A Chat with Adam Munro

By Bill Placzek

Holding two number one picks in the 2001 draft, Hawk G.M. Mike Smith chose to pass on Rangers rookie Dan Blackburn in favor of Tummo Ruutu with his #9 overall selection.

While sitting at the draft as it reached the middle of round one, I wasn’t the only one feeling that the Blackhawk’s lack of depth in goal might lead to a ‘tender taken with the second first rounder. But all indications were that goalie might be Jason Bacashihua
would be the guy if a goalie was picked. He played for the Chicago Freeze, in a northwest Chicago suburb, and was rated a late first rounder.
He was in fact picked by Dallas a few picks before the Blackhawks picked.

The Hawks made Adam Munro their pick, surprising Adam and his Dad as much as the rest of us.

Was he a back up choice, or was it Tretiak’s high scouting marks that bumped him into the first round?
A big goalie, Adam presently progressing in the AHL.

Here is Ken McKenna’s interview with Adam:.

Q&A with Adam Munro.

By Ken McKenna.

Hockey’s Future : We’ll start with this season. Erie is on its way to another division title. How do you feel about the teams’ chances of going to the Memorial Cup?.

AM:I feel like we have a good enough team to do it this year. Last year we had a lot of skill, but I don’t know if we had the character there. This year, I think we’ve got a lot of experience from last year, we’ve got a lot of guys back. We probably don’t have as much skill, but a lot more character on this team this year than we did last year. I think that’s what we need to go further in the playoffs..

Hockey’s Future : Do you feel like you’ve progressed since last season?.

AM: I know it doesn’t show in the stats very well, that it doesn’t look like I’ve had a very good season. There have been a lot of ups and downs. I didn’t have the best start in the world, and then an injury, but things started to go my way through the middle of the season up until the last 3 games. It’’ been up and down, but the ups have been pretty good, and I think I’ve progressed. I’ve had a lot of adversity, and that’s helped me out, and will help me out in the future.

Hockey’s Future : Last June, you were drafted by the Chicago Black Hawks in the 1st round of the NHL Draft. Were you expecting that, to be drafted that high?.

AM: I wasn’t expecting them to draft me, no. I was waiting for the 2nd round to come around- I was waiting for the bathroom break, first of all, because I really had to go! I was hoping to go mid-2nd to late 2nd, or maybe 3rd round. So, it was a good surprise, and hopefully I can pan out for them down the road..

Hockey’s Future : So then you went through your first NHL training camp. What was your experience like there?.

AM:It was difficult, I’m not going to lie to you. It’s a lot different up there- the shots come a lot quicker, and even the junior guys that come up there seem to step up their game a little bit more. So, you have to be on top of your game every time you go out there. It was really tough, but it was a lot of fun. The players are there because that’s their job, but down here you’re just looking to get (to the NHL). I don’t think it’s as serious down here, but up there, they’re playing for money and for their families, so it’s a lot more serious..

Hockey’s Future : Did the Black Hawks’ coaching staff mention any things to you as far as what they’d like to see you work on, or did they just send you back to juniors and say “we’ll see you next year”?.

AM:Yeah, that’s pretty much what they said this year. They said they just wanted me to progress a little bit this year, and we’ll see what happens for next year. I’m not sure what’s going to happen next year; I’m just trying to focus on the playoffs right now. If I maybe get to play with their farm team next year, I’d be happy with that. But whatever they decide to do, I’ll be happy with pretty much any situation they put me into.

Hockey’s Future : Chicago has had great goalies in their past, like Glenn Hall, Ed Belfour and Tony Esposito. Is that an intimidating thought, having to follow in the footsteps of those Hall of Fame-caliber goaltenders?.

AM: No, I don’t really think about that stuff. Hopefully one day I can start a new trend there and hopefully be the next guy in the era. I don’t think about that too often, though..

Hockey’s Future : What do you think you need to work on to improve your game?.

AM: My strong point used to be my mental game, but it became a little bit of a weakness this year. My puckhandling skills have progressed a lot over the last year, but it’s something I still have to step up a bit. I’ve got 4 assists this year, so I’m helping out offensively, but I think I still have to work on that a bit more to get to the next level..

Hockey’s Future : Any thoughts on when you think you should arrive in the NHL?.

AM:It’s totally in Chicago’s hands. I’m going to play as hard as I can, and do the best I can wherever I’m playing. Whatever they think of me, and whenever they want to bring me up, it’s pretty much their decision. I hope it’s sooner than later, but if they want to keep me wherever they’re going to put me for a little longer, and let me progress a little more, I’m totally fine with that..

Hockey’s Future : You were in the CHL Top Prospects game last year. How was that experience, playing with all the top junior players?.

AM: It was a lot of fun. To be with Bobby Orr, too, he was a good guy. He was our coach, he taught us a lot of stuff, and we just had a lot of fun with him. The guys there were all good guys. Obviously, there were one or two who thought they were better than anybody else, but that’ll get straightened out once they get to the next level. A lot of them were really good guys, though, and I really liked to go there. We had one guy (from Erie) go to it this year, so we told him what he should expect. So, it was just a lot of fun..

Hockey’s Future : Did you get to meet Vladislav Tretiak at all?.

AM: Yeah, he was a really nice guy. He’s the Black Hawks goaltending coach. He knows what he’s talking about; obviously, he was a great goalie. He was one of my idols when I was younger. He wasn’t playing then, obviously, but my dad would make me sit down to watch the Canada-Russia series from back in ’72. He had old videotapes, so I watched Tretiak in those, so it was real exciting to meet him. He was a great goalie..

Hockey’s Future : Did he give you many pointers on playing the position?.

AM: Yeah, he gave me a lot of pointers. Being young, there is a lot of stuff you have to work on, so he gave me a lot of pointers. Coming from him, that was great. We have a guy (in Erie), Peter Sidorkiewicz, who used to play in the NHL. He’s a guy who helps out a lot, he’s our assistant coach, so to have him help the goalies, too, is just another big bonus. So, I’ve got two guys I can really look up to, and can help me out with any point in my game that I need help with.

Hockey’s Future : Adam, I appreciate it. Good luck!.

AM:Thanks a lot