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Derek MacKenzie

Derek MacKenzie was picked in the fifth round (128th overall) by Atlanta in the 1999 NHL draft. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Derek MacKenzie was picked in the fifth round (128th overall) by Atlanta in the 1999 NHL draft. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

Status: Columbus Blue Jackets center.

Ht: 5-foot-11 Wt: 182 pounds

DOB: June 11, 1981 In: Sudbury, Ont.

Hockey Inspirations: "My dad was a big influence. And it's funny, I was down the hallway (in Tampa) and saw my favorite player Steve Yzerman walk through the hallway. He was probably my favorite player growing up."

First Hockey Memory: "Local guys from a local team - Sudbury Wolves. I remember going to watch major junior hockey and thinking: That would be awesome to play one game in that league. When I was maybe 10 years old."

Nicknames:
"Obviously the easy one would be ‘Mac.’ When I was 15 I was the youngest guy on the team. At the time Baywatch was pretty popular. So the guys used to call me ‘Hobie’ from Baywatch."

Last Book Read:
"Angels & Demons."

First Job: "A baseball umpire."

First Car:
"Pontiac Sunfire."
 
Current Car: "Chevy Avalanche."
 
Favorite Arena To Play: "Vancouver."

Greatest Sports Moment: "Probably winning the Calder Cup. It was in the AHL. I was a rookie. That's the last championship I won, so that sticks out in my mind the most."

Most Painful Moment: "Broke my ankle. Going into the first period of the first game. Sliding into the goal post and snapped my ankle. (Where?) In Chicago, playing for the Wolves."

Favorite Uniforms: "I like the Edmonton Oilers third jersey."

Closest NHL Friends: "Kurtis Foster and Mike Fisher."

Funniest Players Encountered:
"I don't even know where to start on that one. I would say (Eric) Boulton from Atlanta."

Toughest Competitor Encountered: "I'll go with my buddy Mike Fisher. When he's on his game as a two-way player, not only is he tough, but he's pretty skilled."

Most Memorable Goal: "Maybe world juniors. I scored a goal to tie it up. I think it was the quarterfinals against Czech Republic."

Strangest Game: "When I was in junior, Game 5 playing in St. Mike's in Toronto. We were up 4- or 5-1 in that game in the playoffs and the lights went out. They had to cancel the game, come back and play the third period. I think they ended up tying the game."

Funny Hockey Memory: "I was in junior (with the Sudbury Wolves). We used to have the old stuffed wolf that we used to pull on the ice on a clothesline after every goal. One time they sent the wolf out after we scored and when it got to the end and they started to pull it back - it was so old - the head and jaw fell off and landed on the ice."

Favorite Players To Watch: "Obviously it's pretty easy to say Sidney Crosby. But when I played in Atlanta, watching him in practice was pretty awesome - I'll go with Marian Hossa."
 
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "I'll go with fishing, if you could consider that a sport."

Embarrassing Hockey Memory: “I was in the minors again. Got called for a penalty shot. I guess I didn't check my stick before the shot. Skating down the ice, I went to snap the puck - my stick just blew up into two pieces."

Personality Qualities Most Admired: "I think just a level-headed person. Not arrogant, but very humble. Someone who appreciates everything. Down to earth. (Who epitomizes that?) I think our captain Rick Nash is a pretty good example of that. He has enough trophies on his rack that you think he could be different, but he never is. He always is a pretty humble guy, pretty quiet guy. Definitely a good guy to have around the locker room."

Mark 'Scoop' Malinowski is the author of "Heavyweight Armageddon: The Tyson-Lewis Championship Battle" and creator of two websites: www.thebiofile.com  and www.tennis-prose.com.

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