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Vinny’s Q&A’s

Vinny will select 10 questions each month and post his responses here. So click on the link below to ask Vinny a question!

Ask Vinny!

Vinny Answers Your Questions

I was wondering how you keep so level-headed and down to earth with all your success, especially at a young age. You do so much with what you’ve accomplished and you’re a great role model. – Tammy

When you get in the NHL at 18 years old and you hang out with guys that are older, 30, 35, especially my first year, you tend to mature more quickly. Also, my parents brought me up like that. I try to be as good of a role model as I can, and I like to think I’ve done a pretty good job.

Other than the Stanley Cup, what was your career highlight? What player have you had the most fun playing with? – Josh

A career highlight for me is getting drafted in 1998, first overall. That was a pretty good accomplishment. A player I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with is Martin St. Louis.

If you could form an ultimate hockey team with any current players in the NHL, who would be your five starters? – Alexa

I would put Sidney Crosby in the middle and Alex Ovechkin and Martin St. Louis on the wings. On defense I would have Nicklas Lidstrom with Chris Pronger. I would put Martin Brodeur in goal.

If you could skate with one player from any time (current, retired or passed away), who would it be and why? – Jennifer

Probably Jean Beliveau, because he was my grandfather’s idol. That’s why I wear the No. 4. I would want to skate with him and see how he played.

Do you ever wish you would have stayed in Juniors an extra year instead of playing in the NHL at 18 after being drafted? – Jennifer

Not at all. I think I did what was the best thing for me. I think Juniors is a great league, but when you get in the NHL, you get a lot better a lot quicker. I got a chance to play a lot, 15 minutes a night, 13 minutes a night, so I had a chance to improve and I had a great second year.

Do you have any rituals before game time? – Loraine

Yeah, everything I do during the day is a ritual, even what I eat the night before. I always have steak and mashed potatoes and mushrooms. The next day, it’s always the same. I always take a pre-game nap from 2-4, then I wake up and I always eat a little cup of soup with a Boost, which is a shake. Then, I get ready and go out for the game. Listening to some of the same songs on my iPod is also part of it.

How would you compare your home in Tampa Bay and your home in Montreal? – Justine

I actually don’t have a home in Montreal. I don’t own anything there, I rent every time I go there, but I’m looking for something in the future, possibly this summer.

I’ve heard a lot about Andre Roy being a prankster. Has he ever pulled one on you? – Jackie

He’s not so much a prankster as he is just funny. To see how creative he is in his own mind, and the things he does or says, it’s really mind-boggling. I don’t understand how he comes up with a lot of the things he says or he does. He’s just very creative, but he’s not necessarily a prankster, trying to trick us or anything.

Who do you like to room with when you’re traveling on the road, and do you have the same roommate all season? – Mike

Brad Richards was my roommate for the past eight years, actually. Obviously he’s no longer with the team, but I’m lucky enough to have my own room. I think at this point, having a different roommate would be kind of weird.

How long did you know Brad Richards, and are you sad about the trade that sent him to Dallas? – Melissa

I’ve known him since I was 14 years old, and he’s my best friend. To see him go somewhere else is kind of weird, but I guess it’s part of the business and we’re going to have to move on, but obviously keep being friends.

What inspired you to start your foundation? – Holly

I went to a few hospitals and charities and visited some children where I saw what they were going through and dealing with. It really inspired me. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, but with the lockout and everything it was kind of tough. Now it’s finally going and I’m excited. I’m excited to help the community because they’ve been giving a lot to me the last 10 years.

Did you work on your cardio and strength even as a kid? What did you do? – Christian

 I started training at 14 years old. Not a lot of weights, but a lot of cardio and push-ups, things like that. I really started training with weights when I was 16 years old. I was trying to get bigger because I was this height, 6’4″, but weighed 165 pounds. I was a toothpick! Obviously the older you get, you get bigger naturally. But before I was 14, I never really trained. I just played a lot outside and played a lot of sports and enjoyed it.

What is it like to play against former teammates and friends? – Ally

It’s kind of weird, but I guess we’re all used to it now. It can be fun, I love playing against my old teammates. The first time is kind of weird, to see them in a different uniform, but if it’s been a couple years, then you have to accept it and play hard against them. It is fun though, because you know them.

Who inspired you to play hockey as a kid, and continue playing? – Sarah

Well, my dad always brought me to the rink with him and I got to watch a lot of hockey with him. I just loved it instantly and I’ve never stopped playing. I started skating at 2 and ½ and I’ve never stopped.