Alumni Spotlight: Ken Sabourin
[WashingtonCaps.com continues the summer seiries "Alumni Spotlight," where WashingtonCaps.com interviews former Washington Capitals players. Previous Alumni Spotlights include Michal Pivonka, Kevin Kaminski, Dennis Maruk, Scott Walker, Brian Pothier, Chris Clark, Ken Klee, Matt Pettinger, Ben Clymer, Bryan Muir, Jamie Heward, Brendan Witt and Anson Carter.]
WashingtonCaps.com (WC.com): You were traded to the team in the early ‘90s. What do you remember most about the Capitals as you were coming over?
Ken Sabourin (KS): I remember when I got traded, I was in the minors and I was on the road. They came down to my room, told me I got traded and that I was headed to Washington. The biggest thing I remember is not eating, just getting in and going right to the rink and having to play. It was all new, new room, new players: Rod Langway, Dino Ciccarelli, guys like that it was kind of an eye opener. It was fun, it was exciting. I was nervous, but it was exciting.
WC.com: How does the team and the environment of the city compare from your time as a player to now with you working as an analyst?
KS: Obviously, the hockey is completely different I think. You play in the same rink and everything, but the speed, the size, the strength; the skill of guys is just unbelievable. You always had the top-six forwards and top-four forwards, but now everybody can play the game. The game itself is in great shape right now. It’s fun to watch and be a part of. There are some different concepts; it was little bit more physical back then, a little more intimidation you might want to call it. Besides, they get their own charter planes now; we had to fly commercial back then. That made a big difference too.
WC.com: Did your playing time in D.C. influence your desire to go into radio when you were done?
KS: At that time, I didn’t think that, I was just kind of playing and having fun doing it. I met my wife here, and I have my family which is why I reside here. It was a great time; I really enjoyed my time here. I came back every summer and it’s my home now. At the time though, I didn’t think “Oh I want to go be on the radio. I want to do this or coaching.” I was still playing, I wasn’t really thinking about it, but it worked out great. I love doing it, being a part of the team.
WC.com: How does your time as a player in the NHL help you as an analyst?
KS: I think you just realize the way people are. I think just being in the game, I understand things have changed a lot in the last 20 years in terms of how guys are, but it’s still being a part of that group, that 25, 23 guys, whatever it may be on the roster. I still understand what they’re going through. It’s not all fun and games all the time. It really helps because you can sit there and read what’s going on. The way a guy is developing, the way a game is developing because maybe they just traveled. People don’t realize because they’re getting paid a lot of money, but bottom line is this may be their third game in four nights or something and they’ll be a little tired, mentally or physically. It’s things like that, little insights, that may explain why the team is doing what they’re doing or not doing what they’re doing.
WC.com: Do you still keep in touch in any former teammates?
KS: Yeah, there are a couple guys I talk to every once in a while, not a whole lot. We all move on as you know, everybody gets families, kids, and that takes up a lot of your time, but there are still guys I keep in touch with.
WC.com: Other than your work as an analyst, can you tell me about what else you have been up to on and off the ice?
KS: I opened up an insurance company; I do property and casualty through Erie Insurance and life annuities. I do every kind of insurance out there, so I have Sabourin Insurance and that’s what I do the majority of the day in the Virginia, Maryland, D.C., Pennsylvania and a little bit of Delaware area too. That’s pretty much my main job to keep that company running. Then I have the kids, three kids, and I coach my son in hockey so we’re pretty busy, all over the place. I’m going all the time.