Drew Doughty faced the media this morning — four of us from L.A., about 25-30 from Canada — and talked about being the youngest player selected to represent Canada in the 2010 Olympics…
Question: What was your reaction this morning?
DOUGHTY: “You know, I was pretty surprised. I knew I had a shot at one of the last spots there, but getting that phone call this morning was real surprising, but definitely one of my greatest moments.”
Question: When you were at the summer orientation camp, what were you thinking then? That this could happen? Might happen?
DOUGHTY: “I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew I had a shot, but I knew I was young and that there’s a lot of good D-men who were trying out for the team. I was pretty surprised. At that camp, I didn’t know what to expect.”
Question: To what do you attribute your development at such a young age?
DOUGHTY: “I’ve had a lot of help over the years. When I played in Guelph, Ontario, there, they helped me out a lot. I had a lot of great coaches, in Dave Barr and Jason Brooks there. They taught me a lot. I was pretty much just an offensive defenseman then, and I kind of became a two-way defenseman. I think that has a great deal to do with why I made the team.”
Question: How much of a factor has the success of the Kings been, in terms of confidence and making your game more well-rounded?
DOUGHTY: “It’s definitely important, for all of us. The Kings have been struggling for quite a few years now, so getting those wins and being at the top of the conference for a little bit there, it was definitely a confidence-booster for all of us and it helped us grow and become more confident players out there.”
Question: Some big names on defense did not make the team. Do you feel for them at all?
DOUGHTY: “Yeah. I’m sure everyone who was at the orientation camp would love to be on the team. I think they’d do anything in the world to be named to this Olympic team, and some of them are great players, and guys that I actually thought would have been on the team. So I guess I feel for them a bit, but I’d definitely rather be in my position.”
Question: You seem pretty calm. Were you jumping up and down when you got the call?
DOUGHTY: “When I got the call, I was still half-asleep. It was pretty early for me. I was just waking up. I actually had a voice mail at first, because I was still asleep and I didn’t hear my phone ring. But when I woke up, I was definitely pretty happy. I woke up Brownie right away, my roommate, and told him, and I started calling everyone in the family.”
Question: How will you challenge yourself over the next six weeks to stay on an even keel, with still a lot of hockey to play?
DOUGHTY: “I’m always going to have Team Canada in the back of my mind, but right now I just want to help the Kings win. They’re my No. 1 focus. I’m obviously going to go out there every night and try to be a better player and play my best, and hopefully take my play into the Olympics.”
Question: How does it feel to be the young guy of the group?
DOUGHTY: “It feels good. I definitely might be a little nervous going in, just going in to meet the guys for the first time, being the young guy. It’s different, but I love it, obviously, and it’s great to be named.”
Question: Your roommate could end up being your opponent in the Olympics. Is there going to be a little joking around there?
DOUGHTY: “I’m sure we’ll be giving it to each other, chirping each other back and forth. It’s going to be fun playing against Brownie. I know he’s a hard hitter and stuff like that, so I’ll be looking out for him.”
Question: Did you sleep well last night, thinking about your chances?
DOUGHTY: “I couldn’t sleep last night. I’m going to be honest. It was a pretty tough night for me last night. I was up, then I was sleeping, then I was back and forth. I was pretty nervous. I didn’t really know what my chances were. I knew I had an outside shot. Making it is definitely a big surprise, as I said, but I’m just so excited.”
Question: Did you save the voice mail this time?
DOUGHTY: “I still have it on my phone. I haven’t deleted it yet. It was definitely a surprise, getting that call in the morning. Words can’t even describe it.”
Question: Who made the call?
DOUGHTY: “Doug Armstrong. I believe he’s the GM of the St. Louis Blues. He was our GM at the World Championships as well, so I kind of got to know him there. He was the one who made the call.”