Barry Nieckar – September 2001

Originally printed in The Cat’s Whiskers Issue #3, September 2001

BARRY NIECKARBarry was receiving treatment on an injured elbow when myself and Milkman went to speak to him after the 6-1 thrashing of Manchester Storm. After retreating to a quiet area of the NIC, Barry answered every question frankly and honestly. Here follows the interview:

Jono: What did you think when you saw all those ‘Barry’s Gonna Get Ya’ T-Shirts in Newcastle?

Barry: I thought it was actually quite unbelievable. It’s nice to have something like that out there, you really don’t expect things like that when you go out, work hard and try and do your job, try to have fun and contribute to your team. When you get jersey’s like that about you it’s pretty cool.

Jono: Why do you wear the number 44 and what significance does it have to you?

Barry: Actually it was my wife who contributed the number. I had a choice in the summertime, Panthers called me up and asked what number I wanted. My wife said “Why don’t you take 44, I’ve always liked that number, you’ve had 24 or 42, go with 44″.

Jono: Do you think you are unfairly treated by by opposing fans, players and referees because of the reputation you have?Nieckar & Ceman

Barry: No, that’s par for the course. If I go into other barns and they’re chanting, raving and giving it to me, I pretty much think I must be doing something right to get their backs up! It’s kinda nice to go into another barn like that and people boo you, I don’t mind that at all.

Jono: What is your honest opinion of Dennis Vial & Scott Allison, and have you ever spoken to either since THAT night?

Barry: To answer the second question, no I haven’t spoken to either of them. Dennis Vial, he plays hard every night, I’ve really got nothing against him, he goes out and he works hard. he does some stupid things, pretty much like I do a lot of the time to!

Scott Allison, I really don’t want to get into him because that was just brutal what he did. It’s something I’ve never done in this or any league, try and end someone’s career by giving them a viscous cross-check. he came way across the ice at full steam and tried to take my head right off. He could have paralysed me if he got me in the right spot, but thank god he didn’t. A guy like that doesn’t belong in the game, that’s for sure.

Jono: Who would you most like to have playing with you on your line out of players you’ve played with past and present?

Barry: To be honest with you I’m pretty happy where I am right now. I’ve played with a lot of players over the years in a checking role. I love playing with Randall Weber, last year we played together and this year is the same, it’s just enjoyable playing with a guy like that.

Jono: What factors did you consider when you decided to return to the Panthers?

Barry: Gary Moran has been unbelievable through everything last year and the springtime and summer. He approached me and it’s one of the reasons why I chose to come back to Nottingham. The fans are great, the facility is unbelievable and there’s a great group of staff here.

Milkman: Is there any team you wouldn’t play for?

Barry: Wherever Chris McSorely is coaching then I wouldn’t play!

Jono: Did you have any offers from any other clubs?

Barry: No, I didn’t have any this year because I signed rather quick last year, just after PC, so the season wasn’t over when I signed. Legally, no other team can approach you for so many days after the season ends, I’m not sure of the exact number.

Jono: What is your opinion of the set up here in Nottingham?

Barry: Top notch. You probably won’t find another facility like this in the league. I’ve hear a lot of horror stories from other teams about the things they have to go through, and let’s face it, we have it pretty easy. The management has done a great job, they help all the players. I’ll tell you what, if any player leaves here for whatever reason, i can guarantee they all want to come back.

Jono: What are the high & low points of your career so far?

Barry: Obviously the high point was playing in the NHL for all those games. The low point was in my first year as a pro, i got into a fight and another guy checked me from behind and my hand got cut. All five tendons got cut right there (Barry shows me a huge scar on his hand). I couldn’t move my fingers and my hand was closed in a fist. That was probably a low point.

Jono: What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Barry: Interesting question….Three words. I would say tough, rugged, checker.

Jono: Final question. What are your ambitions for this season & beyond?

Barry: Ambitions for this season is to try and bring home as much silverware as we can. We’d definitely like to bring a championship to Nottingham. The fans here are unbelievable and I know they would appreciate it as much as we would. Beyond that, sign here again for another year.

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