, trying to get home for curfew. It wasn't bad. I was leaving Tyse Barrie's (Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche) house with one of my teammates, Cody Almond, and I called up Tyse and we had to dig it out of the snowbank at probably 11:30 at night. First day, yeah. A white F-150. Didn't even have it for three hours.
SB: Tell me the best hockey gift or purchase you ever made or received as a kid.
JB: I mean, really, when one-piece sticks came out, that was pretty special to have one of those. My parents bought it for me for a present. And around Christmastime, I got a new set of road hockey goalie gear. That stands out to me. I played a lot of road hockey growing up and I was always the goalie. I wanted to be a goalie growing up. But obviously, well, thank God I didn't end up being a goalie.
SB: Who were your goalie guys growing up?
JB: Curtis Joseph, he was up there. Marty Brodeur was up there. Saw a lot of Dan Cloutier, of all people, being a Canucks fan.
Video: FLA@DAL: Radulov feeds Benn with no-look pass
SB: He was maybe one of the toughest goalies of all time, Dan Cloutier.
JB: Was he? Yeah, he could chuck 'em actually.
SB: Do you remember the first time you were asked to do an interview or asked for an autograph?
JB: I don't remember autograph. But an interview? Maybe Junior B, Junior A hockey -- just the local news station. Wasn't too much of a speaker back then, as you can probably tell. But it was pretty cool to feel like an NHL player when you're younger, and you're getting interviewed by your local TV station. So, that was pretty cool.
SB: If you were able to go back in time and talk to 18-year-old Jamie Benn, what advice would you give him?
JB: Probably a 16-year-old Jamie Benn, I would tell him to start working out earlier. And get in hockey shape and not baseball shape.
SB: What position did you play in baseball?
Video: It's more than just a C on the jersey
SB: How is it different in the baseball world? Different training regimen?
JB: Well, your fitness level's got to be pretty big, or up there to be a hockey player. And going back and forth from hockey and baseball, I wasn't in the greatest shape growing up as a hockey player, and I didn't really figure it out until probably after I got drafted (129th overall in 2007) coming down to Dallas. And this team and organization taught me what it's going to take to be a professional and how hard you have to work to get to where you want to go. And I went home with open eyes after that development camp, and after my last year in junior, and I told myself probably no more hot dogs and French fries anymore. You've got to get after it and get in the gym.
SB: One performer or band or artist that you would love to see?
JB: I don't know, maybe AC/DC? Like old-school rock and roll. That'd be pretty cool. I've kind of seen really all the people I want to see.
SB: How come we don't hear any AC/DC when you guys come on the ice?
JB: It's because we listen to it in the room before we go out there, usually.
This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. You can follow Scott on Twitter at @OvertimeScottB, and listen to his Burnside Chats podcast here.