1-on-1 With Cam Crotty

Tucson Roadrunners Defenseman Cam Crotty joined Adrian Denny, Kim Cota-Robles and Arizona Daily Star Sports Editor Brett Fera this week on Roadrunners Happy Hour. Catch Happy Hour every Tuesday at 5 p.m. on Fox Sports 1450 AM and the Roadrunners Happy Hour Podcast on the iHeartRadio app. For the complete episode, and to hear about rooming with Dylan Guenther, you can download below.

Listen to “Guess The Rabbit” on Spreaker.

Q: Tell us about last Sunday morning when you got called-up to the Coyotes and made your NHL debut that night?

Crazy day. It’s funny, I actually had a little trouble getting to sleep that night just coincidentally, so I was pretty tired in the morning when my phone started buzzing. I’m like I just know this is way too early, this isn’t my alarm, what’s going on here? Then it was Wags (Director of Hockey Operations Jake Wagman) on the phone and it was whirlwind of a day after that. (Our equipment managers) had assembled my gear at the rink we all went down there together. I shipped off to the airport and then basically went right to the rink when I got there. There wasn’t a whole lot of time for lounging around or anything.

Q: Was your family at the game or did they watch on TV?

My family is in Ontario. It wasn’t too late of a game. It was five o’clock, so not the typical 10pm. That’s prime time for them, right there three hours later than us. But yeah it was good. I texted them in the morning to let them know that I was going to be playing and then unfortunately there’s just not enough time in the day for them to get out there in person, but everyone was watching online and I think they had all the same emotions, whether it was in person or through the TV screen, but it was everything I had ever dreamed of. Super cool to get to have done that.

Q: What was that solo lap like?

Yeah, it was really cool. You’re walking down the hallway and it’s a little bit longer of a hallway then I’m used to I guess, but it was a bit of a blur. You’re just so excited, nervous, thrilled, every emotion you can think of. I think I was just going out there trying to make sure I hit the net a couple times and then maybe don’t wipe out or something like that. I should have taken my helmet off, let the hair flow, but whatever, I did it with the bucket on. It was unbelievable to look at that video and it was pretty special.

Q: How do you keep going and motivating yourself when you get called up for a game or two and then sent back down? Is that encouraging or discouraging?

I mean I’m human, there’s definitely times I can think back where there were some dark days of doubt and whatever you want to call it. There’s hard times. Right now, I’ve been in the minors for, I think it was, 209 or 210 games before I played one game in the NHL. It’s a long road, but at the same time, there’s reasons that it takes that long. Guys are always trying to get better and that was the case for me. Right, I’m still here trying to try to get better and improve myself in any way I can.Those times that I did get to kind of go up and be around the team you just kind of use them as motivation, right, that’s where guys want to get to, want to be a part of that league. I think it’s just the only way you can deal with it the right way, is to use it as motivation, and that’s what I’ve tried to do every single day. But I think now when I came back, after the game that I played last Sunday, I think it is just so much motivation for me now. I’m like wow, I just want to get back, I want to do it again. Definitely a glass half full mindset, like you said. I think that’s the best way to go about it.

Q: As Alternate Captains, how do you and Ben McCartney decide who’s talking to the refs and who’s taking the ceremonial puck drops and things like that when Captain Steven Kampfer isn’t out there?

I mean if it’s a special night, like a face off right before the anthem, that is Kampfer’s job, unless he taps one of us and says “hey go take it or whatever.” Or if it’s something that is super meaningful to one of the players, they don’t have to have a letter to go do it. I know in the past, maybe guys are playing against a family member or something like that where they would go. Like when we played Abbotsford and there was some puck drop, the Raty boys might go out there and do it something like that. And then talking to the refs I think that’s just kind of whoever’s up, if somebody’s out there. Usually it’s Kampfer. But the refs at this level definitely respect experience. So, if we’re trying to get a point across, it’s probably better to send Kempfer over there, rather than Benny or myself.

Q: When was the last time you were without the beard?

College probably, I mean I’ll shave in the summers. I’ll take it down from time to time, this year I’ve kind of just rocked with it for all of the year but also, I’ve done handlebars in the past for November which is always fun. I guess we have different opinions on that. I feel like I look way too young when I have a clean shaven face. I like having the beard. I feel like so many people wish they could grow a good beard, so I’m trying to honor them that way by growing mine. My brother was here, a few of you you met my brother, he’s had the same beard, probably twice the size of mine.  I’m not sure if I can picture him without a beard, as long as I can remember he’s had one. He’s had it since he could grow it.