Our interview of the week is with Hamilton Pistols D Hylton Windham.
SHL Digest: This week, we’re interviewing Hylton Windham of the Hamilton Pistols. Hylton, it’s a pleasure to talk with you.
Hylton Windham: Thanks, I appreciate it.
SHLD: You’re the first professional hockey player to come from the Bahamas. How does it feel to be a pioneer?
HW: Honestly, I don’t really think of myself that way. I think of myself as just a player. I am proud of my background, but I don’t feel that I am truly a pioneer. I am just a bit unique.
SHLD: How did you become interested in hockey?
HW: The first time I saw a game, I was 8 years old. My family was on holiday in Toronto, and we watched a game on TV in our hotel room. I was enchanted; the ice looked magical to me.
SHLD: I don’t imagine it was easy to find an ice rink to practice on, though.
HW: Absolutely! The only ice we had at home was in our drinks. But I had an aunt and uncle who lived in Canada, and my parents sent me to live with them during vacations so I could try it. Then it turned out I was pretty good, so at age 10 I went to live with them full-time.
SHLD: When did you start thinking you might be able to play professionally?
HW: I found about about a player named Graeme Townshend, who was born in Jamaica and made it to the NHL. When I saw that a guy like me was in the NHL, I thought, “Hey, maybe I could do that too.” And now I have!
SHLD: You’re a reserve on a team that has been struggling. Has that been frustrating for you?
HW: Well, of course we’d all rather be winning. But honestly, I am just happy to play. And I am very grateful to play for a great coach like Mr. [Ron] Wright. He knows so many things about the game, and he is a wonderful teacher.
SHLD: What are your goals for your career?
HW: Of course, I hope to become a starter and to win a championship someday. But most of all, I hope some young children in the Caribbean will see me play and want to become hockey players as well.
SHLD: Do you think you might be able to make the Bahamas into a hockey country?
HW: I hope so. Again, I look to Graeme Townshend. He is trying to get a Jamaican hockey team to the Olympics. Perhaps someday I will coach the first Bahamian Olympic hockey team.
SHLD: Sounds like a wonderful thing to strive for! Best wishes with that. And good luck with the rest of the season.
HW: Thank you! I am very excited for this season and those to come.