The epigraph at top of this interview wa from the most famous story about ice skates. But we got a great story about a pair of Emma’s skates from her DD. When we interviewed John Vlasic for our “All In The Family” series he told us this tale about Emma that warrants repeating
“We won that tournament and she got the MVP. And the reason I remember it, was you got a free pair of skates from Bauer for that. And she was size 4.5 or 5, and me being the hockey Dad, I knew the break off was size six. At six it’s a men’s skate and twice as expensive. So I said: You don’t want to get some inferior kid’s skate now, you’re going to grow into it. So I ordered a size 6, beautiful, $550.00 skates. And as it turned out, she only makes it up to 5.5! She can never use them, and her younger brother a year later walks right into them.n And she was she was not happy! he laughed. "She’ll remember it, ask about it.”
So we did, by simply asking her: What size skates do you wear? Emma laughed and said “ I already know where this is going.! “In school I was like size five, but I actually went down to 4 ½. They recommended that I get a more snug fit, so I think I’m a 4 ½ now. We commented that those size six skates isn’t even work today,. “No” she laughed again, “I don’t think it’ll ever work, hopefully. I remember that story, it’s tough, you never know how big people’s feet are going to get. But that was a fun tournament, and definitely a turning point in terms of my confidence and my playing career, even though it was it was a young age. I didn’t let him live that down, even years later. But it’s a funny story” she chuckled. We thought it was a great too, and Emma put the perfect twist on it . So as Paul Harvey (of ABC News, not the NHL) used to say "And now you know the rest of the story"
Her Dad had also told us this about Emma “The hockey is really important to her. It would have to be somewhere in her life." Following up on that, we asked Emma if coaching might be in her future? And she revealed
“I definitely want to get into some coaching, and I’ve just been talking to a couple of my teammates about finding some coaching opportunities around the area. I think for me playing is a whole other dynamic, and I still very much like the intensity of that and competing at a high level. That’s what I love about the game. And right now I feel like I want to still be a part of that. I think the playing is really important to me, and however I choose to incorporate hockey later, it’s definitely going to be there. Whether it’s coaching, or overseeing certain things in hockey, it’s definitely something I’ll always be a part of. But nothing really right now, other than the playing.”
As a prelude to eliciting Five Fun Facts about her, we asked about Emma’s less than robust social media presence. She admitted “I’ve never been big on social media. I just got a Facebook account a couple of years ago and I still don’t really go on it. I still don’t have an Instagram, so I’ll check Twitter throughout the day occasionally, and Snapchat" she laughed "I mostly use Twiiter to keep up to date with what’s going on, and interesting things here and there that people post. It’s never really been a huge part of my life and what I do. But I certainly appreciate it for what it is, but I think I’m pretty quiet on the social media front in terms of posting and things like that. Kind of always been like that.”
So to the questions :
Which is your favorite rink that you've played in?
"I’d have to say the Whale, the Yale Whale (Ingalls Rink) , just because of how unique it is and the history there. I remember the first time skating there, the first practice, and it was such a cool moment, bringing it all full circle, and realizing I was playing at Yale. And I think it goes perfectly well with the fact that I’m on the Whale now.”she laughed "It’s a cool spot for sure.”
Do you have any specific game day meal or routines?
"Mine would be pretty basic. I would say I just like to have chicken, pasta and salad. I know that’s probably what a lot of people would say. I had that in college most, before like almost every game. And so I just try to continue that, depending on what time the game is. I’ve only had one full season so far, because obviously last year was a little different. We kind of had games at different times my first season But when we played later in the day I would try to do some sort of the chicken, pasta and salad sort of thing. Other than that:, I try not to do a whole lot different. I go to the pregame skate if there is one, and then take a nap, fit in the pregame meal, and then ready to go! “
Do you have any pets?
“So my family has a cat named Leonard. He’s got kind of blondish fur. He goes by Leo for short, but I like to extend it out to Leonard to make it a little more official sounding. He just kind of looks like a Leo, maybe Leo the Lion is whee it came from because he’s got that blondish fur. He spends almost the whole day outside., he’s very active outdoors. He doesn’t have his own social media page unfortunately”she chuckled.
With Covid seemingly winding down, and travel restrictions being lifted is there any place you’d like to travel to?
"I would say Nova Scotia. We have a family cottage there at Melmerby Beach, about an hour from Halifax, and because Canada has been closed down we haven’t been ab,e to go the past two years now. So I think that would be a cool spot.”
And what is something most people wouldn’t know about Emma? “That’s a tough one. I usually talk about my baseball, and how I was the only girl on the team. I feel we may have talked about that in the past but I feel that’s something that I’ll mention. And I have an aunt that lives in Scotland which is pretty cool. We’ve been up there and visited a couple of times, and we have family in England as well. Definitely a cool place to visit, and I wantto go back again some time soon.” We were aware that Emma was a big Cubs fan, and they are right at the top of the NL Central this season. She commented "I follow on Twitter, and I’ve watched a couple of games. But it’s been great. They started kind of slow I think, but they’ve been really good. I’m excited to see what they can do this year. Definitely a lot of excitement around the Cubs, for sure.”
And a lot of excitement around pod the Whale heading into Season Seven as well. And a lot of that centers around our Amazing center, Emma “Pickles” Vlasic. We thank Emma for sharing her thoughts and insights once again with Cetacean Nation, and look forward to what we think will be a great upcoming season for #15 and the Pod. Fins Up to that!