Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee's reputation as a fighter in his playing days is well documented, especially here. So it should come as no surprise that Jeff Halpern, whom McPhee just signed for a second tour of duty in D.C., is scared of him.
"Absolutely," Halpern said when asked whether McPhee intimidates him in an interview with "The Sports Junkies" on 106.7 The Fan. "I try to get in and out as fast as I can."
Halpern was kidding, of course. He went on to talk about how it's all an act with McPhee
"Actually, away from the rink, he's an easy guy to talk to. I don't think he tries to intimidate. I just think it's kind of the presence he has."Halpern also discussed his new team and how he is excited to play for coach Bruce Boudreau, even though he doesn't know him well.
"The only real contact I've had with him is guys who played with him in the minors. Guys like and George Parros and Mike Cammalleri, as soon as I signed here, the first thing I said was how jealous they were that I get to play for Bruce," he said. "I know he's well-liked by the players, and I know guys who have a lot of respect for the game who think he's a great coach. I don't know much about him, but I know what those players have said."
He also mentioned his background as a native of Potomac, Md. and how he moved to New Hampshire in high school to pursue a hockey career. He said that kids don't need to do that anymore because youth hockey programs have skyrocketed in the area.
"When I was growing up, there wasn't very much hockey in the area, and you had to leave the area just to get recruited by colleges," he said. "I know now it's changed a lot. There's a lot more rinks, a lot more players. It's still a little bit off from a Canadian city or a Boston or Minnesota, but there are so many kids playing now that you don't have to leave home when you're 14 or 15 in order to further your career."
To listen to Halpern's full interview, click here.