Earlier this week, Roadrunners forward Hudson Fasching participated in a media availability with Tucson newspaper outlets and television stations.  The full conversation can be found below.

Brett Fera, Arizona Daily Star: You were named the team’s Man of the Year award winner, what does that mean to you as a person?

“This is definitely the first time I’ve got an award in this category and it’s a huge honor.  It shows the appreciation and I guess everyone enjoys being around me, at least a little bit.  I’m trying to be the best I can and my intentions are to always try and help the community and everyone around as best I can.  A big credit goes to the Tucson Roadrunners staff for them setting me up to be successful in helping the community too.”

Brett Fera, Arizona Daily Star: Given your background and the circumstances that your siblings endure every day, how big is that family component toward who you are as a person and being honored for something like this?

“Having a strong family and strong family values is something that’s really important to me. It’s a huge part of me and who I am. I think it’s also valuable to have that experience, knowing what it’s like to be in the hospital for extended periods of time and visiting other families.  It gives you a better perspective of what they’re going through and the understanding of how hard it is.  You know when you go in there it’s not easy to bring up conversation and you can’t ask how they’re doing because a lot of the time they’re not doing well. You try and find other things to distract them from the struggles they’re going through.  It’s personal to me and really relatable and that’s important as well.”

Eric Newman, Times Media Group – Lovin’ Life in Tucson Magazine: How did you find out that you won the award?

“I was notified via text by the Roadrunners staff.  Obviously it would’ve been a little different under normal circumstances but given what’s going on, that’s what happened.”

Eric Newman, Times Media Group – Lovin’ Life in Tucson Magazine: What was your initial reaction?

“It felt good that people recognized I was trying to help.  I was just trying to help in the community and it was nice to feel appreciated for that.  That was the first thing that I felt.”

Eric Newman, Times Media Group – Lovin’ Life in Tucson Magazine: Does this motivate you to keep branching out in the community?

“100%.  Being recognized is nice but the goal is really to just try and help the community.  Just to be out and about, knowing that we’re here to support the community any way we can.  The hospital visits, elementary schools, just trying to spread the positivity and the game of hockey but movements and exercise.  Bringing happiness to other people outside of the arena is very fulfilling. That’s what motivates me to go support the community as best as I can.”

Damien Alameda, Tucson News Now (KOLD): What’s life like for your these days?

“[Laughs] Well, I’m still in Tucson actually and I think I’m one of the only guys still here.  I’m still self-quarantining and I’m pretty disciplined about that.  I’ve been working out [with guidance] from our Strength & Conditioning Coach Matt Harder a bit.  Trying to stay busy and stay in shape as best as I can here.  I’ve been hanging out with my dog and my white and it’s good to have some time at home.  I’ve been finding other ways to entertain myself, we’ve got a couple puzzles going on, we’ve been cooking some meals but nothing too crazy.  Just trying to stay busy and stay in shape.

Brett Fera, Arizona Daily Star: There are worse places to be right now than Tucson, what was behind the decision for you to stick around?

“I rent my condo out back home and we have it rented out through May 1, so I don’t have anywhere to go [laughs].  That was part of the decision, but it also wasn’t too difficult of a decision to stay here.  The weather has been tremendous; I can sit on my balcony as much as I want.  We go on some hikes and there’s still some options to do here in terms of being outside, staying safe, social distancing and all of those items.”

David Kelly, News 4 Tucson – KVOA: If the season were to restart, how quickly do you think you and your teammates could be ready to play?

“It’s a tricky question. The big thing is that we don’t want to get hurt while we’re trying to get back quickly.  To give you an exact timeline would be tricky, but to me, a week or two would be something that could be a timeline for us to get back and get going again.  Obviously we’re athletes, we’re trying our best to stay in shape and there’s no ice available right now.  

Eric Newman, Times Media Group – Lovin’ Life in Tucson Magazine: Do you know any of the other AHL Man of the Year award winners?

“I used to play in Rochester, so I know Nathan Paetsch and he’s won it three years in a row for them. That was the only name I knew, others I recognized from having played against them, but I don’t know them personally. Nathan’s extremely involved in the community; he’s great in Rochester.  He has the experience and he knows what’s best to support the community there and I learned a lot from him playing there.  He’s also really involved with the Pro Hockey Players Association and does a lot of stuff outside of the game to really support it and be active.”

Eric Newman, Times Media Group – Lovin’ Life in Tucson Magazine: Have any of your teammates reached out to say congratulations?

“Yeah, quite a hand few of guys reached out to say congrats, good job and things like that.”

Brett Fera, Arizona Daily Star: What has communication with your teammates been like?  Have you stayed close?  Are there guys playing video games?  Is there a comradery still around?

Yeah, guys are definitely on Call of Duty together.  We have group chats that we talk in too, occasionally.  It’s definitely harder and it’s tricky but we stay in touch.  We’re a tight group.  We keep in touch as best we can.”

Hudson Fasching, Tucson News Now (KOLD): You mentioned working out, what types of things can and are you doing now to keep your legs ready?

“In terms of staying game ready it’s tricky, but at the same time, we have no definitive timeline for when we’ll be coming back.  It’ll probably be at least a week or two if or when we get back that we’ll have the notice. Being game ready is hard but I can make some gains right now in terms of strength and speed that under normal circumstances that would be much more challenging.  Because we have so much time available to us, we can take advantage of it.  We know that if we lift really heavy, we’re going to be sore for a few days and during the season we don’t want to do that.  Being game ready without ice is almost impossible, but you can make gains in other ways and take advantage of the situation as best you can.”

Brett Fera, Arizona Daily Star: You’d mentioned the offseason for a time to get your tooth fixed, are there still plans for that in some point?

[Note: Hudson had one of his front two teeth knocked out during a practice in November.]

“Yeah, I just had a call with a dentist the other day and she said that it might be tricky in terms of getting in this summer.  Her offices are closed except for emergencies only and obviously I don’t qualify for that, I’ll be just fine without a tooth.  So, I may have to wait until next season and then I’ll probably have to get an Invisilign to space out the gap so they can fit a tooth in.  This complicates my teeth situation a bit but a minor lisp and a minor whole in the front of my mouth isn’t the end of the world. It comes with the territory, I’ll be okay.”

Damien Alameda, Tucson News Now (KOLD): Tell us about one of the puzzles you’ve been doing or one of the most memorable meals that you’ve had to cook…

“I think we have one of the hardest puzzles I’ve ever tried to accomplish.  I was trying to do a Tucson-related one and it’s really hard because it’s basically just a landscape of all the same color.  I didn’t think that one through when I was ordering the puzzle, I was just like “oh, yeah, desert puzzle”.  Now we’re halfway through and it’s getting very difficult.

We made homemade ravioli, but we didn’t have all the right equipment.  It was good, but not quite as good, so we ordered a pasta-maker thing. So we’re going to try round two of that and see how it goes.  That was fun, it was a really involved meal.”