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Q&A: New Ducks Defenseman Ben Lovejoy

Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 5:59 PM / News
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Q&A: New Ducks Defenseman Ben Lovejoy
"It’s pretty special and I’m so excited to be a Duck right now. I had a great six years with Pittsburgh, but I’m looking forward to a fresh start, and this is a pretty good place to be"
By Adam Brady
AnaheimDucks.com

It's been a whirlwind past 18 hours for Ben Lovejoy, the 6-2, 215-pound former Pittsburgh defenseman acquired last night by the Ducks. After learning about the trade late night, Lovejoy was on a plane the following morning to meet the team in Dallas.

Following his first practice with the Ducks, Lovejoy caught his breath for enough time to talk about how thrilled he is to come to Anaheim.

First of all, how did you find out about the trade?
I was watching TV last night at about 9:30 and I got a call from the Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero. We had a good conversation and he told me I had been traded to Anaheim. He said he had texted Bob Murray my phone number and that I’d hear from him shortly. When I talked to Bob, he said he’s been watching me for awhile. My first year in Wilkes-Barre (of the AHL), we played a playoff series against the Portland Pirates (former Anaheim AHL affiliate), and he said that ever since then, he’s been trying to get me. It was a very positive conversation and he said he wants me to be aggressive and use my skating, and that they’re excited to have me. I’m excited to be here.

What was the process of getting from home to Dallas?
It was crazy. I went and picked up my hockey bag from the rink in Pittsburgh at 10:30 last night. Then I had to hurry and pack everything I need for the next five months into two suitcases. Then I tried to go to sleep and couldn’t. I was pretty excited. I still am. My alarm went off at 4:45, and my wife drove me to the airport. I had a 7:00 flight and landed in Dallas at 9:30. I was on the ice at 1:30 with the team for practice.

So how are you feeling right now?
I’m exhausted. I’m debating taking a nap or waiting until this evening to go to sleep. But I’m not real worried. I know the adrenaline of the game tomorrow will carry me.

The Penguins have a surplus of defensemen on their roster and in their system. Do you think that’s why they were comfortable trading you?
I think there were a couple reasons. The Penguins as a team expect to win playoff series and Stanley Cups. The past two years, we failed to make it out of the first round, and some of that falls on the defensemen, so I think they were looking to make a change there. There were some talented rookies coming up too. There were eight good d-men ready to play. I thank Pittsburgh for giving me the opportunity to have a fresh start with Anaheim.

It’s never fun to be traded, but are you glad it’s an organization like Anaheim?
You think Anaheim, you think the high-end skill guys up front and the amount of talent they have on the ice. It’s pretty special and I’m so excited to be a Duck right now. I had a great six years with Pittsburgh, but I’m looking forward to a fresh start, and this is a pretty good place to be.

Not only that, but the Ducks have gotten off to a fast start this season.
I haven’t followed the Western Conference a lot this year, but as soon as I got off the phone, I immediately looked up the standings and was pleasantly surprised as to how well the team has done. It makes it fun to go to the rink every day and be a part of a team that’s winning. 

Your teammate in Pittsburgh, Chris Kunitz, is a former Duck. Did you talk to him about coming to Anaheim?
I did speak with him. He spoke very positively of everything and said if I needed anything, or had any issues, to give him a call and he’d be happy to help.

Your nickname is Rev, after Reverend Lovejoy on The Simpsons. How did that come about?
When I first became a pro hockey player, people started calling me Rev. I watched the show growing up, so I knew it well. All the guys in Pittsburgh called me Rev pretty regularly. We were in Canada one day watching Sportscentre. I made a play and the announced called me “The Reverend!” The next day Mike Rupp, who was then my teammate in Pittsburgh, came in and couldn’t believe the announcer knew my nickname. Rupp wasn’t a Simpsons fan, so he didn’t know. It has very little to do with my religious affiliation. It’s an uncommon name and that character has made it famous, so I’ve embraced that.

For fans who haven’t seen you play, talk about what they can expect to see.
My goal is to make my skating a factor. I’m a guy who wants to be difficult to play against by being great positionally and moving my feet. My goal is to not get scored on. I’m not a physically punishing defenseman, though I don’t shy away from it. My goal is to keep players to the outside and play solid defense and use my skating to join in the rush when I can.

Is your wife Avery coming out to Orange County with you?
My wife teaches third grade in Pittsburgh, so she’s gonna stick around and finish the school year. That’s important to both of us. I’m sure she’ll spend as much time as she can out West. She’s excited to. Beyond that, I have no idea about my living situation. I think I’ve been to Anaheim once. We’re playing so many games right now, especially on this road trip, so that stuff doesn’t matter right now.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 66 42 17 7 196 179 91
2 NSH 65 41 17 7 193 158 89
3 STL 63 40 18 5 197 159 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 WPG 65 32 21 12 180 175 76
6 VAN 63 36 24 3 182 173 75
7 MIN 63 34 22 7 179 163 75
8 CGY 63 34 25 4 178 162 72
9 LAK 63 30 21 12 171 164 72
10 SJS 65 32 25 8 185 183 72
11 COL 64 28 25 11 170 183 67
12 DAL 64 28 26 10 199 212 66
13 ARI 64 20 37 7 139 218 47
14 EDM 64 18 36 10 145 213 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 63 20 41 13 61
C. Perry 51 27 18 15 45
R. Kesler 66 17 24 1 41
S. Vatanen 57 12 22 6 34
M. Beleskey 56 21 9 13 30
J. Silfverberg 65 10 20 11 30
H. Lindholm 63 6 23 20 29
P. Maroon 58 7 21 -4 28
C. Fowler 65 6 22 3 28
R. Rakell 55 6 19 5 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 30 8 5 .917 2.34
J. Gibson 9 5 0 .924 2.41

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