Interview with Mr. Severen
FLAMESTR: You mentioned one thing yesterday that I want to start out with. He started out at what, four and a half?
Severyn: He was rollerblading at three and a half, and at four and a half he stepped on the ice. The first time he stepped on the ice, he fell, and said he didn't want to do it anymore. I coaxed him to give it one more try, and from that point on he just took to the ice.
FLAMESTR: Your parents told me yesterday that you coach too now?
Severyn: I coach. I try to help out with the USA hockey team. I was coaching the Pittsburgh amateur team last year, it's a junior C team under seventeen.
FLAMESTR: Wow. Now you told me yesterday about the USA team's diet program. Did all of the players follow the same diet, or how did that work?
Severyn: The USA national team development program is a very good opportunity for the boys; not only do they have great coaching on ice, but off ice the conditioning. They teach the boys what it takes to try to get to the next level. They teach them all about nutrition, eating right, drinking the right things, what to stay away from, how to prepare yourself on game day and after the game especially. And the right way to do things to try to get you to the next level.
FLAMESTR: Did their weight determine the diet, or was it the same diet for everybody, or did it depend on the players themselves?
Severyn: I believe they just tried to teach them to eat right, but they definitely monitored body fat content and they wanted each player at a certain level. They let you know if you weren't where you needed to be. So he was pretty lucky, he always ate right most of his life. He ate better recently, but . . .
FLAMESTR: He has no choice now.
Severyn: Yeah. He's doing better now, and he always makes the fat content that they want him at. You know, you have to have some fat, and he's around 8% right now.
FLAMESTR: Wow, that's quite good, that's excellent, in fact. So each time, when he goes through each level, what's it like for the parents? Is it scary at all? As he achieves every level, it is probably really rewarding to you, I guess.
Severyn: It's definitely rewarding. A lot of enjoyment comes from watching the kids play. Each level is a new speed, new skills, and you want to see how you child can compete. And he seems to take to it. He loves the competition, he loves digging in the corners, and he cares about the defensive end, and that's one of the reasons I think the Flames drafted him. He does not like to be scored on when he's on the ice. He pays a lot of attention to that. He started as a defenseman. Well, forward, and then he was defense for three years, and then he went back to forward.
FLAMESTR: So he started as a defenseman.
Severyn: Well, he played both, but after the first year as forward he went to defense. I think it was a good thing. He skates very well backwards and he uses the edges well. I think it is mostly from playing defense. It actually teaches you how to see the ice a bit better. So he knows the defensemen are back there in the offensive zone. That's one thing that I like about him: he will get the puck to the defensemen.
FLAMESTR: So he has how many more years of school?
Severyn: He'll be a sophomore this year at Ohio State, but you know it depends on how things go, and how he does at these camps, and the improvement that he makes. When the opportunity comes, you have to think it over and possibly take advantage of it.
FLAMESTR: Has he thought of going to the WHL for a year instead of finishing off college? Is that an option for him?
Severyn: No, I think with the program that Ohio State has, it is a similar game to what the Flames play, and you know it's a good program and he is getting his education there. If he does leave, they have a program where you can come back and you just pay your room and board and you get your schooling free later on. So obviously he wants to make it to the next level, so at some time when the opportunity comes, he's going to take it.
FLAMESTR: So I guess the Flames will probably talk to him about the options after the tournament? Is that how it goes, they do the whole thing and then they discuss with him one-on-one where they go from here?
Severyn: The Flames keep in contact with him through the year and ask him how things are going, how he's feeling; especially last year when he had injured his back. They were in contact with him a lot. Wanted to know how his recovery was coming. So he's 100% this year and I think he is really happy with how he is doing in the camp.