By Mike Griffith
Californian Staff Writer
The Bakersfield Californian
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – No doubt about it, Kevin Truelson has a lot on his mind.
And he’s not afraid to share his thoughts.
Last summer, Condors fans got a glimpse of what thoughts filter in and out of Truelson’s mind as he wrote a very entertaining blog for the Condors’ Web site.
“Just because you see someone on the ice doesn’t mean you know who I am or what I’m all about,” Truelson said of one of the reasons he agreed to blog. “If you see someone play hockey you can’t really judge what type of person they are.
“We’re regular people, too. We probably have some of the same thoughts. Hopefully you don’t have some of the same thoughts I have or you might want to seek some professional help.”
As for his summer in Bakersfield, it was a learning experience for the defenseman who grew up in South Weymouth, Mass., about 15 miles south of Boston.
“I thought it was good for me to get out in the community and just get to know the people, places and things I was playing for out here,” Truelson, 26, said of staying in Bakersfield. “It was a little tough with the weather and heat. I wasn’t used to that. I had to suffer through a couple of major sunburns, but other than that I had a good time.
“Sometimes I just had to hide inside and cover myself up.”
And one of Truelson’s favorite inside spots is the library, where he trolled the aisles looking for something interesting to read.
“The books came along when we were always on bus trips in college (the University of New Hampshire) and as a professional where people have hand-held games, cell phones and all this stuff,” he said. “I didn’t grow up with that stuff, didn’t really need it.
“I was always a big writer, but you can only write so much without people thinking you’re crazy so I had to start reading what other people write.”
To that end, Truelson is often reading two or three books rather than reading an entire book then going on to the next one.
“I just like to keep my mind as sharp as possible outside the rink,” he said. “I know what things in life are important. I read the newspaper. I know I’m lucky to be playing hockey. At the same time I know it’s not real life. I know how hard real life is.”
And while hockey may not be “real life,” it is what Truelson is being paid to do and he’s doing his job very well this season. His 15 goals and 48 points are career highs and tops among Bakersfield defensemen.
“He’s an offensive defenseman,” Condors coach Marty Raymond said. “He skates well. Because of his skating he will take some chances but he recuperates well. That’s his ammo. Part of our offense is having guys join the rush.
“Hitting is not a big part of his game; he’s not here for that purpose. I think in playoff hockey you’ll see more of that.”
Truelson agrees that he takes chances, but tries to do so at the appropriate times.
“At times I’m a pretty reckless player, which I have to be,” he said. “But at other times I have to be a responsible player. I have to know what’s going on. I know what (the coaching staff) expects from me and they know what they’re going to get from me. Hopefully that pays off.”
As for the season, Truelson is pleased at what the team has accomplished (third best wining percentage in the league) but says there is much more to play for.
“If we’re not playing for the championship this year I’ll be disappointed,” he said.
“It’s always a lot harder to get there and there are a lot of teams to go through to get to that championship game but that’s where we want to be.
“There’s a reason why we play these games. We need to stay focused and hopefully we can put a little run together — right into June.”