Media highlights: Josh Manson on finally returning to the playoffs, seeing Cale Makar up close and almost quitting hockey as a kid

Mar 18, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks center Scott Reedy (54) gets possession in front of Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) and defenseman Josh Manson (42) during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Since being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks last week, defenseman Josh Manson has helped the Avs go 2-0 during a two-game trip through L.A. and San Jose.

Manson practiced with his new team at Family Sports Center in Colorado on Sunday for the first time and met with the media afterward. He spoke for almost 10 minutes and touched on a number of topics.

Here are the highlights from what was a refreshing press conference with a very well-spoken professional.

On returning to the playoffs for the first time in five years.

“Yeah, I’m ecstatic. There’s nothing like it. It suits my game a little bit, that in your face kind of style. Physical. I’m looking forward to it.”

On comparisons between the 2021-22 Avalanche and the 2016-17 Anaheim Ducks that competed in the Western Conference Final.

“This team plays really fast. I mean, these forwards, they’re crazy fast, they work hard and they play well in the system. I think the biggest thing that I recognize from my time in Anaheim with that team, compared to now is that everybody was pretty reliable. Everybody kind of trusted each other. You didn’t really have to work to do anybody else’s job because it was like well, ‘you know he’s gonna do that.’ And ‘you know he’s gonna do that.’ So you can just go focus on what you gotta do. And then as a five-man unit, you become this kind of like, I don’t wanna say unstoppable force but you play that fast because everybody’s working the same direction and nobody’s trying to do two jobs at once. And I kind of recognize that here with this team.”

Listen to “The Tyson Jost Era” on Spreaker.

On if he’s seen video of his father Dave Manson fighting Kurtis MacDermid’s father, Paul.

Oh, really? That happened? I didn’t even know that happened. Is his dad as big as Dermy is?

On almost quitting hockey when he was 12.

“Hockey was never my passion when I was a kid. I grew up around the rink obviously with my dad. He would take me to the rink and I had great experiences and have great memories of doing that. But I don’t know if it was from moving. I played hockey when we traveled and my dad was traded but I never really felt like I took to it. I just didn’t understand it. I can’t really put my finger on it. But we moved back to Prince Albert and I played hockey and I wasn’t crazy about it.

“I was snowboarding like every day and I loved snowboarding. I loved going to the hill because there are no mountains in Saskatchewan. So I went to the hill. At the end of the season, I went to my mom and I was just like, ‘I don’t want to play next year. I would rather just snowboard and I’d rather hang out and do that kind of stuff.’ And she was like ‘no chance buddy. you gotta see this thing through.’ It could have come to an abrupt halt when I was like 12 years old and thank goodness my mom stepped in.

“It wasn’t even my dad. That’s what’s funny. Everyone thinks my dad would be the one that was like, ‘no way like you gotta play hockey.’ and it wasn’t. It was my mom.”

On getting a front-row seat to watching Cale Makar play every game.

“I was laughing to myself sitting on the bench. Every time he comes off from a shift I’m like ‘good play.’ ‘Good play.’ ‘Good play.’ ‘That was a nice play.’ You gotta start picking and choosing when you say stuff to him because every time he comes off the ice, it’s like well, he made a good play there, and a good play there.

“He’s a pretty special player, very talented and he does a lot of things well on the ice. So you just kind of gotta sit back and admire it a couple of times.”

On why he wears No. 42.

“I think actually my first (training) camp (in Anaheim) was No. 83 or something like that. And then I came back three years later and I think I developed quite a bit and my number went from 83 to 42. So either they lost my number and forgot about me and gave me 42, or I moved up and my number got better. And I was always too scared to ask the equipment manager or (former Ducks GM) Bob Murray. I was always too scared to ask to change my number so I just left it and then it kind of became my own. It’s been with me for eight years now. Why change?”

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Aarif Deen
 is our Colorado Avalanche beat reporter. He covers Avs games live from Ball Arena and attends practices, media availabilities and other events pertaining to the Avs on the daily beat. He is also a co-host of Hockey Mountain High: Your go-to Avalanche Podcast. Deen joined Mile High Sports upon completion of his bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s in business administration from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Before Mile High Sports, Deen worked for the Michigan Wolverines Athletics Department as the assistant sports information director.

Follow him on Twitter @runwriteAarif

Listen to “The Tyson Jost Era” on Spreaker.

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