Towards the end of last season, the New York Rangers called up one of their prospects, and most Ranger fans were anxious to see him being given a shot.
Unfortunately, Dale Weise did not get a chance to see live action, but he did get the idea of what being a Ranger is all about.
Dale is currently a member of the Hartford Wolfpack, but is a hopeful to make the Rangers roster out of training camp next season. He saw time on Broadway during pre-season hockey last year and impressed fans with his ability to play physical and show a nose for the net.
In two seasons with Hartford, the twenty-one year old right-winger has notched 39 goals and 34 assists for 73 points and has amassed 178 penalty minutes.
This afternoon, I had the chance to interview him by phone in a rather spur-of-the-moment occasion. Most times interviews take place after nearly a week of correspondence, but this was completed in just about an hour.
Dale was happy to answer all of my questions that included asking some quick hits about his favorites, as well as serious questions about his playing style and what he expects to accomplish. The conversation also ended with a topic that I never expected to see in a hockey interview.
Below is our conversation:
Favorite movie: Right now it would have to be the second Trailer Park Boys movie.
Favorite TV show: Family Guy .
Favorite actor/actress: That’s a tough one. Megan Fox.
Favorite food: Cereal.
Favorite hobby: Besides playing hockey, working on my tan.
Favorite hockey team growing up: Montreal Canadiens.
Favorite hockey player: Keith Tkachuk.
GC: Describe to Rangers fans what your style of play is like, and what we can look forward to seeing.
DW: I’m a player that can do a little bit of everything. I can hit, fight, stand up for teammates, and I can score. I think I’m a guy that can play on the top line or on the fourth line. I just think I’m a guy that can fit in anywhere to make the team better.
GC: Even though you did not get a chance to play, what was your experience like being called up last season?
DW: That was awesome. Even though I’m obviously disappointed that I didn’t get to play, it was great to be a part of it. The situation we were in where every game was important and our season was on the line was very cool to be a part of. Even in the pregame skates and on the bus rides you could see it was really serious. Being a part of it was just the best thing for me.
GC: And how intense was John Tortorella during all of this?
DW: He was pretty intense (laughs). He’s probably the most intense coach I’ve ever seen.
GC: Can you tell us what your off-season plans are like in regards to getting in shape for another season of hockey?
DW: Probably pretty close to everyone else. I have a personal trainer I go to Monday through Friday, and usually we go an hour in the gym and work with weights and on the core and legs. The next hour we’ll be pushing sleds and we do a lot of running and lunges.
Other than that for five days a week, that’s pretty much it for me. I also like to get in my backyard and shoot pucks when I get the opportunity and in a couple weeks I will start skating twice a week and that’s about it.
GC: What do you plan on accomplishing by the end of training camp?
DW: Hopefully I’ll have a roster spot locked down. I’m going there with the mindset that I’m there to play on the team. I don’t know what’s going to happen with free agency and who they’re bringing in, but I feel that I’ve put in my time in the American Hockey League and developed the way that they would be happy with and I think I’m going to come in and win a spot.
GC: This next question comes from my friend Mike, who is a Wolfpack season ticket holder. Of course we hope that you will be playing on the Rangers next season, but if you happen to be in Hartford, what do you think about the possibility of having an outdoor hockey game at Rentschler Field?
DW: I think that would be awesome. Honestly, I would be all for that. I don’t plan on being down there, but after the two years I’ve spent in Hartford, it’s been awesome and I have made some real good friends.
The people who come to the games and all the fans we have are awesome. I would be all for it. I’d love to play in an outdoor game.
GC: Finally, if you were not a hockey player, what job would you like to have, and why?
DW: I think if I was not a hockey player, I would be a farmer. I spend a lot of time on my girlfriend’s farm and I like the lifestyle. I’m more of a laid back, simple life kind of guy.
GC: Now that you’ve mentioned farming, I just have to ask, do you play Farmville on Facebook?
DW: No I do not. I don’t really get into the games. I just go on there to talk to people and that’s about it.
GC: Well good for you for not getting caught up in that insanity. I wish I never started my farm. It was fun but it’s a pain now.
DW: (laughs) I watched a South Park episode the other day and it was all about people being crazy on Farmville. I thought it was pretty funny.
GC: I want to thank you so much for the interview, and I really hope I will see you on the Rangers next season. I will buy your jersey and say I was the first Ranger fan to interview him before he made it big!
DW: (laughs) Thanks. No problem man.
Please visit my sports blog, "From New York to San Francisco."