As luck would have it, I met Patrick Kane on the day of my 21st birthday. I had on the best dress and probably the tallest heels I own. He was in a blue jacket, that I remember complimented his eyes quite nicely. Like every romantic love story, we locked eyes from across the room and felt the instant need to talk to each other. He looked a little different in person, but that’s probably because it wasn’t actually Patrick Kane.
The person I met on my 21st birthday was not Patrick Kane rather it was my best friend and boyfriend, Clayton Layne. Fun fact: His contact name in my phone actually has been Patrick Kane since we met. My name in his phone is Anna Kendrick. We’ve been pretty inseparable since the day we met.
I’ve had a love for hockey for a long time, as well as a love for Patrick Kane. I feel like I was destined to end up with a hockey player, and as it turns out, Clayton has been playing hockey since he could walk! The more and more I’ve gotten to know him, the more and more I realize that I’d take him over Patrick Kane any day!
Instead of spewing facts about him and writing this blog in my words, I decided to interview Clayton so you all can get to know more about him. So here we go!
How did you get started in hockey?
So my parents asked me at about 4 years old what I wanted to play and I said hockey! My dad really wanted me to play hockey too.
What was the first team you played for?
When I first started playing mini-mites, which is basically just a level to learn how to play, I was on the Pekin Little Stars. I started playing travel hockey for the Pekin Flyers when I was about 6. That was the first legitimate team I played for.
What is your favorite team you’ve played for?
My favorite team I’ve played for is the Peoria Mustangs. They are the Tier 3 Junior A Hockey team. (P.S planning on writing a blog about this team later so stay tuned)
What is your favorite part about playing hockey?
I loved all of it whether it’s hanging out with the boys or whatever. Especially with the Mustangs schedule, I got to hang out with the boys every day, play hockey every day, and meet some cool people. I just love playing the game
What hockey player do you look up to the most?
It has always been Patrick Kane. I mean I love Jonathan Toews and Kane. I look up to really anyone on the Blackhawks now. Originally growing up the first hockey player I looked up to was Martin St. Louis from the Tampa Bay Lightning. I modeled my game after him since I was also a small and speedy player. Since he is retired I look up to Kaner now because he’s just the most exciting player in the league.
What are you doing with hockey now?
I aged out of playing for the Mustangs so I just kind of mess around with friends and play men’s league. My brother plays for the Mustangs now, so I really try to help him out and give him tips on how to improve his game too.
Okay, last question: What is the best hockey advice you ever received and who was it from?
My coach the first year I joined the Mustangs was Jean-Guy Trudel, now the head coach of the Peoria Rivermen. He told me that you can only control your actions on the ice and that I need to focus on having fun. I also heard at a really young age that you can’t play scared, and I ran with that my whole hockey career.
Clayton has and always will love hockey. It’s really great to hear him get so passionate about the sport. I overhear conversations between him and his brother on how to get better at certain aspects of the game or new techniques to try. Hockey has always been a huge part of our relationship and will definitely stay that way. The best way to sum up this post is with another quote from Clayton; “Hockey was my only love until I met Elaina!”