The Hockey Writers correspondent Ted Warren had an opportunity to chalk it up with newly acquired Admirals center Kyle Wilson who was assigned to Norfolk by their NHL affiliate the Anaheim Ducks on March 11, 2013. The 6’2” Oakville, Ontario native was dealt to the Ducks by the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for 25-year-old Dan Sexton. Prior to the deal, the Colgate alumnus skated in 22 games with the Syracuse Crunch, the AHL affiliate of the Lightning, scoring five goals. The exclusive Q&A session will give Ducks faithfuls a look down the pipeline.
THW: What is your earliest hockey memory?
Wilson: In minor hockey, we had a tournament in Kitchener. It was a big tournament because if you won the tournament, you won skates. We were at the semifinals and I had an OT shootout goal that put us in the finals.
THW: You had the game-winning tally in the longest hockey game in Colgate’s history. What do you remember about your goal?
Wilson: Everybody who played in that game will remember it pretty well because we played over two games in one night. It was one of those things where everyone was so tired. I just jumped out on the ice and found a spot in the middle and the puck popped out to me and I buried it. I’ll never forget the celebration. Everyone was so tired. It was kind of the most rift raff celebration ever.
THW: How does a hockey player go on to major in physics?
Wilson: My parents are both teachers and my Dad is a math teacher. I was kind of pushed towards math at an early age. I really like the engineering aspect of it and the plan was if hockey didn’t work out, then I could do something with physics.
THW: Does your degree in physics help you out on the ice?
Wilson: You learn a little bit more; everyone has their edges with how they think through the game. I like to think that it helped me but who knows.
THW: You won back to back Calder cups with the Hershey Bears (08-09 & 09-10) would you consider that a highlight of your career?
Wilson: Definitely. The experience and the privilege of winning a Calder cup. Just to go through that and play so many games. You put your heart and soul in something and finally in the end you’re rewarded. It’s a group of guys that you become pretty close to. They’re lifetime friends and lifetime memories. It’s an experience I hope to have a third time.
THW: How did you spend your day with the cup?
Wilson: I only did it one year. I brought it to my wedding. I was getting married that summer and I had a photo booth and people took it into the photo booth and took pictures with it. The timing worked out. It was a great thing to do with it.
THW: How did you find out about the trade that sent you to the Ducks organization?
Wilson: Getting traded is always a tricky thing. It’s mixed emotions on all fronts. I was in my room and I got a phone call from the GM or the Assistant GM. You don’t get many phone calls from them. When their number comes up, you’re always wondering what it is. When you get traded, it’s a bit of a whirlwind day. You’ve got to figure out hockey equipment, what flights you’re getting on. It’s a crazy day, but its part of our job. I’m happy where I turned up.
THW: What were your first impressions of your new team?
Wilson: Great group of guys. They have welcomed me so far. Since I’ve been here, we’ve pulled out a bunch of wins. It’s a playoff push. It’s an exciting time to be stepping into a new bunch of guys.
THW: Any story behind the number 7 sweater you wear with Norfolk?
Wilson: It was a childhood number. I’ve worn so many numbers over the years and stepping into a new team there’s usually limited jersey numbers. When I got the list it was kind of a no brainer for me.
THW: Chris Wagner also went to Colgate. Is there a Colgate connection minus the age difference?
Wilson: A couple guys have brought that up. Colgate was a great school. It produces great people. Wags is a great kid too. Hopefully we can use our Colgate connection and a little bit of our smarts as they say to help the team win.
Ted grew up in Virginia. Warren has a passion for the AHL and dishes out articles about the Norfolk Admirals and the AHL. Follow him on Twitter @bauerhockeydude