Monday, February 15, 2010

Interview with Former Washington Capital,Stephen Peat

PC - The following is an email interview I conducted with former Washington Capital, Stephen Peat.

For information about Stephen’s career, here are a couple good resources:

Career Statistics - http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=28833

Fight Card - http://www.dropyourgloves.com/Players/Player.aspx?Player=3515

PC - I’ll try to keep these questions in chronological order starting with Stephen’s Red Deer days. You were picked in the 2nd Round, 32nd overall by the Mighty Ducks; that had to be a good feeling. Can you comment on if you were at the draft and if you thought you were going to go that high?

Peat - Central scouting had me rated to be drafted around that spot so I guess I had a bit of an idea I would get drafted around there. I did attend the draft; it was a good experience and stepping stone towards getting closer to becoming an NHL hockey player.

PC - You took on some big boys (e.g. Freadrich, Low, Yablonski, Godard, Fritz, Parker, Boogaard, Vandermeer), and did quite well for yourself, in the W. What was it like honing your skill against guys like that?

Peat - Having had the chance to fight all the players I fought throughout my junior career definitely helped me become a better fighter and little more prepared to fight in the pro level.

PC - Apparently you were stabbed in a bar while in juniors? Can you tell us about that and how it affected you?

Peat - Yes I was stabbed during a bar altercation. It didn’t really affect me personally but it did affect the way some people perceived me. Bottom line I will stick up for my friends no matter the place or time.


PC - Another poster wanted to know about your scrap with Rocky Thompson in the playoffs. There isn’t any information on that. And both of you guys threw em like lawnmowers!

Peat - Ya it was during a playoff game while I played for red deer. I remember we were losing 6 to 1 or something like that. It was time to stand up to them and I thought why not fight rocky. It was a toe to toe fight we both ended standing. I felt that was a good mark for me since I was only 16 and proved I could go with the tough guys.

PC - Were there any good stories from the W that you could share? Who was the most feared guy in the league?

Peat - There are numerous stories but the one that sticks out is during a game in prince albert I was hit by one of their players really cheaply by an elbow it had knocked me silly. While fights broke out and I got up, the ref grabbed me and put me in the box. They then put a couple of their players in the box too including the player who had elbowed me. While everyone was busy watching the other fights I was spraying myself down with cold water to gather my senses, once I felt good enough I flew out of my penalty box when they weren’t looking and jumped into theirs and beat the snot outta the guy who elbowed me and when done with him beat up his partner in there.

PC - Another poster wanted to know about your brother Mike? How’s he doing? There’s this story going around that you guys fought on the ice once? Care to share what happened?

Peat - My brother is doing great. We did fight a couple of times actually, in the same game too. We just wanted to see who was tougher on ice. It didn’t really prove anything cause I would give me the win on one and him the other.



PC - You only played a few games in Portland before coming into camp and promptly earning a spot with the Caps in 2001-02. Was there something (i.e. a need, you simply had a good camp, both?) that led to you getting called up?

Peat - I think I had a solid camp and good work ethic. Being a young player you have to work harder then everyone. Also I think my willingness to fight anyone helped.

PC - What was it like riding shotgun with Chris Simon?

Peat - Chris was an awesome guy. He really helped a lot in my adjustment to playing in the NHL.

PC - You were a buzz saw your first year with the Caps. Besides the P.J. Stock fight that everyone likes to talk about, do any others stand out in your mind?

Peat - For myself every fight stands out.

PC - What was it like fighting (and TKOing) Kevin Sawyer? Any revenge from the Ducks letting you go?

Peat - I definitely enjoyed that and yes there might have been a little something for me to prove.

PC - Did you feel bad KOing Jeff Odgers? His breathe-right strip was hanging from his nose when he got up!

Peat - I can’t say I felt bad since he challenged me.

PC - Do you remember what Ron Wilson told you when he tapped you on the shoulder to send you out against Stock? Who do YOU think won the P.J. Stock war? What about your next matchup at the Verizon Center?

Peat - I don’t recall Ron ever saying anything, he shouldn’t have too, I knew my roll. As for the war between me and him I will let other people decide that.

PC - Donald Brashear really gave you a tough time. Can you talk about what it was like fighting him?

Peat - Brashear is very strong and technical with his grabbing and pulling back and forth. I am more of a stand back and throw them style of fighter, but I still enjoyed fighting him because it made me start to work on my technical part of it.

PC - Dale Purinton isn’t the most respected of tough guys around the hockey fight community. He crosschecked you and got seven games. What were your thoughts on him as you fought (and beat) him a couple times?

