The 2012-2013 was to be a season where Dallas Stars defenseman, Mark Fistric solidified his role on the Dallas blue line as one of its top defenders. After the expiration of his entry level contract, the Stars granted Fistric with a raise and one year term. As is the case with most young players coming off of their ELC, a team will generally offer a yearlong contract to allow them the opportunity to showcase their skills as an everyday player and where they fit as a leader.
With the loss of the first half of the season, Fistric’s year may have gotten shorter, but his dedication has definitely not been lessened.
The lockout may have come at an opportune time for Mark, who welcomed his first baby in April. However, despite the layoff and the new arrival to his family, Mark didn’t choose to take the time completely off. He could be seen on any given day at the Allen Event Center, skating with the CHL’s Allen Americans. Even without any contact allowed with the Stars front office, his work ethic and dedication will translate very well into the 48-game schedule soon to be released by the NHL and that is what the Stars will want to see from the guy they hope will become their number one “enforcer.”
Obviously, the Stars felt they had a special player when Mark was available in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, so they used their first round pick (28th overall) when he was playing with the Vancouver Giants in the WHL. In 2006, Fistric helped the Giants win the President’s Cup and play for the Memorial Cup.
He would turn pro the next season and would never look back.
Mark was gracious with his time and sat down to answer some questions. Without further adieu, it’s time to drop the mitts with Mark Fistric.
StarsInsider: You recently became a father. Congratulations and how has that experience been? What’s been the biggest surprise? What is your favorite/most proud moment so far?
Mark Fistric: It’s been a lot of fun watching him grow and learn. Favorite moment was making him laugh for the first time.
SI: What was the first thing you bought with your first pro contract?
MF: Sony VAIO laptop and iPod.
SI: Do you fashion your play after a particular player?
MF: Scott Stevens was my favorite.
SI: Are you a superstitious player? Do you have a particular pre-game routine?
MF: No, just a coffee on my way to the arena.
SI: List five songs on your iPod that are must for pre-game/workout.
MF: Disturbed-Hell, Flo Rida-I Cry, Florida Georgia Line-Cruise, Skid Row-18&Life, Young Jeezy-Lose My Mind
SI: What’s your favorite city/arena to visit in the league? Least favorite?
MF: Montreal’s Bell Center has a ton of character. Denver is least favorite because it’s hard to breathe.
SI: Name a team and/or player you “hate” to play against.
MF: Chicago because they have tons of skill and speed.
SI: Why the number 28?
MF: It was given to me. I had 61 and we all know that doesn’t suit me.
SI: As a player that wears a visor, should it be mandatory in the NHL?
MF: No, it should be the player’s choice.
SI: Have you ever tried playing goalie? Any interest?
MF: No and never.
SI: You and Eric Nystrom had a pretty memorable “meeting” before he became a teammate. Obviously, there was zero intent, but did you and Nystrom discuss the “incident” after he signed with Dallas?
MF: HA! It came up a few times, but we’ve become close over the past year.
SI: Who is the toughest person you’ve dropped mitts with? Who won?
MF: Matt Kassian back in Juniors. It was pretty even with slight decision to Matt.
SI: From the teammates from last year who have moved on to other teams, who are going to miss the most?
MF: Probably Otter. I’ve played every game as a Dallas Star with him and it was fun to watch him play and always made coming to the rink “interesting.”
SI: How have did you kept keep busy during the lockout?
MF: Learning to be a parent and working out.
SI: Have you checked out any Texas Stars games this year?
MF: I was there for the home opener visiting Tomas Vincour. They won in a shootout.
SI: Other than hockey, what other sports do you excel at or at least enjoy playing?
MF: I wouldn’t say excel by any means, but I enjoy golf.
SI: What do you like to do during the off season (not this extended variety of off season)?
MF: Spend time with family and catch up on lost time with them.
SI: Being a very physical player, do you think the league needs to address hitting/fighting in the wake of the head injuries that are becoming more in focus or should the league not mess with the fabric of the game?
MF: Hockey is a fast paced game with a lot of emotion. It’s hard to stop injuries from occurring.
SI: I’ve personally seen you out and about DFW at events. Is playing in Dallas and having that ability to go out in relative obscurity one of the attractive traits about playing in a non-traditional hockey town, or would you prefer there be more passionate hockey fans that approach you more often?
MF: Dallas has a lot of venues to see and it’s nice to visit or take in some of them just as any person would, so yes. I enjoy the obscurity.
Steak or Chicken: Steak
Beer, Wine or “other:” Beer
Beach or mountains: Beach
It’s an off-season Saturday morning-Sleep in or up and at ‘em: Sleep In
Paper or plastic: Paper
Playstation or Xbox: PS3!!!
WIN Olympic gold for Canada or LOSE in Stanley Cup Finals: Win Olympic gold
Regular season OT games: Go back to ties (eliminate 3-point games) or keep shootout: Keep shootout
With the likes of Brenden Dillon and Jamie Oleksiak chomping at the bit to make a case for their call up as the abbreviated training camps open this weekend, look to Mark Fistric to lay claim that he belongs as a top-4 defenseman on the Dallas Stars. I personally would even be surprised if Mark’s dedication off the ice didn’t translate into being considered for an alternate captain on the ice. Though not a man of many words, Mark Fistric speaks volumes about his love for the sport and will do everything he can to make everyone around him successful.