Q&A with Charles Linglet

By Holly Gunning

Charles Linglet is tied for ninth on the ECHL rookie scorers list with 17 goals and 33 assists in 56 games with the Alaska Aces. The 6’2” 212-pound winger played his junior hockey in the QMJHL, the best of which was 2001-02 in which he scored 123 points in 72 games.

The 21-year-old was voted ECHL rookie of the month for November 2003, and was selected as a Western Conference starter for the 2004 ECHL All-Star game.

Linglet was called up to the AHL Utah Grizzlies once in January and once in February, and was held scoreless in seven games. He attended the 2002 Traverse City rookie tournament and NHL training camp with the Atlanta Thrashers, and in 2003, he attended camp with the AHL Providence Bruins.

Hockey’s Future spoke with Linglet following the Aces’ 5-0 loss to the Gwinnett Gladiators on Tuesday.

HF: It looks like you’re having a great season, can you talk about how you think it’s going?
CL: Yeah, well I had a good start and in the first three months I played very well. Then I kind of slowed down. The games were closer and I had a little more difficulty to adjust. I still managed to play some good games. Then I got called up to Utah so I was pretty happy about it, had my chance, but I didn’t do as well as I wanted to do there. So now I came back and I feel like I’m stepping up a little bit more in the past few months.

HF: How did you feel about your play in Utah?
CL: It was tough. When I went there my confidence was pretty low because I was not playing that good here. I felt a lot of pressure, I wanted to prove to them that I can score goals and be offensive. I had my chance but I just couldn’t do anything.

HF: What would you do different if you went back?
CL: It’s all about my confidence. I think I had a good attitude there, worked hard and stuff, but it’s just that the confidence wasn’t there.

HF: How has the adjustment been from junior to pro hockey for you?
CL: I think the main thing is consistency and the work ethic. If you don’t work here, you won’t do well. That’s what my coach reminded me of a lot this year. Work hard every single game.

HF: Have there been any surprises for you coming to pro hockey?
CL: I don’t know, I never saw a game, ECHL or AHL before, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was pretty nervous when I arrived to camp in Alaska. I didn’t know what the game was. Then my confidence got back like I said and I started to play well. It’s a good game here.

HF: Alaska goes on a lot of long road trips, has the travel been tough on you?
CL: Yeah, it is, but I mean, but I’d rather go to California than up north. But it’s fun because we know each other very well and on the road, that’s the place that your team gets together. So I think it’s good, I don’t mind.

HF: The travel doesn’t tire you out?
CL: Maybe at the end of the road trip. A lot of times you have three games in a row, or four games in five nights. But it’s not a reason. You have to play.

HF: Has there been much adjustment to living in an English world?
CL: It wasn’t that hard. When I was young I used to play with a team that had half the players English. I kind of learned there and I used to like to watch TV in English when I was young. I had some tournaments in Ontario and a family over there, so I didn’t have any problems.

HF: How exactly did you end up with Alaska this year, why did you pick this team?
CL: Last year in juniors I had a bad season. I think the opportunity that I had this summer wasn’t there. Only a few teams called me. I talked to Davis Payne five or six times during the last month before camp. I just liked the way he was thinking. I thought maybe going to Alaska would be a fun thing, an experience of a lifetime. It’s beautiful, it’s a nice place, a nice hockey town.

HF: Looking back, why do you think you had a tough time in junior last year?
CL: Looking back, I had a great year at 19, went to Atlanta camp. I think I was a little bit mad that they didn’t give me a chance in the AHL camp after the NHL camp. I came back to junior maybe a little overconfident and had the worst start I ever had in my life. Then things started looking up around Christmastime and I broke my ankle. I was out for two months, then I came back, and had like 18 points the last 12 games. It was coming back, but my place wasn’t on the first line anymore because we had a couple players with 100 points. My place was on the third line so the ice time wasn’t there.

HF: If I recall correctly, Atlanta was maxed out on contracts at that time.
CL: Yeah, that’s what I heard. I thank Atlanta for the chance they gave me, everyone dreams about having a camp in the NHL. It’s just that I thought I did very well, I had a couple points up in Traverse City. I was so happy, I went back to junior overconfident, thought it would be easy. It didn’t work like that.

HF: Tonight you were playing with (Chris) Lipsett and (Bret) DeCecco, are they your usual linemates?
CL: Now, yeah. Most of the time I played with Joe Talbot, but he’s injured. I’ve played with everybody this year, but especially Talbot. I don’t mind playing with those guys. I just want to play the same game.

HF: Did either the Atlanta camp or Providence camp this year teach you anything that you were able to put into your game?
CL: I think they all talked about my skating. I think they all know that I have skills, but it’s all about work ethic and I could see that in the camp. The guys work really really hard, especially when I went to Utah. Right away I saw the difference between the AHL and the ECHL, in practice guys were working so hard. The guys are tired, that’s why they have four lines, guys are tired after their shifts.

HF: About your skating, are they telling you to just skate harder then?
CL: I think your skating ability comes when you’re working hard. It’s all about working hard, that’s the main thing. But yeah, I have to work on my skating. I did a couple of power skating courses. I improved, but there’s still room for improvement. I went not last summer, but I have been going most summers. One week is enough because it’s always repetition.

HF: Is there anything else you feel you need to improve on, or just working hard?
CL: It’s working hard and consistency. Some games I play well and some games not. We play a lot of games so I need to be mentally tougher.

HF: You came back a lot on defense tonight.
CL: Yeah, lately I’ve been pushed to be a good defensive guy. I didn’t play that well like I said in the past two months in my defensive zone. I try to come back and maybe get a chance to prove myself again.

HF: What do you think that you do particularly well?
CL: I think I can play a good corner game down low. I can carry the puck and I use my body pretty well. I have to good ability to find a guy when he’s open.

HF: What are your personal goals for next season, what do you want to accomplish?
CL: This year my goal was to get a chance in the AHL. And I think next year it’s going to be to get a chance to stay. Longer than the seven games I played. I’m not saying I’m going to play there, but I’m going to try to be there one month, two months. At least prove something. I liked the chance they gave me, but I didn’t like the way I played. I just want another chance. I know it’s tough. There’s a lot of guys who get called up in their first year, then not after that. I’m going to work hard this summer and try to have a good season next year. Better than this one. I’ll know the league, have some experience. Try to have a good season and get called up to the AHL for another run.

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