Bobby Russell gives a dose of reality

By Corine Gatti

HF: What has been your biggest obstacle playing at this level of hockey (AHL).

BR: I wouldn’t call it obstacles, but being in and out of the line up has really given me a hard time. That is my fault. If I were doing everything right, I wouldn’t be in and out of the line up as much as I have been. Also, I need to work on my strength and my on ice vision. That has been my major downfall at this level.

HF: In what way has Trent Yawney (head coach) helped develop your skills more?

BR: He keeps telling me to do the little things right, and for the most part he lets me play.

HF: How are you adjusting to this league after playing at the ECHL level?

BR: Adjustment is a huge step, because in the ECHL you have maybe three or four guys that can play at this level. I need to work on passing better, working on my speed and being there at the right time.

HF: How do you prepare yourself for a game?

BR: I have my twenty-minute workout here, (practice) and I grab a bite to eat of chicken or pasta and nap for a few hours. [Laughing] It’s pretty standard, but that is my typical game day.

HF: Any pre-game rituals?

BR: [Pausing] I can’t say that I do, unless I score a couple days in a row and than I try to remember what I did or what skate I put on first that day.

HF: Who are your heroes off the ice?

BR: My father and mother. Without them I wouldn’t be here. As a kid, they would be up with me at five o clock in the morning for practice.
They had to have spent at least thousand dollars a year from the age of four and up to the age of sixteen on me. So, to me, they are my biggest heroes.

HF: What has been the best advice given to you thus far?

BR: The one thing I hear the most is to enjoy this while you are doing it. You can’t play this game into your sixties and you have to get back to reality. Like finding a real job after hockey, because this is just a fantasy world.

HF: What are your plans after the hockey?

BR: I don’t have a college education but I would like to do something outdoors (British Columbia) in the fishing industry, but until then, I try stay away from
the real world.