Hometown: Cormac, Ontario
Family: Parents, Tom and Shirley; brother Ryan (23); sister Jennifer (29)
Contract status: Under ECHL contract with the Lynx
2001-02 notes: Tallied 30 points on 13 goals and 17 assists in 66 games with the Lynx.
Q: What was it like growing up playing hockey in your hometown?
A: I think I started skating when I was 3 and started playing organized hockey when I was 5. My hometown is a really small town out in the country. We had an outdoor ice rink, a baseball field, a church and a post office, and that's about it. Obviously, hockey is pretty big back home.
Q: Who were your hockey heroes?
A: I'd have to say Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Of course, every kid wanted to be Wayne Gretzky, but I really liked Lemieux because he had everything: speed, size and strength. There was awhile there when I went on a streak when I loved the New York Islanders back when they won four Stanley Cups in a row. I jumped on that bandwagon for a while, but Lemieux and the Penguins were always my favorites.
Q: You're one of the fastest skaters on the team. Has that always been your strength?
A: Ever since I was little, skating was my best attribute, and over the years, I've worked hard at it. Everyone has one or two things they're really good at, and skating has always been it for me. A lot of it is natural ability, like how some guys just have a really hard slap shot. Some guys work really hard at it, and some guys just have it. I've always had natural skating ability.
Q: Describe your experience playing college hockey at Northern Michigan University?
A: It was definitely a challenge combining school and hockey. It was pretty taxing, but a great experience. I learned a lot about hockey and about life and discipline and being committed to something. It's worked out for me in hockey and in life. I got my degree in physical education with a minor in health, so I see myself one day turning that into a teaching career.
Q: What book are you reading right now?
A: It's a book called The Home Team - Fathers and Sons in Hockey. It talks about the strong bond between fathers and sons growing up in Canada and how hockey is such a religion up there. It talks about how when you win something or score a goal, usually the first thing you think about is your father. He was there for you, taking you to practice in the morning and getting you ready, and if you don't have that support, you don't make it. The role my mom and dad played is 100 percent the reason why I'm playing the game today. There aren't two other people who've influenced my hockey career more than my parents, putting in the time and the effort and money and the sacrifices they made so I can play hockey.
- Rob Mueller