At the Sept. 19th Blackhawk exhibition, I spent some time talking to Ty Jones and Nathan Perrott. I approached Jones and identified myself as the Hockey’s Future Hawk editor and asked if I could talk to him about training camp.
He agreed and I asked about his experiences starting with the 1998 training camp through this 1999 camp. I told him everyone I talked to in the organization had him tabbed as a can’t miss NHL caliber player, but that last preseason he seemed very tentative and a step behind the play, and I wondered was going through his mind then.
Ty: When you finally come to a camp where the parent club is taking a long look at you, you feel afraid of making any mistakes. You could look at many of the guys brought into Hawk camp and their biggest problems on ice were just that fear of error.
Q2: Ty, I am wondering how you felt going back to junior, just waiting to get back here this September and then ending up unable to get any ice time (due to tailbone and finger injuries).
Ty: Going back to junior was a change. Here in the NHL the play and abilities are so accelerated that junior was much less challenging.
Q2:Did the Hawks have things they asked you to specifically work on in junior?
Ty: All I was asked to do is go out and play. Concerning my inability to play in preseason, all I could do now is lift and train.
Q3: Are you expecting to go down to Cleveland and play?
Ty: I will worry about it when it comes. I will play wherever I play and since I really have no control over it, I will just have to let the decisions that are out of my hands happen.
Q4: Ty, if an NHL team was to play a pick up game with a group of Alaskans, (Ty was born there) what would be that team’s chances of winning! (in reference to upcoming Mystery Alaska motion picture)
Answer: slim to none.
When I approached Ty, he was sitting with another prospect whose identity I was unsure of. When I went into my long-winded description of the Hockey’s Future web site and how he was ranked #2, the fella next to him said, Where do you have me ranked? “This is Nathan Perrott.”, said Ty. I didn’t recognize him with the pair of glasses he had on, even though I had seen him on a TV interview 6 days before.
Ty kiddingly said that “He wasn’t trying to make the Hawk club as a goon, and that Nathan was the one trying to do that.”
When I explained to Nathan how up until now, I had restricted the prospects to guys 23 years of age and below, Nathan made sure I knew he wouldn’t turn 23 until December and how the Hawks signed him out of junior just like Jones. (Actually, he was originally drafted by New Jersey, who tried him out in Albany of the AHL for 4 games but then decided to let him be a free agent.)
Why he was making a case for a slot on the Hockey’s Future board was beyond me but I think it is just part of his competitive nature. When I commented about the 6 fights in 4 games (Perrott has 65 penalty minutes in four games) , and specifically the one against Dallas prospect Evgeny Tsbuk (Michigan IHL), he said that the guy had crossed checked a much smaller teammate and he didn’t let things like that happen if he was on the ice. I teased that he might have a short stay on the Futures board because he enhanced his chances of staying with the parent club with every minute he played. He also took the “let the chips fall as they may” position, and said since he had no control, he wouldn’t worry about it. Perrott did say that maybe the waiver draft might clear out a veteran Hawk and that would really help his chances. Both these lefties really didn’t fit the role of policeman or phyiscal hockey players while sitting watching their teammates play an exhibition. They look like a couple of hockey fans who just loved the game.