Taking Liberties With… Chase Balisy
Position: Forward, Springfield Thunderbirds (AHL)
Hometown: Rancho Santa Margarita
Last Amateur Team: Western Michigan University (CCHA/NCHC)
Youth Teams: Anaheim Jr. Ducks, South Coast Sabres, Long Beach Jr. Ice Dogs
California Rubber: What is your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Chase Balisy: Winning the Squirt state championship when Konstantin Lodnia was our coach with the Ice Dogs in 2002. No one gave us a chance and we ended up playing well and winning states. That team had Emerson Etem, Tyler Tosunian, Dominic Carbonaro and Matt Konan.
CR: What is your favorite memory in the game since leaving California?
CB: It has to be the CCHA championship in 2012 at Western Michigan. We were predicted to come in last place by everyone and the team succeeds. It’s fun being part of those types of stories.
CR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice?
CB: All of my coaches growing up. I always had good coaches, whether at the U.S. National Team Development Program, college or pro. I always had coaches that cared and wanted the best for me. My parents (John and June) were huge, obviously. I appreciate everything they’ve sacrificed.
CR: What advice would you give young hockey players?
CB: The main thing is to have fun and enjoy it. Not everyone is going to make it to the next level. Enjoy all the experiences and all the moments and cherish the time to play.
CR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
CB: During summers, I love to golf. I try to golf as much as I can, especially in California with the great weather.
CR: Do you have a favorite meal or pregame meal?
CB: I’m a big egg person, so I have a lot of omelets. Before games, I like chicken and sweet potatoes and salad.
CR: Are there are any pieces of gear you’re particular about?
CB: Not at all. Some guys are into that kind of stuff. I’m not too superstitious.
CR: What are essential items to take on a road trip?
CB: I’ve been trying to read more. I always bring a book and headphones so I can read or listen to music. I usually just throw on Pandora. Books-wise, I like Freakonomics. I like to hone up on business skills. I’m reading a biography about Elon Musk now.
CR: When you’re back in California, do you have a favorite meal or restaurant?
CB: I really like experimenting, trying new places. So I try to get out to different restaurants.
CR: Did you have a favorite player growing up?
CB: My dad was from Toronto, so I liked the Maple Leafs. Mats Sundin was a player I looked up to. That’s why I wear the No. 13.
CR: If you weren’t playing pro hockey, what do you think you’d be doing?
CB: I have a finance degree. I’m big into the stock market, so it would have to be something to do with finance, a broker or an analyst.
CR: What is the most challenging aspect of playing pro hockey?
CB: From college to pro, it’s different. It becomes more of a job, so you have to think of it that way. It hasn’t been a challenge, but it’s a battle. You’re competing with every player out there who’s trying to advance himself.
– Compiled by Chris Bayee