Terry Watt: To date playing for the Red devils was the best decision I’ve ever made

Jan 16, 2014 - Since winning the championship with the Red Devils I’ve been back in the USA and Canada visiting family and friends for a week or so. I then had to get back on a plane and fly to my new team in France.

I was playing for the Evry Rouges for about a month when I got a call from old Red Devils coach Anatoly Khorozov who ask me to come join his team in Kazakhstan.

What part of the world are you in right now?

Right now I’m living in Atyrau, Kazakhstan.

What was your favourite experience with the Canterbury Red Devils?

Other than winning a championship with the Red Devils my favorite experience was getting to know all my teammates and learning about their beautiful country and culture.

How do you rate NZIHL hockey in terms skill and passion?

The skill level in the NZIHL is much higher than I ever expected. The Kiwi’s have some really great talent and great people coaching and making it better ever year. The passion of the players on my team was amazing; most of these kids have more passion than some guys I’ve ever played with before.

How many times are you on the ice per week now?

With my new team we are on the ice at least 6 days a week.

Before coming to New Zealand had you heard anything about the ice-hockey here?

No before coming to New Zealand I have never heard anything about the hockey before.

Do you have much spare time to sight-see or socialize with your new team?

lol with my new team its pretty much a full time job, We training every morning and have gym works outs everyday along with lots of cardio. Finding time and energy to do any site seeing is pretty difficult.

Have you told your new team mates about the NZIHL and the Red Devils?

Yes I have shared with many of my current teammates about my time with the Red Devils in New Zealand.

Would you ever come back to be involved with the Red Devils again?

If you team would have me back I would defiantly come back again in the near future.

How many games are in your season?

We have about 60 games in our season.

Who do you rate as the New Zealand born talents of the league?

Chris Eden, Brett Speirs, Michael Coleman, Paris Hyed, hayden Argyle and Jamie Lawrence are the names that stand out to me at this current time. But they have a lot of young talent coming up in the next few years. I see players like Jake Ratcliffe, Callum Burns, Bradley Apps and Jaxson Lane taking over as they get older and develop over time.

How many players on your new team's roster and how many coaches/staff?

We have 27 players on our roster and 3 coaches and probably about 8 other staff members that are in and out of the locker room each day.

How did playing for/being involved in the Red Devils in 2013 help you moving forward in your hockey (i.e. the connections you made)?

To date playing for the Red devils was the best decision I’ve ever made. Playing for the Devils brought me to met head coach Anatoly Khorozov who has now given me an opportunity playing on his team in Kazakhstan in one of the better leagues around the world. I’m now playing along the side of NHL, KHL, AHL, ECHL and CHL players, none of this would have been possible if I didn’t play for the Red Devils.

Do you think the NZIHL could potentially move to 24 (from 16) games and still retain players/competition?

I do believe that the NZIHL could make the jump to 24 games. I understand the cost will go up, but I think the teams have to do a better job and marketing the games and getting sponsors. If you guys market and advertise more you will get more fans and it will bring in more money. If you go out and get more sponsors this will cover the cost for the additional games and travel cost.

What are your thoughts on the 'import' rule, in which teams can have 4 non-New Zealanders? Do you think it should be more/less why/why not?

I think 4 is a good number, I personally wouldn’t go lower. And if you were going to go higher I would cap it at 5. But for me 4 or 5 is a good number, the goal should be to develop your Kiwi players, and having to many imports wont help that at all.

What are the some of biggest changes you have made or noticed since leaving the Canterbury Red Devils? Make a shout out to fans, friends or family back in Canterbury: Thanks for the interview and good luck for your future in hockey!

I haven’t made any real big changes since leaving, I’ve just moved on to my next challenge and I’m hoping to win another championship. Before singing off I want to thank the Red Devils organization and the fans. This experience was one of the best I’ve ever had, it has also opened the door for my in the hockey world and I’m now playing at a level I didn’t think I would ever be at. Everyone from the management to my teammates, you are all great people and I will never forget our season together and winning the Ship with a tremendous group of guys. I also want to personally thank the Ratcliffe family. Tim, Catherine, Jake and Lexi were the family that took care of me while I stayed in New Zealand. This family was tremendous and there are no words for how grateful I am for everything they did for me, they truly made my stay that more special.

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