Blues Defenseman Ian Cole

via NHL.com

I was lucky enough to be able to get an Interview recently of St Louis Blues defenseman Ian Cole.  The unfortunate thing was this happened at the same time as the NHL handed down a 3 game suspension on the young D man for an, “accidental hit to the head” as Shanahan explained.  Over the course of a few days talking with him through twitter and DM’s I was able to get to know the man wearing the Note on his chest a bit better.

The first question I asked was what was the major difference between coach Davis Payne and Ken Hitchcock?

Ian: I think the main difference would be hitch’s career and how successful he’s been. They both send similar messages, they both want guys to work hard, to battle, but I think because Hitch’s reputation and reputation for winning, guys might put more weight behind what hitch says, whether that is right or wrong, it seems to be the case.

Has there been any frustrations with the transition?

Ian: Not really, I liked Davis payne a lot. He was great to me. But as far as a transition, it wasn’t too bad. It helps that we were winning…That helps with everything haha especially transitions.

Since with the timing of the NHL discipline being handed down I did ask the obvious

Ian: Like I said to the media today at practice, I understand he has a job to do, I understand what he’s trying to accomplish getting the headshots out of the game which I like, but at the same time, I would have liked to see a fewer game suspension, obviously.  But I respect the league and what they want to accomplish so I’ll just take my suspension and look forward to getting back at it.

I changed up the pace a bit on him and asked his thoughts on fellow D man Barrett Jackman and what he thought on fans getting onto him lately.

Ian:  I really respect and admire jackman. He’s a great player and a better person. A true captain and underrated player.

At the time of all this Notre Dame took on fellow teammates alma mater Boston University as well, I wondered if they had any wagers on it.

Ian: No wagers but we were definitely talking some shit before hand. It was nice to give it to him a bit afterwards.

I wanted to know as well what made Ian want to play as a kid and who influenced his game.

Ian: My dad grew up playing so he introduced me to the game when I was a little older than 2 and I continued to play as I got older because I fell in love with the game. And who influences my style of place? And I can’t say that anyone really influences it. I know how I want to play and I try to play that way. Aggressive, tough, in your face defense while still being able to make plays and contribute offensively.

Nearing the end of the interview he was sitting up in the press box at Scottrade during the Blues vs Coyotes game in which the team won 4-1 and I had asked what teams were the toughest teams to play and the teams the guys get amped up for more.  Also who was the hardest to shut down and the dirtiest on each team

 Ian: Detroit and Chicago. For sure. Love and hate playing those teams at the same time. Toughest to shut down, datsyuk (sp) and toews, dirtiest, Carrcillo, franzen.

One of the last questions I had asked was his thoughts on the city of St Louis and some of the things he likes to do around town.

Ian: Ya I actually love St Louis. A few guys complain that’s it’s smaller than they’d like, but I love it. It has a great mid western feel to it, while still being a big city with tons to do. And the people here are awesome, down to earth, hard working and respectful…Admirable on all accounts.  And favorite thing to do? I dunno, hang out with the boys, go around the central west end, just hang out really.

If you take anything away from this interview it is obvious Ian is very smart.  Obviously Notre Dame is a very hard school to get into and one of, if not the best academic institutions in the country.  I take away from this that the hit was an accident and that it will not change the way he plays.  I think that Ian’s style fits perfectally with this blue collar team.  He loves this team, he loves this city, and above all the people in this town.  It was a pleasure getting to know one of my favorite players, and hopefully he can get back on the ice and produce for a team ready to get back into the playoffs and make a deep run.

As always follow us @the_hockeyhouse and follow me @evanhickskc on twitter.  Be sure to continue to follow the 2012 WJC, and check out some other pieces on the site

 

 

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