I’ve always enjoyed asking questions.
I remember an Anne Murray song from when I was a kid titled “Why, Why, Why?” The song is a conversation between a mother and daughter, where the little one asks some of the incredible questions that we all pondered when we were five.
It includes golden nuggets such as “why can’t a mouse eat a streetcar,” and “why can’t a cow have kittens?” When finally asked why her questions weren’t being answered, Anne answers honestly “Because I don’t know the answers, good night good night.”
Perhaps I liked it because I could relate, or maybe it in fact sparked my question asking career. Either way, finding answers has become the highlight to my day.
I remember when Jesse Blacker named a Katy Perry song as the tune the 2011 development camp crew would ‘graduate’ to. Christian Hanson (who recently signed a new deal with the Boston Bruins) told me about Saturday morning breakfasts with his dad and how it was essentially a fridge cleaning ritual as he mixed all the leftovers together.
Mark Owuya has opened up about soccer, Ben Scrivens admits to his love for Canadian music including Ontario bands The Tragically Hip and Alexisonfire. Music is a common theme in the locker room; Joe Colborne has talked about playing guitar, Matt Lashoff opened up on what it was like to release an album and Nazem Kadri shared disappointment over having to leave for a St. John’s road trip early forcing him to miss the Jay-Z and Kanye West concert.
Unfortunately though, it looks like my asking questions days have come to an end. Perhaps it all started when the Leafs Community Manager, Matt Iaboni, bypassed me in the G+ hangout with Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins. It was evident perhaps that the things I ask just aren’t that original, and to be honest, maybe they’re just exhausted with my squeaky voice.
It’s your turn.
Maple Leafs assistant general manager Dave Poulin has asked for your questions (not mine) when we sit down with him in his ACC office on Thursday morning. It’s your turn to put your journalist visor on, stick a pencil in the band and get to work.
Since I can’t ask any questions myself, perhaps I can lend a few points – some of the tricks I’ve picked up over the years.
Prepare. As much fun as it is to table questions involving a favourite breakfast cereal or whether they prefer cherry or spearmint gum, you can really wow the interviewee by doing a little bit of homework. Perhaps you review the assistant GM’s thoughts regarding a particular trade or event on a MapleLeafs.com video before posing your question. It can’t hurt.
One question at a time. Sometimes I get so worked up that I ask two or three part questions (i.e.: do you think so-and-so’s play has improved, and if so what areas does he still have to work on). What I’ve learned is that this is a sure fire way to get a really long answer on one part, and a really short one on the other. If you have two questions, that’s cool, just submit them separately.
Tweet, darn you. Twitter has been great. It has allowed me to follow game updates when away from a television, it’s been the vessel for the Marlies to share roster movement or starting goalies ahead of a game, let alone it providing a healthy laugh on a daily basis. Now we’re using it for you to bring your hockey questions (preferably Marlies) to mister Poulin. So type out your question, check it twice, and tweet it using the #AskPouly hashtag (mainly so I can keep track of them all).
Listen for the Answer. Sometimes when I pitch a question, my mind immediately goes to preparing my next one instead of listening to the answer in its entirety. George Stroumboulopoulos – an interviewer with a style I’ve always admired – once stressed the importance of listening and how that can advance the interview. Sometimes one point can be so interesting, or so unexpected, that it is worth abandoning everything else you prepared in order to explore it further.
Now, for you it’ll be a little bit different. You’ll have a little bit of time between posing the question and receiving the answer, but listening to what’s said is just as important. Keep your eyes on Marlies.ca and the MapleLeafs.com video player for all the answers from the Leafs assistant GM. And of course, you can follow the @TorontoMarlies and myself (@chansler) on twitter, as we’ll be sharing some of the answers ahead of the video being released.
Now, one piece of recent news before I let you go. Drew Paris announced on twitter that he has signed in Germany for the upcoming season. Paris scored only a single goal during the regular season, but it was a doozie. On January 21st, the Quebec born defenceman notched the fourth goal of a game between the Hamilton Bulldogs and Toronto Marlies. The tally later held up as the game winner for Toronto in what was later dubbed the Steeltown Touchdown, the first AHL outdoor game to be held in Canada.