Saturday, August 23, 2014

30 Questions With Allen Forward Gary Steffes - A Player Introduction

Gary Steffes

Our 30 Questions series continues today with Gary Steffes who the Allen Americans recently signed  for the 2014-2015 season. Gary will be starting his fifth year as a professional having played for the Tulsa Oilers from 2010-2013 and for the Bakersfield Condors (ECHL) this past season. A 2012-13 nominee for the CHL’s Man of the Year Award when he was with Tulsa, Steffes gives his time and talents to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). He works specifically with FCA Hockey, a group that travels the world sharing the gospel through hockey camps and clinics.  He played college hockey at Miami University (Ohio) and earned a degree in Kinesiology, Health and Exercise Science.

Here are Gary's answers to our get to know you questions:

Can you tell us a little about your family?
-  I have an awesome family. They are super supportive and some of the most loving people I know. My Dad works in automotive industry, my Mom in the Michigan education system. My sisters, Nikki and Kristen are recent college grads. Kristen is currently serving long term in South Africa and Nikki is on the verge of art school.

Did you have a pet growing up?  
- Had a dog growing up named Tonya. Beautiful golden retriever, but she was crazy and always running off making us have to chase her down.

Where are you spending the summer? 
-  Spending summer in the Minneapolis area. I work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hockey traveling the world to share about Jesus Christ and coach hockey.

Can you share your involvement with FCA Hockey and where your missions/travels have taken you? 
- I have been involved since 2010, been on staff three years now in the off-seasons. I have traveled all over the US to serve at different events. Buffalo, NY, Albany, NY, Hagerstown, MD, Westminster, CA, Denver, CO, Tulsa, OK, Omaha, NE, and SW Utah to name a few places. I have also traveled to Erzurum, Turkey twice and Torre Pellice, Italy to do events.

Describe your training regimen?
- When the season nears we skate four times a week, lift four times, do tons of sprints, and skill work. I have some awesome friends here in Minneapolis I get to train with who play in the AHL and ECHL. 

What is your favorite number? Do you know what number you will have with Allen? 
- Have not selected a number in Allen yet. Favorite number is #22 or #12. I have been #22 since I started pro hockey, but am open to changing if needed.

 What is your nickname?
 - Bear

Who is your hockey hero?
-  Kirk Maltby who played many years with the Detroit Red Wings

 When did you start skating and what is your earliest hockey memory? 
- I started skating when I was four. I remember pushing a chair around the ice in Flint, MI. I fell in love with hockey!

  Describe your style of play?
- I am a defensive minded, two-way, power forward. I play a big and strong power game more so than fancy, and am blessed to be gifted both offensively and defensively at both ends of the rink. 

Who is your favorite actor?
-  Denzel Washington,  I think he is such a gifted actor. 

 What is your favorite type of music?
-  Christian Worship and Contemporary. I also really enjoy country music.

 What is your current  favorite singer or group?
-  Hillsong United and Newsboys are two of my favorites.

 If you could have lunch with anyone living who would you pick.
-  Francis Chan. He is a pastor in San Francisco who has had a major impact in my life. I would love to just pick his brain and ask him tons of questions about things he has learned.

 What chore do you hate to do?
-  Vacuum for sure.

 What do you have that is of great value to you but little value to anyone else?
-  Notebooks upon notebooks of journals. I love to journal. Through it I connect with God, stay focused, deal with fears and anxieties, etc. They are my life’s story on a page.

Who do you admire as a leader?  
- Not a specific person but in hockey I admire a man of integrity who is able to balance setting an example, not fearing holding others accountable when needed, and loving his teammates in a way they know he cares for them.

 Where is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
- Zion National Park in Utah. The place is breathtaking and left me in awe every corner we turned.

 If you could live in another country for two years where would you pick?
- Italy or Australia I think would be sweet places to experience.

 If you could be anything besides a pro hockey player what would it be?
-  A professional musician

Do you have any pre-game routines, rituals or superstitions?
-  No superstitions, but a routine to get my head, heart, and body ready for sure. I spend a lot of time getting my heart and mind prepared and focused for the game. 

Who is your number one fan?
- Tough debate on that one. My dad, mom, and both sisters are pretty amazing supporters.

What do you like to do to kill time on the bus?
-  Read and listen to music or podcasts

 What was your favorite childhood toy?
-  Stick and puck, or a baseball

 Do you have a favorite motto or saying?
-  “Until you find the cause for which you are willing to die, you will never truly live” – Craig Groeschel

What is your favorite TV show?
- I am not a big TV watcher. 

 If you could choose someone as a mentor who would you choose?
-  Rick Randazzo or Chris Adkins-Lamb. These guys are incredible mentors and friends to me. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without their investment in me.
 Do you know anyone on the Allen team?
-  Yes, many guys signed for this season actually. Many I have played against and know their names, but don’t know them personally. 

 What do you like to do away from the rink?
-  Golf, get involved at church and hang with guys.

 What have you been told or know about the Allen fans?
- I have been told they are passionate and supportive. Looking forward to experiencing it first hand.

 How did you end up in Allen?
 - I was contacted by Coach Martinson this summer. After many talks and getting to know him I felt it was the best decision for me this upcoming year. I am thankful and blessed to be coming to Allen this season and looking forward to the year.

Gary waits for a face-off  during a game in 2012 - photo by Chip Crail

Gary Steffes stats courtesy of hockeydb:
Center -- shoots R
Born May 20 1987 -- Grand Blanc, MI
[27 yrs. ago]
Height 6.02 -- Weight 210

Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2004-05 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 42 1 9 10 60 010 3 0 3 12
2005-06 Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL 56 11 11 22 77 -2 8 6 1 7 12
2006-07 Miami University (Ohio) CCHA 42 5 3 8 44

2007-08 Miami University (Ohio) CCHA 36 6 10 16 34

2008-09 Miami University (Ohio) CCHA 41 11 12 23 34

2009-10 Miami University (Ohio) CCHA 17 0 1 1 8

2010-11 Tulsa Oilers CHL 66 19 24 43 59 -6 10 1 2 3 6
2011-12 Tulsa Oilers CHL 66 22 30 52 63 -11 ----------
2012-13 Tulsa Oilers CHL 37 20 14 34 56 -9 ----------
2012-13 Lake Erie Monsters AHL 16 1 2 3 11 -1 ----------
2013-14 Bakersfield Condors ECHL 60 18 17 35 71 -6 16 3 6 9 12


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