I had the privilege of talking with Bulls great Ian Hebert. I enjoyed getting the opportunity to speak with him and was very appreciative of his time. Ian scored 65 goals and made 101 assists for a total of 166 points. He did that in just four seasons with the Bulls.
Q: Where are you from originally?
A: Montreal, QC, Canada
Q: When did you start playing hockey?
A: I started playing organized hockey when I was four, but my earliest memories playing were at an outdoor rink near my house when I was three. We played with a tennis ball during the summer.
Q: Who is your favorite NHL team?
A: Montreal Canadiens, I remember going to see games at the Montreal Forum in 1986.
Q: Where did you play in college?
A: University of Massachusetts Lowell, about 40 minutes outside of Boston.
Q: How was being a student athlete?
A: It was difficult to balance a D1 sport and making good grades. We would have class from 8:00-12:00 and hit the rink right after.
Q: What was career in the pros like?
A: I went to the Winnipeg Jets training camp and played four games in the AHL. I ended up travelling all over the U.S. and Europe and I would not trade it for anything. I played in three countries and met some amazing people.
Q: When did you first start with the Bulls?
A: My first year in Birmingham was 1994. I remember late November stepping out of the Birmingham airport and it was 75 degrees thinking, this is going to be alright. There was not 10 feet of snow on the ground.
Q: What is your favorite hockey memory?
A: Winning the championship with the Flint Generals of the United Hockey League
Q; Did you do any coaching after your playing days where over?
A: I coached for the University of Alabama for nine years, in addition to coaching my son’s teams
Q: Who do you think is the greatest hockey player of all-time?
A: For me it has to be Wayne Gretzky. I got to see him play live. He knew where the puck was going before it got there.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out the Bulls were coming back in 2017?
A: I was excited. Birmingham is a great hockey town. Birmingham is the original hockey capital of the south. There should always be hockey here.
Q: I was told you received special recognition at a game in 2018. How was that?
A: I got to go out and drop the puck and they gave me a jersey. It was pretty cool. It makes you feel good to be recognized.
Q: How many Bulls games do you go to?
A: I have averaged about 10 home games per season since the Bulls returned in 2017.
Thanks again Ian for your time, and as always, go bulls!