Friday, August 31, 2012

A Conversation With Robbie Baillargeon


The Senators are flushed with an abondance of talent in their system at the moment, so much so that Hockey's Future labelled us as the #2 organization in the NHL for our overall prospect quality level. One of those potential future talents is Robbie Baillargeon, who the Sens drafted this June in the 5th round, 136th overall out of the USHL's Indiana Ice. He's a bit of a project at the moment, but the New England kid has a ton of potential, putting up 48 points in just 54 games in the competitive USHL.

Baillargeon is gearing up for another season in a few weeks, one that should improve his overall game tremendously and show everyone the kind of player he can be. I caught up with the Sens draft pick to talk twitter, masshole's, being drafted, high school hockey and a lot more in this edition of a conversation with.

Sens Town: So heading into the draft, tell us about the experience leading up to the draft. How is the whole process with all the interviews and speculation, it has to be nerve wracking not knowing where you're going to be picked or where you may be heading to in a few days.

Baillargeon: Heading into the draft, the experience was not nerve wracking at all. I enjoyed interviewing with teams and seeing the different questions they asked. I wasn't nervous at all going into the draft, I was just happy to be there.

Sens Town: Did you get the sense that Ottawa was very interested in you in the pre draft interviews?

Baillargeon: I interviewed with Ottawa at the combine and that's the only sense I had that they were interested.

Sens Town: So you were the 50th ranked North American skater heading into the draft and went 136th overall in the 5th. Was that around where you thought you were going to go or was it earlier/later than you expected?
Baillargeon: I didn't have any really particular spot of where I thought I was going to go. I was just excited to be picked by Ottawa.
Sens Town: I personally think it's more about being drafted by the right team and the right situation for you as a player more than what number you're picked. Is that how you look at things?
Baillargeon:  I definitely look at things like that. I know Ottawa is very big on player development and that's perfect for a player like me.
Sens Town: So you find out you've been picked by Ottawa. Tell us what was going through your mind when you heard the good news. It has to be amazing to have your dream come true.
Baillargeon: After I was picked, it all seemed to go so fast. I couldn't believe I was just drafted, especially by the Senators. It was certainly a dream come true.
Sens Town: What do you know about the Senators team ? Were you excited to get here and participate in your first development camp?
Baillargeon: I knew that Ottawa is in up in Canada and thats pretty much it. Also, that they're big on development. My first camp went very well and I enjoyed it. I can't wait to go back next year.
Sens Town: So tell us about your game. I know you're a scorer and have nice hands but describe your game and which NHL player would you compare yourself to.
Baillargeon: I'm definitely a playmaker type player. I like to set up plays and set up people, but I also can score if I need too. I think i can be compared to Derek Stepan on the Rangers.
Sens Town: So you're from Boston area right? How did you end up playing hockey?
Baillargeon: I'm actually from Enfield, CT. It's a pretty big hockey town, so I started playing at a very young age.
Sens Town: Are you a Whitecaps fan?
Baillargeon:  I had a summer house in Brewster, MA so I spent the past two summers there, but I am actually a Orleans Firebirds fan when I watch the Cape League
Sens Town: Do you think term Masshole is fair or overhyped and undeserved?
Baillargeon: I think Masshole is fair and deserved. Whenever I drive in Mass there are just some bad drivers.
Sens Town: So you gre up about 85 miles give or take from Boston and you're a Bruins fan right? How excited were you when they won the cup last year? What do you make of the super quick fall of Tim Thomas?
Baillargeon: I'm about an hour and a half from Boston from Enfield, but I am a Bruins fan. I was very excited when they cup. I coudlnt wait any longer for them to do it. I think Thomas has reasons for what he does and I repspect that.
Sens Town: You know their GM is from Ottawa right? Ottawa happens to be in their division too. Are you excited at the prospect of playing at the garden against your favorite team growing up?
Baillargeon: I did not know their GM is from Ottawa, but if I ever get the chance to play at the Garden against the Bruins, that would be something I would never forget.
Sens Town: Who's your favorite current NHLer?
Baillargeon: My favorite player is now Claude Giroux. I watched him all the time this year and just love the way he plays the game and the passion he has for it.
Sens Town: So you wear #93, is there a story or any meaning behind it or just a randomly assigned number?
Baillargeon: I'm usually #9, but it was taken this year so I just picked my birth year. I will be #9 again this year.
Sens Town: You finished 2nd in New England prep scoring with 64 points a couple seasons ago. What's the level of play like there? Do the schools take their hockey seriously there?

