RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The Rush final home game of the season was Saturday, Riley, what are your thoughts on the final game of the season, knowing that this is the last time you guys will be performing in front of the home crowd for this season?
"Well I mean to start things off Danny Battochio's jersey retirement , that's pretty exciting maybe even more so for me because I have played so many games with with Danny to see his jersey being retired to the rafters will be a pretty special moment," said Weselowski. "You know we have a lot of new faces in here , even from what we had for the first part of the season. You're going to get a look at a lot of the new players even possible players for next season as well. So coming down that home stretch you obviously want to finish the season strong"
You mentioned a lot of new players in the locker room , and you are a veteran to this locker room how has your experience been able to add experience to these new players?
"This has been something different for me, in ten years I never quite experience anything like this the amount of rookies we have on our team this year. In general to have success in this league, it's a little bit more of a veteran league. The teams that have that success have a little bit older players, and some core groups that have been around. It's been a learning curve this year, a little bit more than you know the other years in the past, but that also gives you the opportunity to hopefully help shape some of the young guys and kind of show them the way with the pro game."
And of course you guys are going into the off season , is it hard transitioning into the off season, is it weird not having practice ?
"Yes certainly , the main thing is the routine . You are very scheduled throughout the season, every morning you know exactly where you are going to be, what time when you are on the road, right down to the meals everything is pretty much on paper for you," said the veteran defenseman. "All of a sudden the season ends and guys are moving to other towns and everybody is going their own way. You know you got a lot more time on your hands, guys start new jobs and stuff. You miss the locker room with all of the guys and that certain schedule you have throughout the season."
What are you looking most forward to in the off season since you will have so much free time?
"Well I work with a hockey program here , Black Hills Hockey academy and I am excited to get that going. My wife and I are going to have our first kid in June , so that's probably going to be taking a lot of my time this summer."
"Thank you very much"
No problem, I am going to swap over here to Daniel Leavens, how are you doing?
You joined the team back in December and you definitely made your presence known, 42 points with 13 goals and 29 assist. What are your thoughts about this season?
"Personally I think I had a pretty successful season, I just want to say coming to Rapid like Riley just talked about we have a really young group of guys here and the season didn't necessarily go the way, winning and losing the way we would have liked but the older guys we do have here have been awesome and they really showed me the ropes on how to be a pro everyday," said Leavens "We would have liked to win more games throughout the course of the year, but I think there is a good group of guys in here and I think that is the most important things of being on a team."
And what are some improvements you feel you guys can do to prep for next season.
"Well I think we are going to have a lot of guys going into their second full year of pro , so now me plus I think it's 14 or 15 of us we've all experienced a full year of pro and the grind the league is and especially this league," said the rookie forward. "It's a bit of a grind with the travel and what not, I think our team will be better equipped next year to handle that grind. We can see from teams we've played, like teams like Colorado , who are really good teams on how to play the right way and how to be successful in this league and we can kind of use that to our advantage and build off that."
What would you say is the biggest thing you learned or your biggest takeaway of working with the Rush?
"I think it's just bringing the right attitude and the right mindset everyday, I was playing college last year where you played two games a week so it's easy to be ready to play two games every week , but in this league you might play four or five in certain weeks so you have to be able to repeat that mentality of no mater if you are tired or a little sore that you can do the same thing day in and day out," said Leavens.
Of course the season is almost over, what are you looking most forward to in the off season?
"To see my dog, spend sometime with my family I haven't really seen them that much this year, I got a new condo with one of my best friends so I am excited for that too, there's a lot to look forward to in the summer, we obviously wish the summer wasn't as long as it's going to be."