Today we have the rookie vhl center Mark Gebauer with us to ask him a few questions about his first season in the vhl. We will get right into it first of all
Mark what was the hardest part transitioning from the vhlm to the Vhl?
"Well I have to admit I have been struggling a bit in the league so far and haven't been able to score as much as I thought I would be able to which I think comes down to the higher quality of opponents rather than me performing worse. One big part for me is the more physical game many players are able to play in the VHL which makes it harder to create opportunities for myself and the goalies are also way better than in the VHLM and that makes it even more difficult so I think that is the biggest problem for me."
How do you feel about your new team keeping in mind that you already for 4 teams in your career? "Calgary is a great city and I feel at home there and my team has been great so far also. I already played with Brick Wahl before and value him a lot as a teammate so I think from that aspect there are few teams that would be able to compete with Calgary. My first team in the vhlm, Ottawa, was also a joy to play for even though I have to say it's impossible to compete with @Peace and the Saskatoon wild and I would recommend any rookie to try and play for Peace at one point in their career."
Some people have been asking if you are even rather for the VHL what do you say to your critics?
"Well I can understand why people are disappointed with my performance since I am as well but you need to keep in mind that I am almost exclusively playing on the right wing and that takes some getting used to for me but I have been working on my game and I have developed aspects of it that I neglected before and I think j have steadily increased my skills and so it's just a matter of time until I will be a force to be reckoned with but time will tell and until then you can feel free to criticize me as much as you want since I try and use it to drive me to train even harder"
Are there any non-hockey players which you would consider yourself a fan of? "Lukas Cold is an inspiration he is a sophomore LB and plays for the Alabama Crimson Tide and even though there are many other great LB I'm the NCAA at the moment you can make a case that he deserves more recognition than he has been getting. He won the championship in his freshman year and is the LB with the most tackles for loss and is 3rd in sacks at the same time. I think he will be one of the top LBs in the future and his mentality and determination inspire me to train as hard as possible even if the odds are stacked against me"
What do you hope you'll achieve this season? "Well for me I hope to have some more great games where I can show off my newly learned abilities and as a team I hope we make it to the playoffs even though we are struggling at the moment I have not yet given up hope so I'll try to train as hard as possible to make the dream of playing playoff hockey come true for me"
Who do you think is the best player from your draft class?
"I want to be it but so far I haven't been able to perform so I can't claim that title for myself that's why I would give it to Brick Wahl @Blademaiden since he has been a surprisingly good goalie so far and I know what he is capable of from our time together in Saskatoon and recently he has found his flow and started shutting out other teams such as Davos so I think he can claim that for now. All in all, I think that the players that entered the vhl with me are all outstanding players and many of them also have great personalities and I am always looking forward to meeting them on the ice."
You know have mentioned multiple times that you are struggling in the vhl do you think there are other reasons for that besides the stiffer competition? "To be honest I don't think I am being utilised in the same way I was in the vhlm and therefore I need to adapt my game. In Saskatoon I was the clear shooter and scorer in my line and I was able to position myself and receive great passes from my linemates that enabled me to take slapshots at the goal from further away and this sniper play style fits me by far better than the kind of game I am playing at the moment which is more reliant on quick movement along the boards and playing cross passes serving to player such as Karl von Moltke. I am not complaining about my team or the staff I just have to admit that I need to change my style and that takes some getting used to but I think until the end of this season I will have figured it out and should be comfortable in my new position or I would get in touch with management and ask them to shift me back to my old position"
Mark you are still young and have all the possibilities but what do you want to achieve in your career? "I would be happy to be the MVP of a season leading the league in points but that is quite the high goal just leading the league in goals would also be enough for me but most importantly I want to win a title."
That are quite ambitious goals do you think you will be able to achieve all that in Calgary or are you thinking about moving to another team in the future? "In all honesty I don't care much about where I play and it's more about with whom I will be playing but Calgary is a great team and the management is outstanding and I think I will win a championship with this team for sure but the more individual goals j might need to pursue on other teams unless some of our current players retire or get traded since I won't be able to lead the league in goals playing on the 2nd or 3rd line but as you said earlier I am young and have enough time to try different things the main focus is the championship which I want in the next 3 seasons for sure."
The last question is a lighter one. What is your weirdest quirk? "Well, there are a few for one I don't tie my laces I just stuff them into my skates. Many people told me that's dangerous and so on but I just am not comfortable otherwise so that is how I do it. Besides that I started picking up the habit of listening to specific music before each game depending on the opponent to get me in the mood for the game it helps me to focus on the task at hand and the music is different for each opponent makes it less boring as opposed to listening to the same music before every game I guess."