Our interview of the week is with Hamilton Pistols LW Steven Alexander.
SHL Digest: This week, we’re talking to Steven Alexander, one of the leading scorers in the SHL. Steven, thanks for talking with us.
Steven Alexander: Yo.
SHLD: I understand that you were born in the tiny town of Milk River, Alberta. How does an orphan, son of a Canuck and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in Western Canada, impoverished in squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scorer?
SA: I got a lot farther by working a lot harder, by being a lot smarter, by being a self-starter. By fourteen, I was captain of my junior hockey team. And it only got better from there.
SHLD: How did you get signed by the Pistols?
SA: Well, I didn’t get drafted by the NHL, or even get any real notice from scouts, because I came out of nowhere. But then I heard that the Pistols were holding an open tryout, and I said to myself, “I am not throwing away my shot.”
SHLD: Wait. You’re the best scorer in the SHL, and you were signed from an open tryout?
SA: That’s right. Nobody even knew my name when I showed up. There were probably 100 people there, or more. I figured that the only way I was going to stand out was if I showed them that I could shoot. And I started raining shots from everywhere: from the goal mouth, faceoff circle, the blue line, even center ice.
SHLD: I bet that got you noticed.
SA: Yep. At first, the other guys in the tryout didn’t seem to like it. They were kind of like, “Yo, who the F is this?” But all my crazy shots were going in, so I definitely got the attention of the guys running the tryout.
SHLD: I’ll bet!
SA: At the end of the tryout, the coaches came up to me and said, “What’s your name, man?” And I told them, “My name is Alexander, Hamilton.”
SHLD: They’ve sure got to be glad they spotted you! Last season, you were the SHL’s goal-scoring leader [with 63]. There aren’t many goal-a-game guys in this league.
SA: Yeah, me and [Jake] Frost, basically.
SHLD: What makes you such a good scorer?
SA: I’m good at reading goalies. When you’re closing in a guy, you can tell by his reactions if he’s jumpy or prone to overcommit, and see where he’s weak. Look him in the eye, aim no higher, summon all the courage you require… and bang.
SHLD: After a year like you had, what do you do for an encore?
SA: There’s a million things I haven’t done. Just you wait.
SHLD: One thing you haven’t done yet is win a championship. Despite having some top scorers like you, Rod Remington, and Claude Lafayette, Hamilton finished last in the East last year. Was that a disappointment?
SA: Yeah, it was. But I liked the way we rebuilt in the offseason. We’re young, scrappy, and hungry.
SHLD: You certainly had a strong first week! You guys surprised a lot of observers with that. Think you can keep it up?
SA: I do. This team has the talent to win a championship. And I want to be in the room where it happens.
SHLD: Well, good luck with that! Thanks for your time.
SA: I’ll see you on the other side.