What are your first hockey memories?
Wearing my little Penguins jersey and my dad's helmet [Ryan's father Greg played for Pittsburgh for seven seasons]. Just playing around our house in Pittsburgh with my jersey and dad's helmet. I used a clothes hamper for a goal.
What's the best part of being in the NHL?
Everything. Too much to mention.
Give us your top five then.
1. My teammates
2. The rink
3. The atmosphere
4. The pranks
5. Getting better from the intense competition
What's the toughest aspect of playing in the NHL?
Not a darn thing. Are you kidding?
No, we're not. There's got to be something.
There isn't. The only thing that would probably suck would be all the travel if I played in the Western Conference. Those guys have it rough sometimes. But I've played for Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, so I've got nothing for you.
Any game-day rituals?
If you could lay a big, clean hit on anyone in the league, who would it be?
Ryan Whitney in Anaheim. He's a good friend from when we were together in Pittsburgh, but he's one player I'd like to hit hard.
Which teammate of yours would you like to be for one day? Just so you know, Steven Stamkos picked you because of the tattoos.
That's funny, because I would have picked Stamkos. To be 19 years old and already play so well in this league ... that's just incredible to me. When I was 19, I was still finishing high school in Omaha! Oh man, to be 19 and have that kind of talent. You can only dream.