Peat - I felt the cross check was outta line especially since I am a willing fighter. But I can’t knock him too much since I too have cross check players in the face. He also apologized later to me.

PC - Why did you smile after so many of your fights?

Peat - There’s no better feeling then hearing the fans go crazy over a good fight. All the reason to smile.

PC - I used to get word that Bruce Cassidy (I believe) wanted you to cut weight coming into Caps’ camps, making you a bit smaller than you might have wanted to have been when taking on some of the bigger heavies. Also heard that you had some issues with reflux that made you lose some weight. Any truth to either? Do you think you could have fared better against some of the top heavies if you could have bulked up?

Peat - I think Bruce had good intentions for me by requesting that I slim down, but it doesn’t change that the heavy’s of the league were still gonna want to fight me. It was frustrating.

PC - During the lockout, you signed up to play with the Danbury Trashers, a team that had no shortage of tough guys. You fought in your first game, but nothing in the previous six. Did anyone want to try you on? Or were just working on your game and staying in shape? What did you think of playing along side guys like John “Nasty” Mirasty, Frank Bialowas, and Brad Wingfied? Wow, what a team!

Peat - I was more concerned of getting injured and then the NHL resumes playing and I wouldn’t have been able to play if injured. It was a fun experience, actually brad wingfield and I are really good friends. He was my first ever hockey fight back when I was 14.

PC - When you attempted to come back in Albany, apparently you broke your leg in your first game. Can you shed some light on what happened?

Peat - It was my third shift. I shouldn’t even have been playing since I wasn’t fully healed from my prior surgery to my left groin. But my coach had pleaded with me because our team had been getting pushed around and wanted me in the lineup, I was forechecking a player when he fell back on top of me and slid into the boards with me under him. It spiral fractured my ankle and tore my adductor completely off. I had three ankle surgeries and there is no procedure to fix my adductor.

PC - Everyone got really excited when they heard you had signed on to play in the ECHL last year. The next thing you know we’re reading about complications with benefits you were/are receiving for injuries. Can you fill us in on what happened? Could you play now if you wanted to?

Peat - I have been doing rehab and skating here and there, the adductor I ripped is the main one for your groin. I have strengthened as much as I can. I have yet to engage in any competitive hockey since. I had hoped to go skate with the roadrunners and see how I felt. It didn’t work out and I came home. I was held up for various reasons that I don’t care to get into.

PC - What has life after hockey having you doing these days?

Peat - I have been spending time with my family and friends. Taking some courses. Had a job working on Harleys for awhile. Now I am taking a course again. Most of all just enjoying life.

PC - Who was your favorite fighter growing up?

Peat - Wendel Clark, Tony Twist

PC - What enforcers did you really respect while playing?

Peat - I respect every player that fills the enforcer roll, doesn’t mean I like them all though.

PC - Who did you not care for so much?

Peat - I don’t care for pretenders and you all know who they are.

PC - Who do you respect these days in the minors/European leagues and in the NHL?

Peat - Tough to say I mostly only catch some of the Canucks games now.

PC - Toughest guy you ever fought?

Peat - I thought that Eric Cairns was a pretty tough dude. Brashear too.

PC - If you could fight one guy today at Center Ice of Madison Square Garden, who would it be?

Peat - Not too sure bout that one.

PC - What are your general thoughts on what’s become of the NHL in terms of toughness?

Peat - It seems as if there are fewer heavyweights and more middles. I think fighting will always be part of the game.

PC - A couple guys wanted to know your thoughts on:

Kyle Freadrich (you fought him three times)

Peat - tough guy to bad his career was so short.

PC - Derek Boogaard

Peat - I fought him once in juniors but I think he was just learning back then cause I beat him then but not sure how I would do these days

PC - Jon Mirasty

Peat - don’t know much about him

PC - Eric Godard

Peat - Me and this guy fought all through juniors. One tough SOB.

PC - Are you friends with any tough guys these days?

Peat - Not really I speak with Garrett Burnette and that’s about it.

PC - Anything else you want to add??? Thanks so much for your time Stephen! We’d all love to see you drop in from time to time around Fried Chicken’s (http://www.hockey-fights.com). Again, if there is anything we can do for YOU, let me know! Matt

Peat - Just would like to thank the fans for there support over the years.

Thanks,

Stephen Peat

3 comments:

Puck Central said...

Very cool interview. Great to hear from former players. Good job Matt

Anonymous said...

Very nice. I was wondering what happened to Stephen Peat. The Caps could really use him these days!

Capitals said...

Great post Dale Purinton isn’t the most respected of tough guys around the hockey fight community. He crosschecked you and got seven games. What were your thoughts on him as you fought (and beat) him a couple times? Great stuff!