May 31, 2012

The Baillargeon Blog: Day 2 full of interviews

By Robbie Baillargeon

Editor's note: Robbie Baillargeon (Enfield, Conn.) is a former Cushing Academy standout who shined for the USHL's Indiana Ice in 2011-12. He'll be filing an online diary of his experiences at the annual NHL Draft Combine in Toronto this week.

Robbie Baillargeon had 48 points in 54 games during his rookie season in the USHL. (Photo courtesy of Indiana Ice)

NHL Scouting Combine Diary: Day 2

Today, Wednesday, I woke up around 8, got dressed in my suit and tie, and went downstairs to eat breakfast with Jon Gillies (my good friend and Indiana Ice teammate from South Portland, Maine). My roommate, Sam Kurker (Reading, Mass.), had already gotten up and was at an interview by the time I woke up. After breakfast, which was a buffet-style, I went upstairs to my first interview, which was Carolina.

 I wasn't nervous at all. I walked in, introduced myself to all three staff members and started answering questions. I felt more and more comfortable as the interview went on. I finished up and went back to my room. 

I had another meeting a half hour later with Florida. The Panthers had more staff members in the room, but both interviews were very formal and relaxed and went very well. Afterwards, I met up with Jon and we headed over to the Reebok/CCM room. 

We walked in and we were astonished at the set up they had. They had all their new equipment on display, such as sticks, protective equipment, skates, gloves, and helmets. I was quickly approached by a Reebok/CCM rep and he started getting my information.  After that, he fitted me for reebok skates to let me try them out and also the sticks at a shooting station they had. They also had a stick handling station set up to see who had the quickest hands. As I was about to walk out, I was handed a new pair of reebok zig tech shoes. I couldn't believe it- we were getting treated so well by everyone! 

After, I headed up to my last meeting before lunch. It was with Chicago and it went well. They had at least 10 staff members with them in a large room and again, they were very relaxed and laid back. I was getting pretty hungry, so I went out to lunch with my roommate and Jimmy Vesey (North Reading, Mass.), a player I work out with during the summer.

 As we walked out of the hotel, we were swarmed with fans asking for autographs. It was so cool, signing for everyone. It reminded me of walking out of the locker room at our home games and seeing all the fans. It's always a great feeling. I ate at Subway for lunch and went back to the hotel. 

Walking into the lobby, we saw the one and only Tyler Seguin. I was shocked! A year ago, I was sitting on my couch watching him win the Stanley Cup with the Bruins, and now here he is right in front of me. I wanted to introduce myself, but did not want to intrude as he was talking to people. 

For the rest of the day, I had three more interviews with San Jose, Buffalo, and the hometown team, Toronto. All went very well, as each were very formal and laid back. No weird questions were asked of me yet, but I'm sure some will be asked tomorrow. 

After all my interviews were done for the day, I headed down to the Bauer room. Again, I was approached and started fitting skates and customizing my own! I also got to customize my own stick. Now, in the future, If I need any Bauer equipment I can contact the rep and he knows exactly what I would want! 

For dinner, I went out with Jon and my other friend (USHL forward) Matt Deblouw. We ended up going to a place called Arizona's, which is a sports grille. We ordered some food and watched game 1 of the Stanley Cup. 

I called it a night after that. I have to say I had a great day hanging out with everyone and seeing everything the combine has to offer. 

I'll be back with more on the Scouting Combine later, but thanks for reading!

Be sure to check back here throughout the week for updates from one of the New England region's top draft eligible players.