Talks to Dominique Paul October 2000

Corey Spring joins us this year for his first time in Britain. The 6’4” 29 year old winger brings with him a wealth of experience from 16 games in the NHL with Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins where he scored his first NHL goal in March 1998. He has also spent time in the AHL, IHL and in Germany with Augsburg Panthers last season.

Originally from British Columbia Corey got used to the ice hockey lifestyle from an early age, as his father Frank was a pro player. He played five seasons in the NHL and inspired his son to follow in his footsteps. “I started skating when I was about five years old and from the first time I managed to lace up my skates I knew this was what I was going to do, to be a hockey a player.”

Corey went on to play through the minor leagues and then on into university. Corey chose university partly as a way of getting on in the NHL, not necessarily for the educational aspect, and played collegiate hockey at Alaska-Anchorage before joining Tampa bay as a free agent in 1995. “Most kids are thinking about their education but I saw university as a stepping stone into the NHL. When I finish playing I’ll probably go back to school and look at doing something geared towards physiotherapy”.

Corey comes to the Storm with a British passport courtesy of his grandmother who was born in Banbury. She lived there until she was six and this makes his fathers first visit to England this month extra special. Springer likes life here in Manchester and has found the people friendly and the city interesting. Whilst he’s played in a number of large cities there are cultural differences over here such as the food and music, and he really isn’t too keen on the car parking situation and traffic. That aside, Corey is settling well and likes the work ethic of the Storm. “ This is a good place to play, the arena is really good with a great atmosphere and there is a great focus to win. Manchester Storm is known as a winning team and we’re all aware of that. The standard of the Superleague is high and I’ve noticed every team has some real good players. PC Drouin of Nottingham is one who could give us a bit of trouble, but I don’t think there is anyone in the league who is better than us and we have a lot of the best players in Britain right here in our locker room. We just have to come together and be consistent every night.”

Corey gave me his reaction to comments made by Sheffield after one of his checks led to Paul Beraldo being injured. “I know they’re upset with what happened, but I’m not the type of player to go out and try to hurt someone. I’m sorry the guy got hurt but that’s part of the game. I’ve been injured in the past but it is a physical game. Maybe it will be rough next time we play them.”

And what about the comments in the press? “I thought they really over did it. To threaten someone in the paper saying we’ll get him next time and he won’t finish the game, you know? That’s not good. If something happens I’ve got team mates who’ll look after me and I can do a pretty good job myself, but I’m not too worried about that.”

Away from the hockey Corey likes the quiet life says he can be quite shy! “I enjoy fishing, camping and hiking in the mountains in British Columbia and I travel to Alaska every spring for a fishing trip. I like nature and I’m looking forward to seeing more of England. When my family visit soon I’ll be taking them up to the Lake District.”

Having been voted the fans “Flavour of the Month” in the first poll by it seems that Corey has established himself as a firm favourite here at the Stormshelter. He feels this is something of an honour and will work hard try to keep the fans happy and help the team progress. “It’s great being in this building with the support we get. Going over to the Arches after a game and seeing everyone in their Storm jerseys waiting for autographs shows how great the fans are. It’s as long season and I believe we’ll get progressively stronger and be right there on top at the end!”

Dominique Paul (c) 2000AD.