This week on the Tucson Roadrunners Insider Podcast, “Voice of the Roadrunners” Adrian Denny and TucsonRoadrunners.com’s Jimmy Peebles were joined by forward Curtis Douglas following his first season in the desert. The full episode, including Curtis reacting to several teammates nominating him to appear on the Podcast, can be found on the iHeartRadio App or by listening below.Listen to “Curtis Douglas Drops By” on Spreaker.
Q: Thanks for joining us Curtis, what are you up to today?
A: I just got back from skating, and now I’m just hanging out at my place (in Ontario). We have a little lake spot, so hopefully it’s not too foggy later and I can hang out by the lake. It was a quarry that they filled with water probably 50 years ago. We moved in a few years ago and it’s big enough for a jet ski but not a boat. It’s great for weekend activities, you can sit out there and enjoy the rest. We call it Douglas Lake (laughs).
Q: What was it like living with Ryan McGregor during the season once you were in Tucson?
A: It was awesome. I read a little bit of what he said in his interview, and he said that we have a lot of mutual friends. It’s funny, I actually met his mom before I met him, it was at a dinner party thing with my girlfriend. That was like a year before I met him, and we did have a ton of mutual friends. When I got (to Tucson), he didn’t have a roommate and it was a two-bedroom place, so I kind of just weaseled my way into that spot. Luckily, he’s a great dude and all joking aside he’s probably one of my best friends. It’s pretty funny how the hockey world works, and I’m really lucky that it worked out that way.
Q: What is it like having so many teammates and members of the hockey world up there in Ontario during the offseason?
A: It’s pretty funny, you run into people that you battle against all year. I don’t hold grudges or anything like that, so it’s pretty cool going from battling (during the season) to being buddies (in the offseason). I haven’t been able to see (any teammates) as much as I’d like to, but I skated with “Greggy” (Ryan McGregor) once this summer. There’s so many people jammed into this area here, if you go to Downtown Toronto you can always run into people you played against or played with, which is pretty cool.
Q: Have you been practicing or skating with anyone else that we would know this offseason?
A: I’ve been doing a lot of power skating, so it’s mostly just been me and a skating coach or me and one other person. That’s a point of my game that I’ve really been focusing on. I haven’t really skated with too many people.
Q: Was there extra competition when you were growing up playing hockey in the Toronto area?
A: It’s pretty special up here when a lot of guys stick with it and start climbing up the ranks. There are so many minor hockey teams, and you’ll play with people from age six to 16. I have a ton of friends who I played hockey with who don’t play anymore, but you can feel them cheering for you and giving you support. It’s cool getting together with them over the years and seeing the paths everyone took.
Q: You probably get this question a lot, but how long have you been a head taller than everyone else on the ice being six-foot-nine?
A: I’ve always been taller, but two years before my draft year I grew like eight inches in five months. That I was tough, I looked like Bambi out there on the ice for a little bit (laughs) I was consistently taller than everyone else but then really sprouted the one year, and that was a bit of an adjustment.
Q: Did you ever get into any other sports?
A: I played baseball and lacrosse, but I wasn’t much of a football player. I wish I did play, I think it would have been fun. I should go and see if the Tucson Sugar Skulls need a tight end.
Q: After your first six months in Tucson, what did you love the most about Southern Arizona? A: I think some of my friends are getting mad at me for talking about how much I love Tucson at this point. I had never been to Arizona in my life, I could not have told you what a picture of Arizona in my brain would look like. I was shocked at how beautiful and picturesque Tucson was. The thing I liked the most was the hiking, it’s so cool how you can find those mountainous spots and look over the horizon. It’s so beautiful, the people are super cool and super nice, and I really loved how much the fans got into the game.