Saturday, July 4, 2009

New Interview: former Tri City D-Man Logan Stephenson

Logan Stephenson/Photo: Tri City Americans

Not too long ago, I emailed the Rockford IceHogs (Chicago Blackhawks AHL affiliate) asking to interview Kyle Beach, who had sign an ATO contract with the team. I've been wanting to interview this former Silvertip for the last year, and NOT about the antics that have haunted him for years and turned the focus of his NHL combine experience more on his psychological health than his physical prowess. Earlier in the season, after the 'Tips traded Kyle to the Lethbridge Hurricanes, I contacted them for an interview but we could never settle on a good time.

I had had some great success getting interviews at the AHL and ECHL levels (the Ontario Reign came through with former T-Bird Bud Holloway, the Manchester Monarchs came through with former T-Bird Thomas Hickey, the Worcester Sharks came through with former 'Tip Riley Armstrong, and the Providence Bruins have come through with former 'Tip Zach Hamill, whose interview I will post shortly). So... I had every confidence that Rockford would come through and I would finally get to talk to Kyle Beach about HOCKEY, and not HEADLINES.

No such luck.

Turns out, the IceHogs had sent Kyle back to Lethbridge for a little more seasoning. But the team’s PR guy told me that several other WHL grads were in the IceHogs’ lineup. Was I interested in interviewing any of them?

I thought about it for a few minutes. I write mainly about the Silvertips and Thunderbirds, although I have written a blog or two about other players. For example: I wrote a brief rant about a cheap hit that the Spokane Chiefs' Ryan Lett laid on Tri City Americans’ goalie Chet Pickard (Nashville Predators’ prospect and older brother of T-Birds netminder Calvin Pickard). I figured that writing about another team’s player would give our fans a different perspective about the local teams, so I emailed the PR guy back and said, sure, why not! That email put me on a collision course with one of the most dynamic players I have ever spoken with.

Logan Stephenson manned the blue line in Tri City for four years. He was drafted by Phoenix in 2004 and spent a couple of years with their AHL team, the San Antonio Rampage. The last year, however, saw Logan packing and unpacking twice. First, the Coyotes traded him to Anaheim and he joined their AHL affiliate, the Iowa Chops. A few months later, the Ducks traded Logan to Chicago and he moved again, this time to the Rockford IceHogs, where he teamed up with several WHL opponents (Adam Hobson-Spokane Chiefs, Rob Klinkhammer-many WHL teams, including Seattle) and former Spokane Coach Bill Peters, so maybe it felt a little more like “home.” In any case, he really enjoyed his brief time with the team.

When I looked at the IceHogs’ roster this week, Logan’s name was not on it. I’ll have to either call him, or research to see whether he’s been traded, released, or picked up as a free agent by another team. But one thing’s for sure: wherever Logan Stephenson goes, he will bring 110% commitment to the game, a positive attitude and a great sense of humor.

Click the link below to read more about his hockey history (he comes from a hockey family: dad Bob played NHL and other leagues; brother Shay also plays), his favorite opponent during his WHL years, and why he’s never fought former Silvertips (current Houston Aeros) tough guy Mitch Love.

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