Robyn Regehr: My mom was always yelling at the refs
The 28-year-old has played his entire career with the Calgary Flames, where he’s now assistant captain. A native of Brazil who grew up in Rosthern, Sask., Regehr scored five goals and added 15 assists for the Flames in the 2007-2008 season.
CBCSports.ca: How did you get into hockey?
Regehr: "I actually got into hockey because my family moved back to Saskatchewan, and anyone that’s been to Saskatchewan in the winter knows there’s not a whole lot to do other than curl, snowmobile, ice fish and play hockey. So, I started playing hockey in the backyard rink we had.
"I was six and half, seven years old – a late start for a Canadian," he added, laughing.
CBCSports.ca: What was the first game you remember playing?
Regehr: "You know what, it was probably just a hockey tots game. I remember still having the winter parka jackets on with the hoods because you’re so cold and you’re playing on somebody’s natural ice rink out in the middle of nowhere. Those are probably the first hockey games I remember."
CBCSports.ca: Who was your funniest teammate, and why?
Regehr: "Probably the funniest teammate I’ve had in professional hockey would be Jamie McLennan. He was a guy that a lot of people remember from being a back-up goaltender for four or five NHL teams. He had a great personality, he had a great sense of humour, he was always joking around with guys.
"What made Jamie pretty funny too was that he always liked the same things all the time, he liked to eat the same food. He would only eat chicken that was pretty much burnt. He wanted well-done chicken, he was very worried about how his chicken was done, and he always ate it with rice. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him eat anything green in his life, so he was a very particular guy and you know, one with a great, great sense of humour, so he’d probably have to be my pick."
CBCSports.ca: Where was the most memorable tournament you ever played, and why?
Regehr: "Probably the most memorable tournament would have to be right here at the Air Canada Centre. I played in the World Cup of Hockey in 2004 for Team Canada. We ended up winning it here, in the ACC, and it was a great feeling. My parents had a chance to come out and watch the game, so that made it that much more special."
CBCSports.ca: Where was the worst arena you’ve ever played at? What was it like?
Regehr: "It would have to be Domremy, Saskatchewan. Oh ya, I thought of that right away, because my feet used to always freeze in that arena. It was shaped like a half oval and it was one of those rinks that had the icicles and frost on the inside of the metal roof, and it always seemed like it was five or 10 degrees colder inside than even outside. That was probably the worst rink."
CBCSports.ca: Where was the coldest game of hockey you ever played?
Regehr: "I played a lot of games outside as a kid, but that arena in Domremy might have been the coldest."
CBCSports.ca: Who is the most memorable hockey parent you ever met? Why?
Regehr: "I probably have the most memorable hockey parent as my mother, because she always used to end up yelling at the refs, but not in a bad way. I was always one of the biggest kids, believe it or not [he’s now 6’3", 225 lbs.], and I would get lots of penalties called against me, sometimes just for being big or aggressive out there.
"My mom always ended up yelling at the referees a lot, so one year the parents of the other kids on the team, they chipped in and bought my mom her own referee shirt, a striped shirt, and whistle. I think it said No. 1 fan ref on the back of it.
"When I got into playing junior and professionally, the rinks got bigger and the crowds bigger, and now I can’t hear her yelling at the referees anymore."