By Brian Weidler
[This article was originally published in the February 18 issue of St. Louis Game Time.]
Mike Glumac has been a virtual poster boy for dependability in his career.Â Going all the way back to his college days, this is a player who answers the bell every night.Â In college, Glumac dressed out for 144 of Miami-Ohioâ€™s scheduled 148 games and as a rookie pro, he appeared in 69 of 72 scheduled games for Pee Dee of the ECHL.Â The three games he missed were due to a late-season callup to Cleveland of the AHL.Â Â
This season, Glumac has appeared in 42 of Peoriaâ€™s 50 games played so far. Â Â In those games, heâ€™s amassed 12 goals, 32 points, and 63 penalty minutes.Â Heâ€™s seen lots of time on the Rivermen power play, and has been very effective in that role, with four goals and ten assists with the man advantage.Â Heâ€™s missed two games while on callup to the Blues and six more with minor bumps and bruises.Â Those eight games missed, however, represent the most games Glumacâ€™s missed in any pro season except for the 2004-05 season, where he missed almost half the year thanks to a broken ankle.Â Â Â
Tonight Glumac tells us about the ankle injury and about his experiences in coming up to the NHL for the first time, including his first NHL goal.Â
Game Time:Â You've been pretty durable throughout your career, going back to college where you missed only two games over four years.Â Except for the 2004-05 season in Worcester where you missed about half the year with a broken ankle.Â Was that just a fluke injury, or was there something you did or didn't do that might have led to that?
Glumac:Â No, I went back and looked at it on tape and it was definitely just a fluke.Â I still donâ€™t even know how it happened, really. I just kind of caught my toe on the ice, and I guess it comes with the territory.Â It is going to happen to everyone sooner or later.Â Knock on wood; it hasn't happened that often to me.Â Iâ€™ve been able to play a lot of games every year, and hopefully that continues.Â I guess youâ€™ve got to take injuries as they come; itâ€™s part of the game.Â Â Â
Game Time:Â Your first season in the AHL you scored 28 goals and were one of the leading rookie scorers in the league, one of the leading scorers on your team.Â The summer after that you signed your first pro contract with the Blues and then broke your ankle later that fall.Â Talk us through those two years; was that kind of an emotional roller coaster for you, the highs and the lows, and missing all those games?
Glumac:Â Yeah, I signed my first NHL contract, which is definitely a dream come true, and then breaking my ankle was kind of a freak thing, and kind of a downer.Â But I had to look at it like, they (injuries) are going to come.Â It happened to be the lockout year, so I was able to come back for a game at the end of the year.Â But any time you get injured, it sucks.Â You want to be out there helping your teammates to win, so it was tough on me.Â Â Â
Game Time:Â Do you try to stay on an even keel, emotionally, or did you kind of swing from the highs to the lows in those early years?
Glumac:Â I try to stay steady, and just take things as they come.Â A lot of things are out of your control, and you realize that early on.Â The one thing you can control is your game on the ice, so you go out and play your style, play your game, and let the chips fall where they may. Â
Â Game Time:Â The last time I saw you play, back in January, you were on a line with Trent Whitfield and Charles Linglet.Â Are those your usual linemates, or does Coach Baseggio shake the lines up a lot?
Glumac:Â Weâ€™ve been mixing â€˜em up.Â I played with Trent last year a lot, so I was familiar with him.Â I havenâ€™t been playing with him very often this year, weâ€™ve kind of mixed things up, so Iâ€™m playing with Gavin Morgan right now and Charles Linglet.Â Iâ€™ve been playing with Linglet a lot this season; pretty much the whole season, Iâ€™ve been on a line with him.Â Heâ€™s been having a great season, so at the beginning of the year, I was trying to get him the puck and things were going in.Â So hopefully thatâ€™ll continue for the last half of the year.Â
Game Time:Â What about up in the NHL, with the Blues?Â Is there a player or two up there that you especially like playing alongside of, and maybe a player that's helped you learn something that you've carried with you in your career?
Glumac:Â You look at a guy like Keith Tkachuk, and heâ€™s just an unbelievable player.Â Heâ€™s been a real nice guy to me, too, Heâ€™s talked to me and helped me with little things.Â Heâ€™s a guy that a player like me would want to watch and emulate.Â Heâ€™s someone that youâ€™d want to take after, for sure.Â
Game Time:Â How about a special opponent?Â Is there anyone that you really enjoyed playing against, any one player that when you looked across the ice on a faceoff and saw him there, made you think, "Yeah, I'm here."
Glumac:Â It was more the places I played.
Game Time:Â What's it like to skate onto the ice with 18,000 pairs of eyes looking back at you for the first time?
Glumac:Â It was a little nerve-wracking at first, but I wasnâ€™t as nervous as I thought I was going to be.Â Once the game starts and you get those first couple of bumps in, everything kind of gets back to normal and youâ€™re playing hockey.Â You settle into it pretty quickly.Â
Game Time:Â You got an assist in your first NHL game, and then scored your first NHL goal against a pretty good goaltender, Marty Turco, two games later.Â Tell us about that.Â Â
Â Â Glumac:Â It just happened that Jay McClement had stolen the puck and passed it over to Dallas Drake, and Drake took a slapshot from the top of the circle. Â The rebound ended up popping out to me, and I was able to put it under Turco.Â It was just an amazing feeling to have, knowing that my parents were back home watching it on television.Â
Game Time:Â Did he say anything to you after you beat him?
Glumac:Â No, I just went to the corner afterwards, and I couldnâ€™t wipe the smile off my face for about an hour.Â Thatâ€™s something thatâ€™ll live with you forever.Â
Â Game Time:Â Seven goals in 33 games in the NHL; that's just about a 20-goal pace over an 82-game season, and you've been the kind of guy who plays every game.Â You've shown that you can play and be productive at that level, and your coach here believes you can play at that level.Â What do you think you have to do yet to show the Blues and their new coach that you should be a full-time NHL player?
Glumac:Â Like I said before, itâ€™s just a matter of playing your game down here.Â You canâ€™t really think about whatâ€™s going on top (of the organization); you just have to play hard, hopefully the puck goes in for you down here and someone notices.Â Itâ€™s something I can't really think about; I just have to go out and play.