In this week’s Getting To Know, New Jersey Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas recalls meeting Jocelyn Thibault, a hilarious story about the first time he was allowed play as his team’s goaltender and says why his most painful moment in sports happened away from the hockey rink.
Status: New Jersey Devils defenseman.
Ht: 6-foot-4 Wt: 215 pounds
DOB: May 8, 1991 In: Vanier, Ont.
First Hockey Memory: “First time I skated on the ice I guess [smiles].”
Hockey Inspirations: “I started playing hockey because I wanted to be with my older brother (Karl). I wanted to do anything because he was doing it. So that’s how I started playing hockey. Favorite player – I always watched Chris Pronger. He was pretty much my hockey idol.”
Last Book Read: “I’m not so much a reader.”
Current Car: “Ford Raptor (black).”
Greatest Sports Moment: “When I won the Memorial Cup (2011) with Saint John. When it was my last season in juniors.”
Most Painful Moment: “Oh, it’s not hockey related, but my older brother is pretty much my idol. When he got busted on steroids as a baseball player, it was kind of a disappointment for me. In hockey I don’t have any painful moments.”
Most Memorable Goal: “Overtime winner at Madison Square Garden last year.”
Favorite Uniforms: “I like the black Chicago one.”
Favorite Rinks To Play: “Montreal.”
Why Do You Love Playing Hockey: “I guess I was good at it so I stuck with it. But I always played after school. The first thing that I would do is get my hockey stick and play in the street, and all that stuff. I don’t know why I like it but it’s just in me I guess, so it’s my favorite sport by far.”
Funniest Players Encountered: “Jon Merrill.”
Fiercest Competitors Encountered: “Jordin Tootoo.”
Embarrassing Hockey Memory: “When I was young, really young, I think I was four or five, I always wanted to try goalie when I was young. I was like the best player or whatever, so my coach wouldn’t let me go in goal. The first time I played goalie I peed in my pants on the ice [smiles]. That was pretty embarrassing.”
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: “I like playing golf. But I come from a baseball family. So I like baseball too.”
Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: “Russell Martin (MLB catcher). I like LeBron James. Rory McIlroy.”
First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: “I think it was Jocelyn Thibault, the goalie. I was seven or eight, we were in a summer hockey tournament, and he just showed up, as a player/event kind of thing.”
Strangest Game: “Last year the game that I scored the overtime winner, I think we came back from a 3 or 4-nothing lead. So that – and it was against the Rangers – so that was a pretty good feeling.”
Personality Qualities Most Admired: “People that are humble. That don’t think they are better than another person. Honest. Generous people I guess.”
Mark “Scoop” Malinowski’s book “Facing Nadal: Symposium of a Champion” is now available at Amazon.