FORT WAYNE, IN — If you have been on social media the past couple of months, you may have noticed a certain hockey player with style. When he is not posting dance videos or doing photo shoots for his clothing creations, he plays defense for the Fort Wayne Komets.
In 2011, Dan Milan signed an entry-level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL. He was acquired by the Komets in a trade for future considerations with Wichita in August, where he led the team in penalty minutes for two straight seasons. This preseason he attended the Wilkes-Barre AHL training camp and in December, skated in his 200th ECHL game. Currently, Dan has one goal, seven assists in 57 games played this season.
Let’s meet Komets defensemen, Dan Milan:
The Sin Bin: How was it being signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2011?
Dan Milan: That was a pretty special moment, especially because when I signed I was a year from my graduating high school. It happened quickly and getting to sign an NHL contract which everyone dreams about doing, so it was awesome.
TSB: How did you get into hockey?
DM: It was my dad. Where he went to get his hair cut, the barber’s son played hockey and he recommended to my dad to get me into hockey and get me skating. He got me on the ice and it was tough at first, I didn’t really like it because like anyone who got to play hockey, they can’t skate. Once I could skate fast and I was able to, that is when I really fell in love with it.
TSB: So, you came to the Komets in a trade with Wichita, how did it feel for you to be coming to a team with so much history and such a loyal fanbase?
DM: It is what I wanted, I feel I needed for my career. I needed to move on from Wichita, I had a great time and a great few years back there, the fans there were great, it was time to move on. But it was nice coming to Fort Wayne, knowing the history behind the team and the reputation that they have as an organization for taking care of their players, not only that, only being three hours away from home, those were some big reasons why I wanted to come here. They are always a good team and I wanted to make the playoffs, I wanted to win something. It has been a great year so far and now it is coming to the end, we are looking to get some momentum going into the playoffs and hopefully keep it going all the way until June.
TSB: What motivates you in games to do your best?
DM: There are a few things. My own personal pride and the way I was raised. I was raised to not give up and to go 100% in anything. You want to play to win and you don’t want to let anybody down. If you don’t try and you don’t work hard and you let that guy defy you when you could have stopped him and if you worked a little harder, that is going to leave you with a little bit of a regret. You want to play to win and not let the guys down. I am proud of myself for working hard.
TSB: What are some hobbies you have outside of the rink?
DM: My main thing right now is hockey, like all of us we have hobbies. My hobby is fashion, and everything around that, art, fashion, and modeling. I do it for fun right now and if anything were to ever come of that in the distant future, maybe I would when I am done playing hockey. But I still plan to play hockey for a long time to come. So right now, it is more just a hobby and I put it out on social media to build my brand and be myself doing it.
DM: Well, most people that follow me on social media think that I am an absolute psychopath all the time but that is not necessarily the case. I am pretty laid back but if I get an idea in my head I will make some kind of funny video or maybe I will make a new article of clothing because that is a passion of mine. But for the most part, I am pretty laid back and like to enjoy my life.
TSB: Something I always find fun, and I am guessing that you will be no different, is to ask you guys a random question. For you, I want to know what is your favorite animal?
DM: My favorite animal, give me one second I got to make sure that I say the right one cause I want it to be unique too. I would probably, I don’t know, we will just go with a tiger. I like all the big cats. (laughs)
TSB: I like to do rapid fire with players, are you ready?
DM: Yep! (laughs)
TSB: Last band or artist that you listened to?
DM: Umm, trying to think here, Chris Brown. His new single “Privacy” that is my new song right now.
TSB: Dream car?
DM: Either a Lamborghini or Ferrari for sure.
TSB: Karaoke go-to song
DM: Oh nice, ummm, I would probably say “Blue” by Eiffel 65.
DM: Yeah you get to keep the same tone through the whole thing. You just keep the same sound through the whole thing, you don’t have to raise or lower your voice. (laughs)
TSB: What annoys you?
DM: Smacking, like hearing people eat. When you can just hear what is going on that is the worst. When they are smacking their lips or something, I hate that so much! I will sit in another room, I can’t listen to it.
TSB: Place you would like to go
DM: I would really love to explore Italy. Milan preferably, cause that is my name (laughs)
Thanks to Dan Milan for taking time to talk with us.