Defending the Blue Line: Ryan Blair

This article can be found published on Something’s Bruin.
Ryan Blair has an assist in his 17 games as a Royal. (Candice Monhollan)

Ryan Blair has an assist in his 17 games as a Royal. (Candice Monhollan)

Defenseman Ryan Blair can be seen anchoring the back-end for the Reading Royals over the past month after coming over in a trade from the Toledo Walleye on January 31. The 25 year old is in his first season of pro hockey after spending four years at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and two years on the Texarkana Bandits (now St. Louis) of the NAHL.

Blair sat down to discuss his career as a hockey player and some of the shock he’s gone through after being traded twice in the ECHL.

Candice Monhollan: How did you get started in hockey?
Ryan Blair: “I grew up in Canada, so I started when I was 3 years old on the outdoor rinks. I started playing hockey when I was really young and I loved the game ever since.

CM: When did you start living in Virginia?
RB: “I lived in Canada until I was 16 and then moved to Virginia [for] my dad’s job.”

CM: Did you start as a defenseman?
RB: “I played forward and defense growing up, but when I was 17 or 18 playing junior hockey, I decided I was going to be a defenseman. I’ve been a defenseman ever since then.”

CM: What made you choose to go to college at UMass-Lowell?
RB: “I played a year of junior up in the area and talked to a few schools up there and just thought it would be a good fit for me. I really liked it there.”

CM: What did you major in?
RB: “Liberal Arts.”

CM: If you weren’t a hockey player, what profession could you see yourself in?
RB: “I don’t really know. I hope to play hockey for a couple more years, then I’ll figure something out after that.”

CM: How has your first year of pro been going for you?
RB: “It’s been a learning experience. There’s a lot of movement in this league with players going up and down and getting traded. I’ve had fun everywhere I’ve been and met lots of good guys along the way, so it’s going well.”

CM: Did you have any warnings that you were going to be traded either time?
RB: “No, not really, either time I got traded. I didn’t have any clue that I would be getting traded. It was a little bit of a shock, but I guess you adapt to it and deal with it after it has happened a couple of times.”

CM: How do you like it in Reading?
RB: “It’s a lot of fun. I know Casey Haines from playing junior hockey with him, so it was nice to at least know a guy coming in here. All the guys seem great and hopefully we can make a run into the playoffs.”

CM: How is the fan base in Reading compared to the other teams?
RB: “The fans here are awesome. They’re definitely devoted to the team, so that’s great to see.”

RAPID FIRE

Favorite TV show?
SportsCenter

Favorite band?
“Red Hot Chili Peppers”

Celebrity crush?
“Beyoncé”

Phobias?
“Nope.”

Any hidden talents?
“I can speak a little bit of French from growing up in Canada and I used to play the drums.”

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
“Be invisible.”

If you could play for any NHL team, who would it be and why?
Washington Capitals. I live close to them now in Virginia.”

Best prank you ever pulled?
“I’m not much of a prankster. I like joking around, but not a huge prankster.”

Best prank ever pulled on you?
“My first year in college, a couple of buddies on the team stole my laptop out of my room when I wasn’t there. I was freaking out and going crazy for about half hour, so I guess that was a pretty good prank.

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Categories: ECHL, Features, Ice Hockey, Sports

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