Today we interview Scott Young, an NHL’er who spent nearly 20 years in the league, winning two Stanley Cups and playing in the Olympics on two occasions, in 1988 and 1992. Young was a first round pick of the Whalers (11th overall) and made his debut with the Hartford Whalers during the 87-88 season (Brass Bonanza playing in my head now!). He played the following two-and-a-half seasons with the Whalers before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Young helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 1991.
In 1991, Young was traded by the Penguins to the Quebec Nordiques. He played 3 seasons with the Nordiques and remained on the team when they moved to Colorado and became the Colorado Avalanche. He played 2 seasons with the Avalanche and won his second Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 1996. In the following years, Young played with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, the St. Louis Blues and the Dallas Stars. The best season of his NHL career was during the 2000–2001 season with the Blues, scoring 40 goals and adding 33 assists for 73 points. Young retired from hockey after the 2005-2006 season, finishing his career with 1181 career NHL games, 342 goals and 414 assists for 756 points.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
I’ve always wondered about that first year after retirement for NHL’ers. It must be a hell of an adjustment. Of course, it’s different for everyone, but what about you – was it hard to watch hockey? What kind of mental adjustments did you have to make?
I helped coach my 2 boys youth hockey teams after retiring, which kept me at the rinks and really busy. This made the transition easier. I didn’t have time to watch a lot of hockey on TV, but the thing that brought back all those memories of playing was watching the game live. Until this day, being at the game and knowing what the players are going through makes me miss playing hockey. Mentally I think about the committment a player has to make every day to prepare his body and mind to play the game, and realize I was very fortunate to play for such a long time.
Is it possible to put into words the feeling you had when you played your first NHL game? Do you remember any one moment specifically?
My first game was in the old Chicago Stadium. I remember having to climb the stairs from the locker room in our skates to get to the ice. I remember Ron Francis and the rest of my teammates wishing me luck before the game, and warning me about how loud the National Anthem was in Chicago. The best memory was standing on the bench as the crowd cheered through the Anthem, which Chicago is known for, and the adrenaline rush that it gave me.
What was your most memorable goal as an NHL’er?
My first goal with the Whalers against Patrick Roy and the Canadiens in the playoffs. Also scoring in double OT against Roy and the Avalanche when I played with the Blues in game 3 of the conference finals.
Pure Hockey Note: here’s the video of that goal, fast forward to the 3:55 mark.
Since we’re an equipment retailer, I have to ask a couple of nerdy equipment questions. Here’s my first one: your first full year in the league was 88-89. How did equipment – for you – evolve from then through to 2005-2006, your last year?
The biggest change thru my career with equipment had to be sticks. I used a wood stick, then aluminum shaft with a wood blade, then aluminum shaft with a graphite blade, and finally the one-piece composite. I played as it evolved to what it is today. I love the weight and consistency of sticks these days.
Interesting. Did you stick with one brand for skates through your career? Sticks?
Although skates became much lighter over the years I stayed with my old Bauers with the ICM blades. Never changed. I used the old white Canadien sticks early on. After that I went with Easton – until Warrior made me a stick during my last season.
What was the last thing you laughed really hard at?
Hockey related – when I played I’d have to say on the plane and bus rides. Guys like Marc Bergevin and Doug Weight would have the back of the plane/bus laughing all the time.
What are you up to now? Are you still involved with hockey at all these days (playing, coaching, parents to young player, etc)?
I am involved in coaching with my two boys and also run a few hockey camps with Jeff Serowik and ProAmbitions. I’ve also been looking into the construction of a new rink in my area for a number of years. I skate at BU once a week and also with the Bruins Alumni team during the winter.