02/07/06
ASK THE SENS WITH GREGG JOHNSON

Do your brothers also play hockey?
 
Yeah, both of them do. I have two younger brothers, Keith and Nick. Keith is at the University of Maine ; hes a junior there. He went to the National Championship game his freshman year, so hes having a good career. My youngest brother, Nick, is playing junior hockey for the New England Jr. Falcons. That is the same team that I played for when I was in junior and he is going to Sacred Heart (Atlantic Hockey), on a scholarship, next year.
 
 
 
How have your Binghamton experiences differed from year to year?
 
I wasnt here for so long before, but it was good because I got to know the city, got to know some of the people and then this year Ive really gotten used to it. It hasnt changed much because I wasnt here so much for the first two years, but it helped because I got to know the city a little bit."
 
 
 
How is Binghamton different from your hometown of Fairfield , CT ?
 
Its not real different. Its still the northeast and Im only about three and a half hours away from my house so its pretty close and my parents can come to a lot of the games. The weather is pretty much the same. Its pretty similar.
 
 
 
What is the main difference that you notice between the ECHL and the AHL?
 
I think that the major difference is the professionalism. You know, at the American league level it is a lot more professional and obviously the players are better. The East Coast (ECHL) is a nice step up to get your feet wet in pro hockey and then obviously the AHL is just a step above that.
 
 
 
What is your most memorable hockey moment?
 
I would say that playing in the World Junior Championships would be a real highlight of my career. That was an awesome tournament to be a part of and Ill always remember that. And obviously being drafted by the Ottawa Senators was great too.
 
 
 
Who did you look up to when you were younger?
 
I had a lot of people that I looked up to. I mean, I looked up to definitely my mother and father a lot. I had a lot of older cousins that I looked up to. You know, playing for my junior coach for three years (Gary Dineen), he helped me a lot hockey-wise and as a person. So, I really looked up to Gary a lot as well. There were definitely a lot of people and a lot of good role models that I had when I was growing up.
 
 
 
Who are some of your favorite musical artists or songs?
 
You know what, Im not very picky at all, so I like everything from rap to country to rock to classic rock. You know, I like a lot of stuff thats on the radio whether its Kelly Clarkson to the Rolling Stones or something like that. I like it all.
 
 
 
How do you feel when you are recognized out in public?
 
It feels good. I mean its obviously something that comes along with the job that you do, so its fun when people recognize you. You feel like youre getting noticed and maybe people look up to you a little bit, so its nice.
 
 
 
What is the best part about playing in Binghamton ?
 
I would say the guys, you know, the guys on the team. We have a great bunch of guys I think and me being a younger guy, there are a lot of older guys that can help me out as well as all the younger guys. Also, the people herethe fans. They really support the team and they treat us well. Whether its being there every night at the home games or baking us cookies on the road. They do a lot for us.
 
 
 
What hockey players inspired you?
 
I always liked watching Wayne Gretzky when I was growing up. Obviously, hes the best player that has ever played, so he was always a big influence on me. I lived in Windsor , CT , which is just north of Hartford , so we used to have season tickets to the Hartford Whalers and I used to watch all of those games all the time. Actually, (Senators teammate) Steve Martins was there when I was growing up and it was cool to watch the Whalers.
 
 
 
What did you major in at Boston University and do you plan on using your degree when youre finished with hockey?
 
I have a sociology degree with a minor in history. I dont know what Im going to do right now after hockey. Im just concentrating, right now, on playing as long as I can and pursuing my hockey career, so thats my main focus right now. Once that ends then Ill be able to think about what Im going to do afterwards.
 
 
And a quick comment on the Binghamton fans
 
I think the fans are great. Theyll let us know if they dont like the way that were playing, but there always there to support us too. I like it. Theyve been great to me so far and they really get behind the team, which is what you need in a small building like this where the fans definitely play a role. Its a lot of fun to play in front of a good group like they are.

 

 
Send us your questions now for goaltender Billy Thompson to askthesens@binghamtonsenators.com. Billy's responses will be posted on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

 

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