Baillargeon: Prep school is a competitive league and the schools have a lot of passion for the sport of hockey. Many players commit to college from prep school, as I did.
Sens Town: So then you went on to the USHL, which is the equivalent of Jr hockey. I don't think many people here know that much about the USHL at all. You played for the Indiana Ice which is located in Indianapolis, which is a pretty big city for a team like that. What were the fans like? How's the level of play there compared to the CHL? Do you think you guys don't get the attention you deserve?
Baillargeon: The fans are great in Indy. We average around 3500 a game and they support us all the whole year. I am not sure how it is compared to the CHL, but I think guys in the USHL definitely make a name for themselves.
Sens Town: So this season you'll be returning to Indiana before going to play NCAA hockey at Boston University in the fall of 2013. I know BU has a great pedigree for college hockey including 5 national titles, so what made you go the NCAA route and what made you want to play at BU?
Baillargeon: I've always wanted to play college hockey. The tradition college hockey has is something that can't be replaced anywhere else. I've also always wanted to go to BU. They have a great coaching staff and training staff. The facilities there are unbelievable. The rival vs BC is something I always wanted to play in, and just playing hockey in Boston is something I've always wanted as well.
Sens Town: Ok enough about hockey for a minute. Let's talk you. I know you're also a Red Sox fan and so am I. What did you think about last season's collapse and this season so far? Been very disappointing so far right?
Baillargeon: Its been tough being a Red Sox fan right now, but its nothing new we fans have been through before. We just have to stick it out and they'll come through for us.
Sens Town: Tell me what makes Fenway the best park in the majors in your opinion?

Baillargeon: The history as Fenway is what makes it so special. No other ball park has that much history in it. And of course, the Green Monster makes it the best park in the league.

Sens Town: Are you a Pats or Celtics fan too or you just stick to baseball and hockey? Or is it illegal in New England not to like all four?

Baillargeon: I am a Boston fan and a Patriots fan, so I follow all the teams in New England. I tried to go to the Super Bowl in Indy this year, but it was difficult getting tickets.

Sens Town: What's your dream car?

Baillargeon: I'm not really into cars, but maybe a Mercedes-Benz would be nice.

Sens Town: What kind of music do you like? Any favorite artists?

Baillargeon: I pretty much like a lot of music, mostly country and hip hop. I like Outasight a lot.

Sens Town: iPhone, Blackberry or Android?

Baillargeon: iPhone

Sens Town: Favorite foods? Have a favorite pre game meal?

Baillargeon: Favorite food is chicken. Favorite pre game meal is pasta with chicken.

Sens Town: What are your favorite movies and shows?

Baillargeon: Favorite movie is Miracle and favorite show is Entourage.

Sens Town: What's your game day routine? I know hockey players have some crazy superstitions sometimes.

Baillargeon: Game day routine is pretty easy. Pre game skate, meal at Lincoln Square, nap, pre game meal at home, get ready and leave for the game, then when I get to the rink I have my own routine I follow.

Sens Town: And finally, your twitter handle is @MysteryMan93 - I feel like there's a story behind that, what is it?

Baillargeon: Not really sure what the story is, just got the nickname in Indy and it stuck.

Sens Town: Well thanks for joining us and letting everyone in Sens Army get to know you a bit better. Good luck in the upcoming season and check in throughout the season with us.

Baillargeon: Thanks, I appreciate it.

You can follow Robbie on twitter @MysteryMan93 and me @SensTown. Thanks for reading and check out some of the past interviews I've done.

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