Mar 2, 2004
Courtesy of OHL Tough Guys
Mike Amodeo played in the OHL for the Sault-St.-Marie Greyhounds and Kitchener Rangers. The 21-year old who stands at 6'0" and tips the scale at 210 lbs is not the superheavyweight, but is very willing. Currently playing in the Central Hockey League with the first-place Laredo Bucks, an affiliate of the Panthers, Amodeo had six points in first three pro games and his first two goals were game winners. He also happens to lead the team in PIMs.
Rob: Mike, you broke into the OHL in 99/00, but only played in 46 games. Why?
Mike: I was drafted into a great organization with a great veteran team, and as a rookie, I only got to play in 46 games.
Rob: What were your feelings about going to a well established franchise like Kitchener?
Mike: When I first got drafted it was a really exciting time for me. Being so close to home and hearing great things about the organization made it so exciting. As a 17 year old kid, being drafted anywhere is special. I was excited for the chance to play junior hockey.
Rob: Who did you score your first career OHL goal against and what kind of goal was it?
Mike: It was within my first 10 games of my rookie season at home. I scored against the Soo, who I finished my career with. It was an average scoring chance, and an average shot. To be honest it didn't even hit the back of the net, it just dropped over the line. I am pretty sure it was Ray Emery, who is now in the AHL with Binghamton.
Rob: Do you think the 25-game suspension for running goaltender Andrew Penner of the Guelph Storm late in the 01/02 season was excessive considering your clean record prior to that night in Guelph?
Mike: No. Because there was someone before me who got 20 games and I guess I did it and I deserved it. I got the suspension and I had to deal with it, get over it and try to come back and have a good year.
Rob: Do you harbor any ill will towards Ranger management for trading you to SSM, especially after seeing them win the MEM Cup?
Mike: No. not at all. I still keep in touch with the coaches in Kitchener and the players in Kitchener . The coach there, Pete Deboer, helped me out with my contract with Florida .
Rob: What was it like for a big city boy from Hamilton to move way up north to the Soo?
Mike: It was pretty exciting. It is a great hockey town. They get great fan support. All the history behind the Soo, it was exciting to play in that arena.
Rob: You notched 15 goals in just 36 games there. Something different in the water?
Mike: To be honest, I got a chance to play with great players and good things happened.
Rob: Who's the most talented teammate you ever played with in the OHL?
Mike: Steve Eminger, who is now with the Washington Capitals. Ever since he came into the league at 16, as an underage pick, he dominated every game he played.
Rob: You're now in your first pro season, with Laredo . How do you like it?
Mike: I love it. It is a great hockey town. The team is great; we have a great bunch of guys, and a great coach too. It's a fun atmosphere to play in.
Rob: Okay, Mike, time to talk fights now!
Mike: No problem.
Rob: What do you remember about your first ever OHL fight?
Mike: It was in training camp. I fought the Rangers veteran defenseman Barry Graham. He was a pretty well known tough guy that year. I remember that the fight went pretty well for both of us. After the intra-squad game I felt pretty happy with the way it went but also pretty happy to get it out of the way.
Rob: Did any of the older guys teach you how to handle yourself, or did you just figure it out as it went?
Mike: The help that I had came from my father. He would give me advice from watching NHL games. He would watch the Leafs and Tie Domi. He would take notes and take down different techniques and styles and compare them to the way that they would benefit me with my style.
Rob: You're good at switching hands. Has this always been the base or is it a skill you developed as you went along?
Mike: It is something that I developed. It is definitely something that I practice. It's always a bonus to have as a backup if something happens and you get tied up. I worked on it a lot in fights to develop that side of my technique.
Rob: Tell me a little something about these two opponents: Adam Smyth, Cam Janssen.
Mike: Smyth- he was a rookie when I first fought him. We fought at home in Kitchener . I remember it was right off the faceoff. It was pretty even, toe-to-toe; he's a strong kid.
Janssen- I think I fought him four times in my career. Every time we fought there was so much hype before the game even happened because everyone wanted to see us fight. I felt that every fight I had with him, I was very satisfied with the outcome for myself, but he is a great fighter.
Rob: Who would you say, in retrospect, was your toughest ever OHL fight against?
Mike: Matt Carkner - he now plays in Cleveland under the Sharks. He was a big guy, it was my first year and I definitely learned a lot from that fight. Overall, I was satisfied with the way it went though.
Rob: What are some of the better fights you had in the O, and do you have an absolute favorite?
Mike: There was a fight in Guelph . It was against Leonid Zvachkin. It was probably the most exciting fight I have ever been in my career. It was exciting because it was so one sided for me!
Rob: Was it hard to fight teammates McMorrow and Gagnon?
Mike: McMorrow was a fight at home in Kitchener . Being ex-teammates from the year before, we decided that we would put on a show for the fans. We would fight, but be fine with it after the game. I felt that fight was also a great fight.
Gagnon - I fought in Plymouth when I played for the Soo. I felt that fight was hard for us after because it was kind of a spur of the moment fight. Our emotions were pretty high. After the game, though, we both had a little laugh about it.
Rob: Okay, last question. Hypothetically speaking, is there any one fighter out there, still playing or maybe even retired, that you just wish you could get your hands on?
Mike: Yes...Scott Dickie...hahaha!
hockeyfights.com thanks OHL Tough Guys, and Mike Amodeo.
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