SHL Digest: Today, we have a unique opportunity. We’re speaking with the Boston Badgers’ first-ever player, Cary Estabrook. Cary, welcome to the SHL!
Cary Estabrook: Thanks! I’m really excited about this.
SHLD: So, how did you become the Badgers’ first player?
CE: Well, [Badgers GM] Jody Melchiorre had scouted me for Anchorage when I was a senior at Western Mass, before last season’s draft. But I wrecked my knee just before the end of the season, so the Igloos didn’t draft me. But obviously he remembered me.
SHLD: Obviously, he thought well of you!
CE: Well, the surgery was successful, and my rehab’s gone well, so we felt confident that I’d be ready to go for ’18. And the fact that I’m a local boy didn’t hurt. I’m from Rhode Island originally.
SHLD: How does it feel to be the only Badger so far?
CE: It’s really exciting, but it’s a bit of a mixed blessing, you know? I mean, no matter what I do the rest of my career, I’m going to be part of SHL history. That’s definitely cool.
SHLD: No question about that!
CE: But I don’t just want to be the answer to a trivia question, you know? I want to be remembered for being a great player. I’ve got to keep working hard to make that happen.
SHLD: Do you think you’ve got a good chance to make the team?
CE: Hard to be sure until I can see the competition, right? But Jody assured me that I’d have every shot to make it as long as I can stay healthy.
SHLD: If you were to compare yourself to a current SHL player, who would it be?
CE: Maybe a guy like Vonnie McLearen. He’s a guy who worked hard to get where he is; he’s not the hardest shot or the fastest skater, but he’s a real competitor who works hard and plays solid on both ends of the ice. That’s my game too.
SHLD: Have you had a chance to meet any of the fans in Boston yet?
CE: Yeah, actually. We just had a season-ticket-holder event on Friday. Jody said that we’ve already got over 5,000 season ticket holders, which is huge. I love the fans here; they’re really smart, dedicated, totally into hockey. Our arena’s in Southie, so we’re gonna draw those great working-class fans. The atmosphere is gonna be off the charts.
SHLD: Can’t wait to see it! Well, thank you for your time, and best of luck with your SHL career.
CE: Thanks. No offense, but I’m really waiting for the next time you guys interview me. That time, I’ll know you’re talking to me because I’ve made it. That’s the dream for me.