ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It’s not often that you hold a press conference in the middle of a Dierbergs, but that’s exactly what T.J. Oshie accomplished this week. Oshie, just steps from the produce aisle, announced that a portion of the proceeds of his new breakfast cereal, “Oshie O’s,” will go to benefit the Missouri chapter of the March of Dimes. Oshie is a popular (and talented) Blues forward and U.S. Olympian, but he’s also highly-regarded as a supporter of the St. Louis community.
I spent a few moments with Oshie before he greeted a crowd of hockey fans and grocery shoppers at the multi-level Dierbergs in Des Peres.
1) TA: This is something very close to you and your fiancée, Lauren.
TJ: Our daughter, Lyla, was in the NICU for what seemed like a really long three weeks. We’re thankful that it was only three weeks – we know a lot of babies are in there for a lot longer than that. March of Dimes helps babies that are premature and in the NICU. It’s something that is always important, but when it happens to your own child, you want to make an investment into helping them out. So I’m glad that we could donate a portion of the proceeds to them.
2) TA: It’s a honey nut, toasted oats cereal: “Oshie O’s.” It’s packaged in a limited edition collector’s box, featuring an illustration of you with your signature across the front. It’s pretty impressive. When you saw that for the first time, what went through your mind?
TJ: I thought it was really awesome. We switched up the name a little bit. It was “Oshie’s O’s” originally. I thought that “Oshie O’s” flew off the tongue a little quicker. Other than that, they did everything. The box looks great. Since my signature’s on it already, I thought maybe I could just throw a “74” underneath, but I’ve been signing them anyway. (Oshie laughs here – he’s been happily signing tons of autographs for people taking home armloads of cereal boxes.)
3) TA: We’re very close to the start of the hockey season once again. It’s Thursday. It’s the Predators (tonight at Scottrade Center), the first place team in the Central Division. What a way to start.
TJ: They’re a great team. I feel like they’ve been surprising some teams lately, but they’re giving teams their best hockey. So it’s going to be a good battle. It always is when we play Nashville, it seems like we have a pretty good rivalry going with them.
4) TA: At this time of year, everybody’s dealing with something. In the NHL, it’s not always revealed what it is…but you guys are banged up and needed some rest (during the All-Star Break).
TJ: It seems like everyone always has something going. It’s part of the game. And once you’re here a while, you kind of realize that if you’re playing at 100%, maybe you’re not playing hard enough. So, everyone’s got something going. And that rest is really key and very crucial this time of year so that everyone can go on to the last half of the season here and put together a good run.
5) TA: Martin Brodeur is retiring and (Blues GM) Doug Armstrong announced that there will a management role for Marty. What a special time this has been with Brodeur…in a very short amount of time.
TJ: It has been. He went out there and I think he showed everyone that he’s still got it. He made a decision on what would be best for him and I’m really happy he’s staying with our organization. Just in that short month that he was with us, on the trips and playing for us, you can tell he just has a winning attitude. He knows what it takes to win games. To have a guy like that in your organization can only make the team better.
Tom Ackerman is Sports Director at KMOX. Follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Ackerman1120
For information on the Missouri Chapter of the March of Dimes: www.marchofdimes.org/missouri
To order Oshie O’s cereal: www.oshiecereal.com