Taking Liberties With … Blake Comeau
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Position: Left Wing, Colorado Avalanche
Hometown: Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada
Last Amateur Team: Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Colorado Rubber: What advice do you have for a young hockey player and his/her parents?
Blake Comeau: Just preach having fun at an early age. I was fortunate to have my parents supportive, but not pushy. I knew some kids who had their parents too hard on them and I think that takes the fun out of it. Just enjoy your friends and going to the rink.
CR: What’s your game-day routine and pre-game meal?
BC: I’m not much of a routine kind of guy. Pretty boring. My pregame meal is pasta with grilled chicken, some spinach in it, and a mixed green salad. I’m not superstitious and have the same routine. I go with the flow and what I’m feeling.
CR: What is your favorite sport outside hockey and why?
BC: Right now, it’s football. I love watching the NFL and I play fantasy football. Keeps it interesting. Growing up, I was a big baseball player. I liked playing baseball and with Canada’s team, the Toronto Blue Jays, doing as well as they did, they kind of got me back on the bandwagon. It was fun watching them. I played baseball until I was about 13 and then had to make a decision. I ended up choosing hockey.
CR: What was your favorite hockey moment before playing in the NHL?
BC: I would have to say two: Winning the 2004 Memorial Cup on home ice in Kelowna and the 2006 World Junior gold medal in Vancouver, which was just down the road from where I was playing juniors. It was nice to have it in Canada and have my friends and family there. Really cool experience.
CR: If you weren’t playing hockey for a living what would you be doing?
BC: It’s tough to answer that question because I feel like I put all my effort and time into hockey. I’d really never thought about what else I’d do. Now that I have a family and a daughter, I’m sure what I do when I’m done playing hockey will be based on what she’s into.
CR: Your family is growing, right?
BC: We got one on the way here very shortly.
CR: Favorite aspect of growing up in Meadow Lake?
BC: Just the small town. We had an outdoor arena called Westview, which was two blocks from my school. I brought my skates to school and we went there after. We had some really cold moments, but I remember they had a heated hut where you’d go and tie your skates. My town was 4,000-5,000 people, a hockey-based community, and I think the Stanley Cup has been back there three times, with Jeff Friesen once (New Jersey, 2003) and Dwight King twice (Los Angeles, 2012 and 2014). It’s kind of crazy, such a small town and how many times the Cup has been there.
CR: What is the most challenging aspect of playing in the NHL?
BC: I would say the grind and physicality of it. I turn 30 this year and you don’t feel as fresh when you were 21 coming into the league. But that being said, I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. It’s a lot of fun to come to the rink every day and hang out with your friends and play the sport you love.
CR: What is your favorite vacation spot?
BC: Maui. We went there for our honeymoon and a couple weddings. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a bit of a hike, a bit of a flight, but not too bad.
CR: Who was the player you most idolized growing up?
BC: I was a big Steve Yzerman fan, but Edmonton was the closest team and I remember going to Oilers games with Bill Guerin there, Mike Comrie when he first came into the league and Doug Weight. But I was a big Stevie Y fan growing up.
Photo/Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images
— Compiled by Mike Chambers