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Hey, Hey, Hay: Steelheads defenseman plays it cool off the ice

Tuesday, February 12th
Hey, Hey, Hay: Steelheads defenseman plays it cool off the ice

MICHAEL BROTZMAN Special to the ArbiterIssue date: 2/11/08 Section: SportsPicture a town sitting at the base of rising foothills, accompanied by a recreational river winding through the heart of the city, trees filling in the spaces between houses and buildings and an atmosphere where if you were to meet a stranger the chances are they know someone you know. Must be Boise right? Well it's not. It's Kamloops, B.C.; the home town of the Idaho Steelheads veteran, two time ECHL All Star and two time Kelly Cup winner, Darrell Hay. With only a population of 82,000, Darrell expresses, "Man, Kamloops is a lot like Boise." Darrell grew up in a house of a stay at home mom, twin sisters and a dad who was a firefighter plus a coach in the NHL, AHL, and WHL. Hay said his best memory of home is graduating from high school with honors in Kamloops with best friends, which today he is still close with. He dreamed of possibly being a firefighter like his dad, but like so many kids in Canada, hockey became a standard. A standard that led him to play for the WHL Tri-Cities Americans (1997-2000) and attend community college, in which he took courses in business and marketing and earned scholastic player of the year. After a year as an Everblade (00-01), Darrell had a nine game stint with the Kansas-City Blades and was able to define his not so all-star moment. "I was checkin' out some girls next to the bench," Hay said. " forgot that the bench was shorter than most others, I went to sit down, missed the bench and sent a confetti of sticks and gloves into the air and bench area in front of thousands of fans. What made the moment worse was the fact that they were the cousins of my teammate at the time." Not letting that moment hold him back, Darrell has had a successful career. Playing in over 740 games, honors of two ECHL All-Star appearances as Captain and Alternate Captain and two Kelly Cups as a Steelhead ('04 and '07). Hay said the All-Star appearances have been a chance to represent, not only Boise, but Idaho, and a benchmark organization that many guys on other teams look at and want to emulate. Perhaps they want to emulate the lessons Hay learned from his father that include: commitment of work ethic and process of duplicating success has formed Darrell into a 'coach on the ice'. "I want to be that teammate that the new guys or rookies can come to and have me help them on the ice or even to be a release from their personal lives," Hay said. Hay also communicates to his new teammates that "the crest on the chest is what is most important" and "make sure you take time to smell the roses? look for the work of your wear." Darrell has learned to do this with a mixture of off the ice activities such as being a movie junkie, spending time with his dog and doing house and yard work. But these escapes aren't only from the games but from the other obstacles he faces in life. "Understanding women, dealing with my father's and my success and having to hear that my size as a defenseman wasn't big enough," Hay said. You can see Darrell Hay and the rest of the defending 2007 ECHL Kelly Cup Champions this Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday (February 13th, 15th, 16th) against the Phoenix Roadrunners at the Qwest Arena.The preceding article was written by Mike Brotzman, a marketing student participating in the Idaho Steelheads Internship Challenge presented by The Arbiter. Four students compete head-to-head in a series of real world sports marketing tasks. One will be offered a full time position with the Idaho Steelheads. For additional information, visit idahosteelheads.com/boisestate.

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