No doubt about it – the summer is dragging on for all hockey people. Here in the UK though, we have been lucky, the Elite League has been entertaining to say the least. Plenty of ex-NHL players, and high calibre imports have been signing with regularity league wide.
The Cardiff Devils have been a busy group – and probably their most exciting addition has been Devin DiDiomete. The rugged Canadian forward is no stranger to the physical side of the game, but also has skill and plenty of hockey smarts en route to Cardiff Bay.
Murph was lucky enough to catch up with DiDiomete, and find out what the tough winger thinks about the Elite League, and of course his goals for the season.
Murph On Ice – First off Devin, thanks for taking the time to join me here on the website!
Devin DiDiomete – No problem Murph, anytime.
MOI – With the season on the horizon, how excited are you to get to Cardiff and get down to the joy of playing hockey? And what have you heard about the city and the Big Blue Tent?!
DD – I haven’t been this excited to start a season in quite some time. The support from the Red Army fans has been awesome. I have heard nothing but great things about the city of Cardiff, and the organization, and I can’t wait to get the “Big Blue Tent” rocking!!!
MOI – There’s been a lot of excitement and anticipation in Cardiff since you signed with the Devils – what can fans there expect from Devin DiDiomete once you hit the ice for your new club?
DD – I’m a hard nosed player that combines toughness with skill. I’m not going to wow anyone with my hands. I think the most attractive part of my game is my warrior like mentality, and the fact that I try to play every shift like it’s my last.
MOI – You have had some great chirping going on twitter with the players and fans alike – who are you most looking forward to battling on the ice this winter and why?
DD – There isn’t one place, team, or city I am extra excited for. I will battle the same every game regardless of who or where we play. I’m sure the fans were looking for me to say Mike Danton haha.
MOI – Obviously you have played at some different levels in hockey over the years – what are you expecting from the Elite League as far as the level of play – and what are your personal goals for the upcoming season?
DD – I honestly don’t know what to expect as far as hockey goes in the EIHL. I have been browsing through team rosters, and there are a lot of respected hockey players on all the teams. As far as goals go, I would like to win a championship, and I believe that if your team is winning your personal success will come along with that. Having said that, I didn’t sign with Cardiff just to be a “meathead” – I can play the game, and want to contribute both offensively and defensively.
MOI – Gerad Adams is a great hockey man, who has a lot of respect in Cardiff and the entire league. Was having someone of his pedigree and reputation a big factor for you signing on with Cardiff?
DD- To be honest with you Franny (Devils Bench Coach Neil Francis), actually played a huge part in getting me to sign with Cardiff. It obviously doesn’t hurt to hear how respected your coach is, and how he is the ultimate players’ coach.
MOI – Have you done any research on any other teams and the traditional rivalries for Cardiff? Which teams do you see as the biggest obstacles for the Devils getting to the top of the league?
DD – Like I said, I have browsed through rosters of all the teams in the EIHL, and judging from some of the responses I get on twitter, I would say it’s safe to bet Coventry is our biggest rival. I don’t know enough about the non-imported players to judge how strong teams will be on paper, but from what I hear G and Franny have established a team that can compete with anyone.
MOI – You have played with the likes of Steve Stamkos in your junior days, who are some of the best guys you’ve played with and against over the years?
DD – Stamkos would have to be the best forward I have ever played with, and Marc Staal would be the best defenseman I have played with. As far as best forward and D-Man I have gone up against, I would say Claude Giroux for forward, and Drew Doughty on D.
MOI – How has the off-season training been going, and when are you making your way to this side of the pond to start getting acclimatized? Anything you’re most looking forward to while living in Europe?
DD – The off-season has been great, been in the gym everyday, and as the summer progresses I am on the ice more and more. I spoke with G today, and he told me that I will be flying over on August 25th. I look forward to coming to Cardiff, but I can’t say there is just one certain thing I am looking forward to. I am excited to get the season underway, and glad I signed with a first class organization like Cardiff.
MOI – Cheers again for the time Deeds, I’ll see you in Cardiff this winter!
DD – No problem pal, I look forward to it.
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