Alumni Spotlight: Chris Simon
[WashingtonCaps.com continues the series "Alumni Spotlight," where WashingtonCaps.com interviews former Washington Capitals players, coaches and personalities. Previous Alumni Spotlights include Craig Laughlin, Ron Weber, Alan May, Joe Juneau, Ken Sabourin, 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): What was your time with the Washington Capitals like? Any memories that stand out throughout your career?
Chris Simon (CS): Playing in Washington was a lot of fun for me. Looking back at that part of my career brings a smile to my face. It was then that I started to become the complete player that I knew I could be. The team and the fans were always great to me and it gave me the confidence I needed to succeed.
WC.com: You are still playing in a competitive league after over two decades in a sport that many people don't last one decade in. What do you attribute your success and longevity to?
CS: To be able to play hockey this long has a lot to do with my personal trainer, T.R. Goodman. He taught me what I needed to do to stay healthy with all the problems I had with my shoulder and back injuries. I think it was a lot of hard work and some luck too.
WC.com: After your NHL career you went to the KHL. What are some of the differences between the two leagues?
CS: The biggest difference is the size of the ice surface in the KHL - Olympic size - which is bigger than NHL rinks. There is less body checking and a lot more puck control in the KHL.
WC.com: How much longer would you like to play professional hockey?
CS: I will play until I am not enjoying the game or not get offered a contract; what else could be better than getting paid for something I would do for free? I love the game and the fans are the main reason I think all of us players enjoy this sport so much.
WC.com: Do you still keep in touch with any of your former Caps teammates?
CS: Some of the guys are on Facebook, but that is pretty much it.
WC.com: You are currently playing for Novokuznetsk Matllurg, what else are you up to overseas?
CS: When we get time off I try to go fishing or ice fishing, but we spend most of the days at the rink. I spend a lot of time at the rink. It’s different here with all the practice, workout, video meetings and travel, we do not get much free time.