By Ed Kimberley
The next interview lined up for March Hockey’s partnership with the EIHL’s Coventry Blaze, is former Kingston Frontenac and 2013/14 Central league bodychecker of the year, Kyle Bochek. Bochek will bring the old school vibe to the Blaze lineup as he is a one of a kind pest. Pleased with Marc Lefevbre’s latest acquisition, Blaze correspondent Ed Kimberley caught up with Bocheck during this lengthy offseason.
EK: Kyle, I’d like to extend a huge welcome to the Coventry Blaze and thank you for taking the time to be a part of this series of interviews. How have you been spending the off season
Kyle Bochek: This off season I have been spending a lot of time in the gym conditioning using crossfit to improve my explosive power and strength. I have also been skating with a group of local pros near my hometown. In my off time I have been fishing, golfing and enjoying family and friends and am currently enjoying The Open.
EK: The EIHL/Central League have a lot of shared alumni, how did the move to Coventry come about and in doing your research did you ask advice from any former EIHLers?
KB: The move to Coventry came about by fielding offers from many European leagues. Through talking with my agent and Marc Lefevbre we gladly made the decision to sign in Coventry. The style of play in the EIHL suits my game and after researching the roster and the city of Coventry it made my decision very easy. I talked with a few friends who have played in the EIHL and received nothing but positive feedback on the hockey and Country.
EK: Playing the style of hockey you do, when it comes to the rivalry games (Nottingham in particular) is there a difference in how you view/approach these games?
KB: Personally I approach every game with the same mentality and focus. In rivalry games the intensity factor gets me a little more fired up. To me rivalry and playoff games are the most exciting and fun ones to play in. But as I have learned in talking with Coach Marc every game is so important during the season and should be approached with the same intensity.
EK:Tell us about the Checker of the Year award, growing up did you idolize a Scott Stevens type of player? How did this part of your game evolve?
KB: Receiving recognition for my physical style of play was a big honor for me last season. Growing up I idolized and fashioned my play after my favorite player Wendel Clark. The leadership, hard work, intensity, skill and willingness to not back down is something that I have tried to bring to my game my whole career. The passion and physicality he had playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs as captain when I was younger really influenced the way I play. Through my minor and junior hockey career I was always counted on to play physical and mix it up and as I moved on to professional hockey those assets of my game proved to be invaluable.
EK:Who was the toughest guy you have fought in your career so far and why?
KB: To be honest the toughest guy I ever fought was none other than new Blaze defenseman Craig Cescon. He throws hammers.
EK: You are coming off the back of a career year in points, are you looking for increased responsibility offensively?
KB: The coach has put together a team of players with different strengths that should compliment the teams play. I think that my style of play adds a physical dimension as well as the ability to create and finish offensively. Each year I strive to improve my offensive output and look forward to the challenge this season to continue to produce offensively.
EK: In your 2nd Press Release you mention you set a team goal of silverware but also a personal goal, what are your personal goals for the year?
KB:For me team always comes first. But personally, to gain the respect of my teammates and strive to improve in all facets of my game. The measure of success is how deep we can take this team in the later part of the season.
EK: With the roster almost complete what do you know about your teammates and how do you see this team’s style?
KB: From what I have seen of the team on paper and from what I have heard and read we have a very fast ,hardworking, physical and experienced group of players not to mention a monster between the pipes.
EK: Once again a big thank you Kyle, do you have any parting words for the fans?
KB: Thank you Ed. I hope that my style of play excites the Blue Army and let’s bring back a championship to Coventry.