Interview with Mike Payne: CHL Journeyman & Enforcer

mike-payne-chlWhile it’s tough to argue one’s opinion that hockey players are the best athletes in the world, it’s virtually impossible to deny the fact that as athletes, they are the realest of the people out there. From early days of waking up bright and early for a morning skate before school, to the full-time blue collar worker playing nights and weekends, hoping to get his shot at the next level.

There’s no better person to tell this story than journeyman Mike “House of” Payne. A kid who grew to love the game of hockey so much, he knew he wanted to play everyday of the week–as a kid, throughout high school and college, and long after, Mike was willing to do whatever it took to get there. A full-time, blue collar worker who pulled long days and exhausting overtime shifts while playing nights and weekends, Mike’s determination and love for the game exemplifies the true hockey player to the bone.

Pure Hockey (PH): Let’s start from the beginning: when did you start playing hockey?


Interview With Coach Chic: Level 5 Coach Dennis Chighisola

Prep Coaches on Bench - DAC

I first met Dennis Chighisola (Coach Chic) several years ago thanks to social media hockey circles. After a few conversations, it quickly became apparent that Coach Chic was the real deal. His intelligence of the game, passion for teaching, and enthusiasm in helping youth hockey players hone their skills is well documented in his numerous blog posts and instructional videos and columns.

Coach Chic taught many former and current NHL players and hundreds of top collegiate athletes. A New England native, Coach Chic now resides in the Sunshine State, and we were recently able to chat with him about hockey and coaching.


Interview With Rob Howland, Pure Hockey General Merchandise Manager


We’ve now been around for 20 years and for a niche retail company like us, that’s pretty darn good, if we may say so ourselves. There is only one person who has been employed here for all twenty of the years we’ve been in operation and his name is Rob Howland. We thought it would be fun to ask him a few questions about the days of Pure Hockey yore and how the company has changed. Here we go…

You were basically one of Pure Hockey’s first employees. Tell us about that first store, and what it was like?

The first store was in Worcester, MA 20 years ago and the original name of the company was KC Sports. The store was no bigger than 800 sq. feet and the only place we could put sticks was on the ceiling!  There was something hanging down from the ceiling that we were able to lay the sticks on, so we did it!  We moved the store across the street onto Gold Star Blvd in Worcester, to a 1700 sq foot store and that is when the name changed to Pure Hockey.  (Ed. Note: we tried desperately to find pictures but were unsuccessful)


Interview With Sarah Baicker of Comcast SportsNet Philly

Sarah BaickerWe first encountered Sarah Baicker on Twitter a few months back when something happened with the Philadelphia Flyers, though I can’t really remember what it was.  I do remember she had some memorable tweets, though! Sarah is the Philadelphia Flyers reporter for Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia, so she travels with the team, writes and provides TV reports on the all the Flyers news that’s fit to talk about – and there’s already been plenty to talk about this offseason.

We took a few minutes to chat with Sarah about hockey and some other stuff. Enjoy!