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Beyond The Game Sheet With Will O’Neill

December 23, 2018
Beyond The Game Sheet With Will O’Neill

Hockey players are very serious about their craft, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed to have a little fun. This week, defenseman Will O’Neill gives us a glimpse into the lighter side of the sport. The team is celebrating past moments in honor of its 20th season. What’s a memory from your own career that stands out? A few years ago when (the Penguins) swept Providence to go and play Hershey, I’d say any time you can advance (in the playoffs) is a great thing. Two years before that, I was in St. John’s and we knocked Wilkes-Barre off to go to the finals. So, those were a couple of big memories for me. You’re taking part in a dream 3-on-3 tournament. Which players, from any era, are you recruiting for your squad? I’d go Wayne Gretzky. So, it’s me and two others? Yes, and a goaltender if you wish. Me, Gretzky, Joe Thornton and Tim Thomas. Who was your favorite player growing up? I’d say my favorite player overall was Wayne Gretzky. But a player that I got to watch a lot and see most was Bryan Ralston for the Bruins. He was just a great player. He used to play the point on the power play, it was fun to watch him. He wasn’t the biggest star in the whole world, but I just loved him. Charlotte recently started giving players their own goal songs. Which would yours be? The Bruins goal song is pretty cool, that “Oh” song (“Zombie Nation” by Kernkraft 400). Probably that one. In honor of Christmas coming up, what’s the best hockey related gift you’ve ever received? I used to get a jersey every year of a different team, so I have a lot of jerseys from when I was little. I remember I wanted a Phoenix Coyotes jersey, the old one with the checkers on it. It’s a beautiful jersey, so that’s one of my best ones. What’s your favorite city to visit on the road? Toronto — it’s just an awesome city. Big city, hockey town. It’s cool. What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done outside of hockey? I went skydiving before, maybe like five years ago. It’s kind of daring, right? I’d say so — I’ve never done it. Were you nervous at all? Yeah, I was nervous, but it was great. One of the best experiences of my life. In an effort to attract more fans, the AHL wants every team to have a celebrity coach for a game. Who would you want on your bench? Maybe “Stone Cold” Steve Austin? That would be a good one. He’d be getting people fired up, and getting him and “Bloodbath” (Pat) McGrath together would be awesome. — TYLER PICCOTTI

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