TAEM- The Arts and Entertainment Magazine has been thrilled to learn that a new book is on the horizon for the favorite sport of it’s publisher…….Hockey ! A long time fan of the sport, and the founding father of an AHL hockey stadium in Pennsylvania, it is a book that he has long waited for. Best of all it is being written by a hockey player that truly understands the sport.
Sean Pronger has been playing hockey for eleven years, and we are thrilled to present his story to all our readers. Sean, please tell us when you first became interested in the sport.
SP- I’ve been interested in hockey as far back as I can remember. I grew up in a small town (Dryden, Ontario) and there wasn’t much else to do. With winter being about 8 months long it was either hockey or ice fishing!
TAEM- For all the fans of this sport, and those looking to get into it, tell us about how you trained for it.
SP- When I was younger I don’t think I really trained for it other than play it all the time with my brother and our buddies. For us, it didn’t seem like practice or training we were just doing something we loved to do. As I got older I started to officially train for it. I rode the bike, ran sprints, lifted weights and did plyometrics. TAEM- With the many great hockey players that graced the covers of sports magazines, who was your greatest inspiration ?
SP- It would have to be Wayne Gretzky. I was lucky enough to grow up during his era with the Oilers and witness his dominance.
TAEM- Please explain the different hockey leagues that are out there, and the progression for a player rising in the ranks that they are in.
SP- There’s a lot of leagues out there so I’ll just stick with the 3 main ones. Obviously, you have the National Hockey League. Right below that league is the American Hockey League (AHL). For the baseball fans, you can think of this league as AAA ball. This is where NHL teams send their young players to develop as well as their depth players. Below the AHL is the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). NHL teams also have affiliation with ECHL teams. I was fortunate enough to progress from the ECHL to the AHL and then to the NHL.
TAEM- What are the trials and tribulations that a rising star in hockey faces ?
SP- Constant uncertainty about where you’ll be playing. I could never make plans with friends or family during the season because I never knew if I was going to be called up, sent down or traded. These things can happen at a moment’s notice and often times do. On more than one occasion my parents came to visit me only to have me called up to our NHL affiliate just before they are set to arrive. In that situation it’s usually ok since you’re getting called up to the NHL. What’s tough to take is when they come to watch you play in the NHL and you’re a healthy scratch or sent down that day. Not fun.
TAEM- Next to boxing, hockey is the most demanding sport on the human body and causes the most severe injuries. Yet most players are not as rich as many fans believe. Sean, please shed some light on these facts.
SP- Of all the major sports I believe hockey players are the lowest paid. What most people may not know is that players like me who were journeyman had two different salaries. One salary when they were in the NHL and another (much lower) one if they got sent to the minors (AHL).
TAEM- As a rising star you consider yourself as a journeyman. What does that term refer to.
SP- Basically, moving from town to town (or job to job) to ply my trade.
SP- It’s a story about the ups and downs I went through trying to achieve my dream of playing in the NHL and all the funny, frustrating experiences along the way. It also lets the readers look behind the curtain of what they may feel is a glamorous life and realize that for a lot of hockey players it’s not.
TAEM- Does it cover some of the famous hockey names that we are familiar with ?
SP- There are some famous names in the book. Wayne Gretzky, Ray Bourque, Rob Blake, Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya, Chris Pronger to name a few.
TAEM- When will the book be available for our readers, and who is the publisher for it ?
SP- The book will be available in the fall of 2012. Penguin Publishing is the publisher
TAEM- We also understand that you have produced a line of clothing under the name ‘Journeyman’. Tell us about this new venture, how the name came about, and where our readers can find it.
SP- The name of the clothing line is JRNYMN and our website is www.jrnymnwear.com. This idea came about after I wrote a few blogs for my brother Chris’ website. At the end of each blog I signed off as “Journeyman”. My blog was starting to catch on and we were developing somewhat of a following so my wife and I thought it would be cool if we could offer readers some way of showing their support. Originally, it was only going to be one logo but, with some help from friends, we built out an entire line.
TAEM- Sean, I am sure that our readers will enjoy your upcoming book and the revelations it will hold about the sport of hockey. We want to thank you for time in this interview with The Arts and Entertainment Magazine and wish you much luck in all that you do.