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Meet the Staff- A.J.

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NASHVILLE TN - FEBRUARY 12:  Cameron Gaunce #43 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against Mike Fisher #12 of the Nashville Predators on February 12 2011 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE TN - FEBRUARY 12: Cameron Gaunce #43 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against Mike Fisher #12 of the Nashville Predators on February 12 2011 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
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During the off-season, we've been getting to know you a bit more and have had awesome discussions because of this. continuing today, you can learn more about the MHH staff through a series of questions.


Today is all about A.J., the man behind the voice. He represented MHH'ers incredibly well when he did his radio interview (Thanks, Sandie! <3). So let's see what he has to say.

1. What attracted you to hockey? Does your family have a passion for it, was it always the Avalanche that you liked?
I was in 3rd grade when the Avalanche traded for Patrick Roy. We talked about how to correctly say his name in school the next day. At the time I was a typical Denver kid, loving the Broncos and taking a mild interest in the other teams. When the Avalanche moved to town, I didn't really pay much attention. Then the Roy trade happened and I was signed up for a league a few months later. My dad saw my extreme interest take off and took me to playoff games against Vancouver, Chicago, and Detroit. Sadly, we were on vacation during the SCF so we were unable to be there in person for that deliciousness. For me and my family, it's always been all about the A.

(More after the jump, with Cupcake links)

2. What about MHH? How'd you find it, what kept you here? How'd you become part of the staff?  What is your favorite part of MHH?

I came across MHH when I was an active member of the Rockies SBN blog, Purple Row. I saw something on the sidebar or wherever announcements went on that pre-auto-updating comments platform and noticed Die By the Blade had just started. Seeing that, I started clicking around to see if there was an Avs blog. SHO NUFF. What kept me here is I was a Denver sports junkie living deep in the heart of Texas with nobody to talk to about anything because I don't care about the Cowboys and once I graduated high school could no longer stand the idea of constantly talking about the Katy Tigers football team (Cinco4lyfe). I became part of the staff when DDC let me. My favorite part of MHH is, ironically, the people. I've made so many close friends from MHH and the diversity of the community is always something I adore. So many different personalities, backgrounds, and viewpoints that it's hard for MHH to let any angle regarding the Avalanche go untouched. It's a fantastic place for Avs fans.

3. What are you looking forward to the most about this up-coming season?

Seeing how the big moves pan out. The Avs have come under SO much fire that as a fan base, we're getting really defensive about our team and can't wait to show the NHL how much smarter we are than they're giving us credit for. I strongly dislike the comparisons to the team from two seasons ago because I think we're a much better hockey team and am eager to see the potential this team has come to fruition on the ice. It's an exciting time to be an Avalanche fan. I'm not worried about the team falling apart again. This team is much deeper than last year's version and the added year of experience should pay dividends. I'm a big believer in the group we're going to ice this fall.

4. Who is your "sleeper" pick for the 2012 season?

Mark Olver. The guy showed he can play in the NHL at the end of the year despite his size limitations. I think he's still the most intriguing prospect we have and a real darkhorse to make the team coming out of camp (again). His hands, creativity, and determination are things that really stood out to me. He's not a little guy trying to fit in, he's a guy trying to make something happen every time his skates touch the ice.

5.  What are some nicknames you go by?
Olawd. AJ itself is my most common nickname but I also go by Drew, J, Bubs, Bubblegum, Mugglebub (ha!), SDTF, Slam (Or Slam Man in Dario's case), and in one guy's case in high school, The Legend (uhhh...long story).

6. Your favorite player? Is there one guy that you could just watch for hours and not get bored?

Favorite Av of all-time is Patrick Roy, my first favorite player was Valeri Kamensky, my current favorite Av is Matt Duchene with Cameron Gaunce a close second, and my favorite prospect who hasn't seen NHL time is Stefan Elliott. The one guy I could just sit and watch play constantly would be Pavel Bure. Im not sure I've ever watched a more pure goal scorer than that man.

7. All Star weekend yay or nay?
Big yay. Loved the fantasy draft last year, love the skills competition, love the atmosphere, love the game itself, love that it pisses Red Wings fans off. Tex and I came up with an insane drinking game that got both of us so totally plastered during the skills competition that we don't remember the rules anymore.

8.  Your favorite hockey book?

Blood Feud by Adrian Dater. Theo Fleury's book was also very good but I don't really think it counts as a hockey book.

9. Outside of MHH, what's your favorite website?
Oh, boy. This one is really tough for me. My most used websites outside MHH are Facebook/Twitter just for staying connected with family and keeping up with friends but my favorite website to visit everyday? Probably It's THE Starcraft website for the world outside of Korea and the community has gotten so large that there's plenty of interesting discussion about world topics, other games, sports, and live streams of pro gamers playing ladder matches. Just a nice, centralized hub for my nerdiness.

10. During the off-season what is your favorite thing to do?

I'm a pretty hardcore gamer, averaging between 30-40 hours per week gaming and probably twice that reading/talking/watching it. I was a semi-pro gamer back in the days of Halo 2 and hope to someday have the time to once again be competitive in a game of some kind.

11.  What is your favorite hockey movie?
Far and away it's Miracle. Nothing against Slap Shot or any other hockey movie but Miracle was the complete package. It was historically significant, had an uplifting David vs. Goliath plot, well-acted, featured the speed of hockey in a way no movie had ever done before, and was based on a freaking true story.

12.  The thing you want to know most about another staff member?
Oh I don't even know. I definitely want to know what the dynamic would be with the entire staff in a room together. Other than that, I'd like to know if Sandie thinks in French, if Derek ever refers to himself in the third person using the D-Rock nickname, and if Cheryl can get me advance screening tix to the new Footloose movie. Also, are Joe and Mike long lost brothers, is Dustin still alive, and has DDC ever seen the grinning bobcat grin?


So now you know more about our incredible Bubs! Who knew he liked video games so much?!




Apparently Brisebois is now a NASCAR driver.

How many people can say they retire from their favorite sport, just to do another sport you love?

Gary Roberts, Joe Nieuwendyk, Lionel Conacher…..and Patrice Brisebois.


A small look at the Top Four draft picks of this year, and who the "sleeper pick" could prove to be.

This season's NHL rookie crop should be as strong as, or stronger than, last season's crop. The top four picks from the June draft — Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton Oilers), Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado Avalanche), Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida Panthers) and Adam Larsson (New Jersey Devils) — should all have a chance to start with their NHL teams, although Huberdeau hasn't signed a contract yet.


A story that involves Joe Sakic.

While playing with the Denver Nuggets, Popeye ran into then-captain of the Colorado Avalanche, Joe Sakic, and asked for help understanding this mysterious sport played by men with sticks.

“I stopped him and started talking to him,” Jones recalls. “I said, ‘Joe, my kids want to play ice hockey. I don’t know anything about ice hockey. What do I do?’ He looked at me and said ‘from the look of you, your kids are going to be huge, and they’re going to be good athletes. You’re just going to have to teach them how to skate.’”