Q&A with Mike Brodeur

By Holly Gunning

Mike Brodeur was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the seventh round of the 2003 Entry Draft. Derailed from his intended path to college hockey by red tape, the 6’2 goaltender played one year in the WHL with Moose Jaw in 2003-04, posting a 23-12-5 record, a 2.11 GAA and a .929 save percentage. He turned pro in the summer of 2004 and is currently assigned to Chicago’s ECHL affiliate, the Greenville Grrrowl, located in Greenville, South Carolina. He is joined by fellow Chicago prospects Alex Kojevnikov, Scotty Balan, and Vladimir Gusev, as well as several prospects from the Edmonton Oilers, who share the Grrrowl as an affiliate.

Despite icing a competitive team, Greenville is yet to win a game this year, going 0-5-0 on the season. Brodeur has played two of those five games, with a 2.53 GAA and a .924 save percentage.

Hockey’s Future spoke to Brodeur following the Grrrowl’s 5-3 loss to the Gwinnett Gladiators on Halloween. He backed up Edmonton prospect Mike Morrison in the game.

HF: You’ve played two games so far this season, how do you feel like it’s gone for you?
MB: It’s gone great. The first game I was a little shaky, you know, first pro game. That’s what you expect. I should have been a little bit better. I still expect better numbers for myself. We’re getting better every game so it’s just a work in progress here.

HF: Is the league what you expected?
MB: Actually, it’s better than what I expected. I heard before I came down here that it was a strong league, and it’s exceeded my expectations from what I’ve seen so far.

HF: How is Mike Morrison to work with as a partner?
MB: Oh, he’s great, we get along great. The thing you ask for is the goaltending tandem to be friends. You want to be able to get along with the guy, rather than him being your enemy. We get along great, so it makes it much easier.

HF: You aren’t rooming together or anything though, are you?

MB: No, they’ll room us together on the road, I believe, if we stay in a hotel, but not the apartments.

HF: How did you think Norfolk camp went for you this year?
MB: I thought it went great, it was a good, competitive camp. The first couple days was getting the butterflies out and whatnot, but I thought I had a good camp. Good speed, the pace up there is unbelievable. I just look forward to moving up there, hopefully next season.

HF: I read that you had been working on your aggressiveness in net, how is that going?
MB: Yeah, I’m working on just my control, I want to get out and challenge a bit more. I was playing a little bit too deep in my net. I worked on that with the goalie coach Stephane Waite in Norfolk. He wanted me playing out a little bit more. It’s coming along great.

HF: Is that the main thing you’re working on right now?
MB: Yeah, and rebound control. That’s coming along great, so no complaints there.

HF: Can you talk about Kojevnikov as a shooter, how does he do against you in practice?
MB: (laughing) In practice I’ll give him one out of probably seven or eight. But yeah, he’s a strong shooter. His speed is unbelievable, he’s going to have a real bright future in hockey.

HF: He’s real sneaky with the puck.
MB: His moves are unbelievable, once he adjusts to the style of hockey here, the body contact is a little different for him. Once he adjusts, he’s going to be unstoppable.

HF: Moose Jaw isn’t doing so well this year, have you been following their trials and tribulations?
MB: Yeah…they haven’t got a win in 15 games, so they’re struggling as well. But it’s a rebuilding year for them, they lost seven or eight of their solid players from last year. They’re just going to have to work from the bottom and work their way up again, unfortunately.

HF: One of your old teammates was out on the ice tonight, (Thrasher prospect) Lane Manson.
MB: Yeah, I was a little surprised to see him here, I wasn’t sure where he was playing. It was good to see a friendly face.

HF: What was he like to play with last year?
MB: Oh, he’s great to have in front of you. As a goalie, that’s the kind of player you want to have in front of you. He’s solid defense, he stays at home, his size is unbelievable and it helps him with his stick, everything. He’s an enforcer on the ice. You know he’s going to be there to back you up. He’s got the size that he can fight. He’s just a good guy to have around. I think he has a bright future too as well. He reminds me a lot of (Zdeno) Chara, with that size and he’s got the skating ability. He just gets better every year, a real hard worker.

HF: I noticed you still have your Moose Jaw mask, any plans for a new one?
MB: Yeah, actually I’m getting a new one here soon, it’s just waiting to get planned out and get a new paint job. Have to decide what I want to get done. I’m probably going to go with the same pattern I had before but throw the Grrrowl head on the side and change up the writing on the chin, I’m not too sure exactly. The silver is kind of a good background, we’ve got a lot of silver in the jersey.

HF: You’ve got to make that dog look a little tougher.
MB: I know. Maybe I’ll give him some sharp teeth or something (laughing). Yeah, make him look meaner.

HF: What are you reading now?
MB: Nothing to tell you the truth. Once in a while I’ll read my goalie books. I was reading a book on the psychology of the game, but I’ve kind of put that down for a little while. I watch more movies than read books.

HF: What are you going to be for Halloween?
MB: Well I guess I was a goalie (laughing). Myself, a skinhead I guess (patting his buzzed head). No party though, can’t party if you’re not winning.

Copyright 2004 Hockey’s Future. Do not duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.