|Winnipeg Sun interviews Ryan Galloway|
By KIRK PENTON
Every Monday, a Sun staffer will get to know a local sports figure a little better in Up Close. This week, Kirk Penton goes behind the scenes of hockey's big leagues with linesman Ryan Galloway, Winnipeg's last resident on-ice official.
The Sun: On the very day we phone to interview you about being Winnipeg's only resident NHL official the movers are literally at your house, preparing for your move to Minneapolis. What's up with that?
RG: It's going to be a win-win situation for my wife (Rhonda) and I. It'll mean more time at home and easier travel to games. It's not a permanent move, in that we'll be back for the summers, spending our time out at the cottage. We're looking forward to it. It's going to be exciting. I've never lived anywhere other than Winnipeg, so it'll be an adjustment that way.
The Sun: Who are the toughest fighters to break up?
RG: I'll tell you who I think is the best and classiest fighter: Georges Laraque. He is a consummate professional when it comes to his job. He knows what his role is. He never makes it difficult for us to do our job. Not only is he a tough guy, but he's respected for the way he handles his fights, too. And he can do other things than fight, too.
The Sun: What coach gave you the most grief from your days in Manitoba?
RG: Let me pull out my list. Oh, man. Pretty much any coach in midget AAA, how about that? The old coach from the Brandon Wheat Kings didn't exactly like me either. Bobby Lowes. He was a big fan of mine. There were no Christmas cards, let's just say that.
The Sun: What is your favourite NHL arena?
RG: Coincidentally enough, it's the place that I'm going: Minnesota. The atmosphere in that building is just phenomenal. You know you're in a hockey town when you're there.
The Sun: What's your favourite NHL city?
RG: Anywhere down south in the middle of winter.
The Sun: Favourite sport outside of hockey?
RG: I absolutely love fishing. Love fishing, love boating. When the season's over, I try to do stuff on my own.
The Sun: Which team's fans are the nastiest?
RG: It starts with 'T' and ends in 'oronto.' Nah, they're just passionate. They're passionate about their team, they're passionate about the game. They like to vocalize.
The Sun: How many miles did you put on this winter?
RG: Last season was 150 nights in a hotel room, 123 flights. Actual days on the road was probably 170 by the time you count travel days before and after.
The Sun: If you could have one call back, what would it be?
RG: There was an offside play this year in Minnesota I wish I had back. I'm not saying I was wrong, I just wish I could get a second look at it. It was (Derek) Boogaard's first goal of the year. Too bad the whistle went first.
The Sun: Ouch. That's not a guy you want to make mad. Did you fear for your life?
RG: I think he was still in awe that the puck actually went in the net.
The Sun: You haven't made the post-season yet. What do you have to do to get a playoff game?
RG: It's a combination of seniority and performance. It's a very tough lineup to break. It's a case of waiting my time. Everything's been going well, so hopefully it happens sooner than later.
The Sun: What was your most embarrassing moment?
RG: There was a play on an icing in Vancouver. It was my second year full-time. I'm going down to call the icing, and just as I blow the whistle as the player's playing the puck -- it was Ed Jovanovski -- I blow a wheel and go crashing into the boards and take down two players. Jovanovski, I'm underneath him, and he's looking down at me. I'm like, 'Ed, I'm sorry. I lost my edge.' He just looked down and all he said was, 'You gotta be f------ kidding me.'
The Sun: Well, good luck with your move. And don't forget about us here in Manitoba, OK?
RG: Absolutely not. My thanks to everybody I've come up with through hockey in Winnipeg, from St. James minor to Winnipeg minor to Hockey Manitoba, for all their support over the years.