Getting To Know: Tyler Johnson

The Tampa Bay Lightning rookie talks about growing up a lousy skater, playing against Al MacInnis' kid and watching the Hall of Famer shoot, and more.
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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Status: Tampa Bay Lightning center.

Height: 5-foot-9 Weight: 182 pounds

DOB: July 29, 1990 In: Spokane, Washington

First Hockey Memory: "I think when I was four years old, we were skating in the old skate with the Chiefs in the WHL, in the intermission game. I remember that and the crowd was going nuts. And I thought that was the coolest thing - to be able to play in front of a crowd of people."

Hockey Inspirations: "I think the biggest thing for me is actually my family. I didn't grow up watching all the hockey, it wasn't on TV a lot. So for me it was just my mom and dad and grandparents. They kind of pushed me through everything and gave me the opportunity. So I have to give that to them."

Last Book Read: "I'm actually reading The Diversion Theory."

Current Car: "I have a Ranger Rover (black)."

First Famous Hockey Player You Met Or Encountered: "I remember I played against Al MacInnis's kid growing up one year. And I got to meet him and watch him shoot slap shots. That was pretty cool."

Greatest Sports Moment: "I've been thankful, I've been playing on a lot of great teams. I think it would be winning championships, either Memorial Cup, world juniors or the Calder Cup. I mean, all three of them are up there."

Most Painful Moment: "Broke my collarbone when I was fifteen. (How?) I hit a guy, but he hit me harder (smiles)."

Most Memorable Goal: "When I was 10 years old in a tournament, semifinals, double overtime, classic from the top of the circle. Pretty big for me."

Funniest Player Encountered: "In Norfolk, I think Alex Picard. And (Eric) Brewer is pretty funny. He always has a wisecrack on someone."

Fiercest Competitor(s) Encountered: "I remember (Brendan) Gallagher in juniors was pretty tough. We always had some good battles. That was always fun."

Favorite Uniforms: "I really like Tampa's blue uniform. I think they're pretty cool."

Why Do You Love Playing Hockey: "It's just fun. It's just everything about it. Being competitive. And something I've done my whole life. It's just something I've kind of built my life around. For me, hockey's part of my life and I enjoy every single day of it."

Funny Hockey Memory: "I just like going back and watching the videos of me growing up and skating. I actually skated really pigeon-toed. It was kind of funny. If you would have seen the videos then, you'd never thought I'd be a hockey player now, that's for sure."

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "To play - golf. To watch - football."

Three Athletes You Like To Watch And Follow: "How about Tiger Woods. Messi. And...I used to really like watching Marty St-Louis, so I'll say him."

People/Personality Qualities Most Admired: "I think just honest and happy-go-lucky. Never being down on yourself. Staying up. And I think that goes a long way."

Mark ‘Scoop’ Malinowski’s new book “Facing Federer” is available on www.amazon.com. Malinowski is the creator of two websites: www.thebiofile.com and www.tennis-prose.com

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