Name: Ralph Barahona
Nick name: HAWK long story...
What is your favorite music?: All kinds, depends on the mood.
Favorite animal?: DOG!!!
Favorite TV Show?: Don't watch very much TV. I like trivia shows though.
Favorite website?: Barahonahockey.com - if I ever get it done. Then
Puckhandlers.com of course
Favorite food?: Steak
All time favorite movie?: Rocky 1
Favorite actor? Paul Newman, Robert DeNiro & Ashley Judd, Julia Roberts
Pet hate?: You mean Pet Peeve?
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KB: Rather than root
around with soft questions to get things going, I'm going to get to the
point, 'How bloody cool was it to get a run in the NHL?'
RB: It was a dream I never thought possible come true. But while I was
in it, I felt like I belonged there.
KB: Did you know it
would happen or was it one of those things that just happened and the
next thing you knew you were playing in front of 21,000 people?
RB: When I finally signed it all just kind of happened. I knew I was
playing good enough but just needed the chance and eventually got it.
KB: Do you look back in disappointment that your stint in the NHL didn't
last longer or do you look at it like a dream come true?
KB: Now the token soft stuff, what type of hockey gear do you
KB: How long have you been playing hockey?
RB: 32 years, 11 years pro
KB: How does an American kid in LA get involved in hockey?
RB: My father was originally from Boston and moved to California in the
1950's. Most of the kids that played here were in similar situations. I
am guessing the same may be the case for many Australian players.
KB: Was hockey
popular in LA when you were growing up?
RB: Hockey in 1969 was just getting going cause the Los Angeles Kings
had just started in 1967 so there was some interest out there. And then
we had the Triple Crown Line. I'd like to know how many Aussie's know
KB: What number do you wear?
RB: As a kid #9. 16 now when possible
KB: Why do you wear that number?
RB: It became my favorite number in high school after I couldn't get
number 9. Marcel Dionne wore 16 in LA. Ralph Backstrom wore number 9
when I was a kid. That one should be obvious.
KB: Who is your all time favorite hockey player and why?
RB: Ray Bourque, because we became friends during training camp and he
helped me heaps getting through it. It was great to see him win a well
deserved Stanley Cup!
KB: Most memorable ice hockey moment?
RB: Scoring my 1st NHL goal. A close 2nd would be scoring the
Championship winning goal with 10 seconds left in the game and series
while playing for the San Diego Gulls in the WCHL and having my dad
there to see it.
KB: Most memorable inline hockey moment?
RB: While playing for Team USA at the World Championships and winning
the Gold medal the second time from Canada.
KB: What player over your career did you most enjoy playing with?
RB: That's easy, Ray
KB: What player over your career did you most enjoy playing against?
RB: I have played and skated with Gretzky but not in an actual NHL game.
In a real game probably Guy Lafleur.
KB: Any one player leave a more lasting impression than the others?
RB: Chris Nilan - He was the guy that always kept the locker room
laughing and up for games. Awesome guy!!
KB: While playing in
the Australian Pro Tournament what did you think of the Australian
players and their style of play?
RB: The Australian players had good individual skills from what I saw
but the difference versus North American teams would be the passing and
positional instincts. Those two things can make a good team great.
KB: Any one thing we should be working on to improve on an International
RB: Passing is very important part of the game, rather than trying to
skate the puck from end to end. Even I'll pass the puck as much as
possible. The puck will always move faster than the players. One place
you shouldn't pass to much is in the shooting zone. If you have the
shot, take it.
KB You have played in the NHL for the Boston Bruins and USA at the World
Championships a couple of times. Which do you prefer ice or inline? Why?
RB:I prefer Ice just because I can control my skating much easier and
Ice is just much faster speed wise and I enjoy that. The Boston Bruins
will always win out over the World Championships. Sorry Karl.
KB Which has more potential in the USA?
RB: More people will play Inline because it's less expensive to play,
But for those looking to go to college or play pro hockey then Ice has
more potential. But knowing how to play inline can help you in ice and I
show how in my clinics.
KB: Any advice for the juniors and Australian players who were
dumbfounded by your skills? By the way we are all still trying to get
our heads around that backhand. WOW!
RB: Practice, Practice, Practice. I used to practice my backhands after
every practice during my college and pro career. Much like you
Australian players I grew up in a place (Los Angeles, California) where
hockey players aren't supposed to be produced. I managed to beat the
odds and you can to if you are willing to make sacrifices. If you get
lucky and manage to pull it off, suddenly it all seems worth it!
KB : What is the mood like in America with the war and the aftermath of
the September 11th Terrorist attacks?
We are very pissed and will do whatever it takes to eliminate these kind
of people from the world. It's amazing how the American people have come
together in the face of adversity, the country is stronger now then ever
KB: If you were given the chance to have Osama (In the Bin) Laden taped
to the net and were given an ice hockey puck and only one shot, would
you go for his nuts or hit him between the eyes?
RB: If he was anywhere near me, I wouldn't even worry about the puck.
The stick would work just fine.
KB Thanks mate.