The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze had a number of new acquisitions over the summer period and Shawn Boutin, the Canadian hot shot, has quickly become a fan favourite at the Skydome. You think you know Shawn? Read on and spend two minutes with him and see how well you really know Bouts.
His hockey career has taken him all across America and Canada and as most people (even hardcore hockey fans in America, I’ve discovered) don’t even realise there is hockey in the UK I wanted to know how Shawn thought it measured up here in the Elite League.
I like the UK a lot. I think it is a brilliant country and the people are nice to us. The fact that we have a really great fan base helps a lot! Hockey wise, you can compare the style of game to America! The biggest difference would be the travel and the quality of some arenas!
It can often be difficult at first to adapt to not only a new home, but also a new country and team mates. I know I personally would struggle at first, but Shawn seems to be a seasoned pro when it comes to this.
The organisation take good care of us once we get here and a lot of the sponsors make you feel very welcome. I’m thinking of Taylor’s Butcher. A place I shop every week! The have great products and are good people. I don’t buy much other than food and a good bottle of Scotch once in a while.
Canada is such a vast country and one that like most places has people from all walks of life. When we think of Canada, we think of vast mountains, men dressed in a lot of plaid (is there such a thing as too much??!) with beards out hunting and moose… Lots and lots of moose. So what does Shawn miss from home?
Wild meat! Like moose, goose and duck! Moose is a pretty strong taste but it’s my favourite meat!
From here on out, the conversation stayed with food for a little while. I asked him whether there was anything he’d tried here in the UK that he’d not liked the look or taste of. Even I have seen things that I’ve thought ‘nope, not even going to touch that!’ food wise and wondered if he’d had similar experiences. Since he liked what some people might consider odd meats to eat I did suggest ostrich, which for the record is delicious.
Nope, not really! Off the top of my head I can’t remember not liking anything. I really like the sausage rolls from the butcher! [laughs]
Next we moved on to language differences. Shawn for the most part at home speaks French, but also English. However, no one speaks as many different variations of the same language as the British. So many different ways to say the same thing in such a small geographical area. I wondered if any of the British lads had taught him any slang, or said anything to him that made him scratch his head in wonder at what the hell they meant. (I still don’t understand Brummies, or people from Liverpool unless they speak slowly!)
When I first got here I thought it was funny that people were saying ‘you alright’ instead of ‘how are you?’ Accent wise, here it’s fine but up in Scotland and Ireland it gets pretty tough! [laughs]
Celebrating wins was next on my list. I’ve spoken to some players who have confessed that if there is no training the next day? Celebrations could get a bit wild. Shawn on this subject was quite restrained, simply saying he just enjoyed the win with his teammates. Take that as you will!
With the Blaze having a game on Boxing Day this year, it’s going to be next to impossible for any of the imports to go home to spend the holidays with their family. Instead, Shawn will be spending the holidays with his team mates and those others who won’t be going home and sharing dinner with them (and a glass of Glenlivet whiskey no doubt, his current favourite tipple!).
Moving onto his own fandom of hockey, we discussed time differences and being able to watch his team play and also his own earliest childhood memories.
I like the Montreal Canadiens! The time difference is not too bad and I get to talk to my family quite a lot! Playing Ice Hockey on the pond growing up back home [is his earliest memory] … Just every weekend playing hockey growing up is a memorable moment!
As an avid reader myself and having spoken to some of the other Blaze players about their own reading habits, I was interested to know what Shawn enjoyed. He’s an avid reader, although he didn’t disclose any specific favourites unfortunately. However when I asked if he could live in any series what would it be.
I would like to be Jack Bauer in the series 24. He’s a “retired” FBI agent and I’d recommend it to anyone.
It definitely sounds like something I need to add to my watch list! I want to take a moment to thank Shawn for taking the time to answer my questions and also to Scott Wiggins, for supplying such wonderful photographs!