Interview with Thrashers prospect Michael Garnett

By Matt Gunning

Michael Garnett was originally selected by the Thrashers in the 3rd round of the 2001 Entry Draft. He has played in the WHL for the past three seasons and will turn pro in 2002-03. The first Thrashers goalie to be “homegrown” (drafted as an 18-year-old and go on to sign a contract with the organization) he will likely see time in both the AHL Chicago Wolves and ECHL Greenville Grrrowl this year.

With the assistance of the Atlanta Thrashers, Hockey’s Future had the opportunity to ask Mike a few questions during the Thrashers Prospect Camp held in July.

HF: How would you describe your style of play to someone who has never seen you play in person?

MG: Very aggressive, I challenge well, I’m a good positional goaltender. I rely more on being in good position to make a save rather than reflexes.

HF: Heading into this last season, did you have any personal or team goals?

MG: For the team, we wanted to get into the playoffs, which was something we hadn’t done for a couple of years. We wanted to do well and maybe win a couple of rounds. I think we achieved the one by getting into the playoffs, but it would have been nice to go a little further. As for myself, I just wanted to play a lot of games and get a lot of minutes in, and just really focus on developing good practice habits and trying to stay sharp mentally during games (laughs).

HF: Besides being drafted, what has been the highlight of your hockey career thus far?

MG: I’ve had a lot of things–meaningless little games like playing in the Top Prospects games or All-Star games. Winning playoff rounds are by far the highlight. Knowing as you shake hands with the other team that you were better than them–I just love that feeling. I’ve only won one playoff round (laughs) and that was in Tier II junior, but looking back, that was probably the highlight [of my career].

HF: Do you have any pre-game superstititions?

MG: I have a routine I do every day on game day, it is probably four hours or so. I nap, I eat at the same time every day, same thing—I just do everything at the same time every game day. I’m not really superstitious about it, it is just so I don’t have to worry about what I’ll do before the game, so I only have to think about the game.

HF: Who has been the most influential person in your hockey career?

MG: I’ve never really had one person. There have been a lot people, my parents have been real supportive. I’ve had good coaches. Probably, the one coach I had who really kept me on track and really pushed me was Brent Sutter in Red Deer. He was a really good coach and he helped me a lot.

HF: Have you had any periods of adversity that you’ve had to work through?

MG: Probably the worst thing I went through this season was our team went on a nine game losing streak and I got real sick during it. Having a team that’s completely down on itself and trying to pull out of that. Once we got out of that we did pretty well. Just going through a nine game losing streak, that’s probably the worst thing that’s happened.