Today, we close out the immensely popular Meet the Staff series as we interview the brainchild behind these: Sandie G! I've already managed to lose these answers twice, so let's hope I can get them all copied over before I lose them once more...
1. What attracted you to hockey? Does your family have a passion for it, was it always the Avalanche that you liked?
I fell in love watching the sport on TV. I was in awe of what people could do on such small blades. The speed of the game, the toughness, the sound of both the skates cutting the ice and the puck hitting the blades of the stick made me fall in love. The longer I watched, the more I fell in love.
No, my family doesn't have a passion for it, at least my parents didn't. A few of my uncles did, a couple of my cousins did. But only one of them really talked about it with me. He was the "cool, older" cousin. In fact, he is only 3 years older than me, but as an 8 year old that makes a huge difference. Maybe he was the cool cousin because he loved hockey? My parents didn't have anything to do with my love of the sport, but they put it up with my love of it. I don't think they could recall any players. Although, my mom could remember who was Blue Steel last year.
The Avalanche were always the team I cheered for, depending on how you look at it. I started as a Quebec Nordiques fan and "followed" the team to Denver. It was still the same team that I had invested all my emotions into. I couldn't cheer for Montreal or Toronto so I became an Avalanche fan.
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 found it accidentally one day. Googling for some news about a player. I fell in "like" with the community fairly quickly. It took me a few weeks of reading before I posted. The people are what kept me here. I became part of the staff after Papa Smurf asked me if I'd be interested in becoming the Game Thread Sheriff, and with a title like that, how could I say no? Within a short amount of time I started "Bits and Links" and someone had an issue with the name... I ran a poll and it became what is now know as the "Daily Cupcakes". I love how varied it is, we all have a passion for hockey and the Avalanche, but it's so much more than that. It truly is a community. I've made so many great friends, and have even been able to go out for a beer with an Avalanche fan while in Southern Ontario. Finding MHH has been an awesome thing for me.
3. What are you looking forward to the most about this up-coming season?
Bringing this sign to Air Canada Center "2012 Avalanche: Proving the Critics Wrong"? I can't wait to see how the team pulls together after the atrocious back-end of the last season. What I've seen the guys are hungry to show that they are better than the league is giving them credit for. I'm hopeful for the upcoming season. The team made so many moves, some of which were downright bold, in the last 8 months, that I am excited to see what they can do together.
4. Who is your "sleeper" pick for the 2012 season?
I'm going with Patrick Bordeleau. He is a tough player, the Avalanche couldn't bring him up last year because he was on an AHL contract. This year is different. I think he could pose a serious challenge to Cody McLeod for his position on the team, both play Left Wing.
5. What are some nicknames you go by?
Sandie, Sand.. and now, thanks to you lovely folks, Cupcakes. I don't think they have any idea what it actually means... but they call me it.
6. Your favorite player? Is there one guy that you could just watch for hours and not get bored?
Currently my non-Avalanche player is RIck Nash, and I think everyone knows that I love watching Winnik on the penalty kill. The choice for me to just watch was Forsberg, he was just fantastic to watch skate.
7. All Star weekend yay or nay?
Yay, it's entertaining. I don't really watch the games, but I enjoy the skills competition. I enjoy getting to see the guys show personality on the ice. It's also a great marketing tool for the NHL to try and broaden the fanbase.
8. Your favorite hockey book?
This one is tough, I loved "The Game" by Ken Dryden. I teared up with "Playing With Fire" by Theo Fleury. Also, when I was in my "Perspectives on Hockey" course the book we used was "Words on Ice: A Collection of Hockey Prose" which had a number of short stories, some of which were insightful.
9. Outside of MHH, what's your favorite website?
Like most Facebook and Twitter are sites that I usually have running in the background. NHL.com is one that I always turn to, not for the news, more so for the videos. Listverse.com is a site I usually look at every day. Postsecret.com is one that I go to every Sunday.
10. During the offseason what is your favorite thing to do?
Watch Vault games at NHL.com. I spend a lot of time at the lake with family and friends, reading beside the lake, tubing, boating, swimming, and playing card games. Spending time in the hot tub with a book, music, or a hockey game on.
11. What is your favorite hockey movie?
The series Les Boys is one that I always go to. I'm proud of the fact that while everywhere else in the world people were lining up to see "Titanic", Quebecers were lining up to see a hockey movie. Throughout the four movies, and the TV series, there have been a number on NHL'ers that have made cameos in the movie.
I also really liked "Maurice Richard", or "The Rocket" as it's known in English, I love that while showing the story of Maurice Richard they also try to show the seriousness between the French and English division in Canada at the time that he was making his mark in the hockey world.
12. The thing you want to know most about another staff member?
Hey Derek, help me perfect my golf swing?
I know most of you didn't get past "hot tub", but it was near the end so I guess you got most of the good parts. Seriously, great stuff Sandie. I have to tell you, I helped coach my wife's softball team this summer and one of the girl's was nicknamed Cupcakes. I don't mind admitting it was a little weird.
Speaking of, here's a few Cupcakes for the daily browse...
Some great quotes from Gabriel Landeskog (and other top rookies we could care less about) from that hockey card photo shoot on Tuesday, including talk about the pressure of being expected to make the team this year:
“It's something that comes along with (being a top pick),” said Landeskog, who sported a No. 92 Colorado Avalanche jersey. “I see pressure as a positive thing. I want high expectations (placed on) myself. That's why I play this game — I want to get better every day.”
And, since we're honoring Sandie today, we've got to include the obligatory Daniel Winnik fluff piece
“I want to be a steady contributor in all parts of the game,” noted the 6’2”, 210-pounder. “If I can provide a little more offence this season and then do a solid job defensively, that would make me happy.”
I'll go out on a limb and predict that that would make Sandie happy as well.