So, I know I’ve been away for a while and I apologize for that. Things have been pretty hectic, personal issues aside, I’ve also bought a new place in downtown Toronto so I’ve been pretty preoccupied with that. Anyways, I’m back and ready to write. But first, I was thinking I should post an old interview I did with Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Cody Goloubef back in 2011. I submitted this interview for review when I applied to The College of Sports Media and had asked the school President, David Lanys, to look it over. Since I got accepted into the program I’m assuming this is decent enough to post. So here it is.
A Quick Chat With Cody Goloubef
By: Michael Revell
December 27, 2011
Drafted in the 2nd round, 37th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets, it is fair to say that Goloubef is considered to be one of Columbus’ top prospects. Currently apprenticing in the AHL with the Blue Jackets’ farm team, the Springfield Falcons, it is quite likely that we will see Goloubef in the NHL as early as sometime this year. I had the chance to have a chat with the University of Wisconsin alum in his parents’ Oakville home during the holidays, so ladies and gentlemen, meet Cody Goloubef.
Revell: With the World Juniors once again underway, it must bring back a lot of memories of when you played on the gold medal winning team back in 2008/2009. How about we start by talking about your experiences with the team? Can you describe the feeling of being named to the team coupled with winning gold?
Goloubef: “I don’t know if you heard about the process, but there’s supposed to be three inter-squad games and whatnot and they said the last four or five years they had everything they needed after two so they cancelled the third game, but our year I guess everything was so tight they had the third game so everybody that was on the team from the previous year said it was kind of odd that we were having the third game. The selection process begins at like 5:30 in the morning and they tell you to have all your stuff packed up so you can leave within five minutes of the phone call. So we all watched a movie and went to bed and I can remember waking up and hearing the phone ring, picked it up, ended up missing the call so my then my heart started pumping and as soon as I put it down it rings again. I answered the phone, and you think you’re cut obviously, and they say “Hi is Kevin there” and it’s kind of awkward and I’m like “Hey Marsh, (current Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kevin Marshall) phone’s for you”, so he took it, he got cut and I was texting him from then on because we didn’t have TSN so I didn’t know who was getting cut or what was going on. I just kept waiting and waiting, and the team was supposed to be named at 8:00 and it’s like 8:30, 8:45 now and one of my teammates from school was down there and told me he didn’t see my passport down there so he thought I made the team. I didn’t believe that then, but I grew up with John Tavares and I heard a knock on my door and sure enough it was him and cameras were there and such so it was a pretty special feeling.”
Revell: On that team you were lucky enough to play with NHL caliber defensemen such as P.K. Subban and Tyler Myers, along with current NHL star John Tavares, who you already mentioned you had grown up with. What did you learn from playing with them on the same team?
Goloubef: “I think everybody just kind of complemented each other, P.K. was more of a go-getter and I’m kind of more of a stay-at-home so we kind of complemented each others styles pretty nicely. Me and him were d-partners, we were roommates, stall-mates, we were together the whole time. Other guys, now that I play in the American League I watch now to pick up on styles, but back then everyone was kind of even, we were all playing together, we were playing as one. You had your role on that team and it’s based on roles, not based on best players, and you just gotta abide to your role and we weren’t paying attention to other peoples game per say because we each had our role and we stuck to it. The other day I was actually watching the gold medal game and I was just picking up on little things, you know, see what was out there. You pick up on things, I’m trying to improve my offensive game so I’m watching guys like Ryan Ellis and P.K. to try and pick up some little things, you don’t really pick up the big things as opposed to the little, finer details. So it wasn’t then that I was watching, but now I’m trying to pick up on things.”
Revell: One of my most vivid memories of the tournament was Jordan Eberle scoring his famous game-tying goal with under 6 seconds left in the 3rd period against the Russians. What was going on in your head as the final seconds ticked off the clock? Was there a sense of defeat, did you ever feel like giving up?
Goloubef: “Yeah! Me and P.K., it was our first goal against, the leading goal for the Russians, so I was thinking “Jeez, we don’t get scored on all tournament and now…” we were both just kind of chipping away at the guy and I don’t know how it went in but on the bench I just put my head down and went “oh man.” And as soon as I picked my head up, I think everybody was kind of defeated at the moment, and I was thinking to myself, how did I let that go in, but I picked my head up and Eberle has it going to his backhand and the entire bench just exploded. But just before that, I was feeling just the lowest low, so it was pretty amazing watching him score that goal.”
Revell: So let’s move on from the World Juniors. But it is interesting to note that out of the 23 players named to that team, you were the only one to choose the college route instead of major junior. What were some of the factors that led you into this decision?
Goloubef: “Well, I was drafted by the Sarnia Sting into the OHL in the 4th round and I went to camp there just for the experience and did pretty well, but I was smaller than some of the other guys at the time and they could only keep three guys so they sent me back. I was leaning towards the college route anyway, my parents wanted me to go to school and that was something they really wanted me to do and I was pretty small so I thought that playing in college was what would be best for me and my game.”
Revell: How big is the jump from playing against college level players versus seasoned professionals in the AHL?
Goloubef: “Things in the AHL are really chaotic, there’s a lack of organization, so many players are going back and forth, back and forth and everyone’s just kind of playing for themselves. We’re all trying to impress the coaches and the scouts and whatnot and trying to get a call-up to the NHL so it’s pretty much every guy for themself and basically things are just very chaotic. It’s a big difference in gameplay, so many of the guys here are so much bigger and stronger than the guys back at school and everyone here is trying to prove something so it’s pretty intense.”
Revell: The big news going around the NHL right now is about concussions. There’s obviously the Crosby situation coupled with the seemingly endless wave of concussed star players, Giroux, Pronger, Savard and such. But also there was the tragic deaths of the three enforcers, Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak, which many say is linked to concussions. As a player, do you feel a constant danger of being concussed? Do you think the league can implement any new rules to help prevent these injuries?
Goloubef: Well I think the deaths of those three was kind of a fluke incident anyways, but to be honest, you don’t really think about getting hurt when you’re out there on the ice. I just try to not put myself in a really dangerous position, keep my head up, but you really don’t think about it and you can’t think about it. If you think about it constantly, you’re not gonna play well. So no, I find that I play as hard as ever, going into corners, facing bigger guys, and yeah, I just really don’t think about it and I think most of the other guys in the league try not to either. It’s part of the game, it’s a rough sport and unfortunately sometimes people are going to get hurt.
Revell: So Cody, one final question. For many young Canadians being drafted into the NHL is a dream come true. It is the quintessential Canadian dream. What do you have to say to the next wave of young kids looking to follow in your footsteps?
Goloubef: You just have to keep working hard and have a passion for the game. Keep working on your skills and your skating, just trying to improve all the time. You can’t let yourself think you won’t make it or you never will. It’s really all about hard work and having a good, positive attitude.