(Interview) (Birgit Eiblmaier) The Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers are playing in the DEL (Germany´s elite league ) and a couple month ago they have signed Brandon Prust – another former NHL Player on the their roster.
Before „Prusty“ took over his career to Germany he played during the last 10 years for the Calgary Flames, Phoenix Coyotes, New York Rangers , Montreal Candadiens and the Vancouver Canucks. Besides almost 500 games played in the NHL Prust played 230 games in the AHL. So far he has played 21 games for the Ice Tigers. Our reporter, Birgit Eiblmaier, met Brandon Prust for an interview.
When did you start playing hockey ?
Brandon Prust: I started playing hockey when i was 4 years old. There was a junior hockey team in my hometown i used to go and watch.
But back home when you learn to walk you start learning how to skate.
Did you have a hockey idol ?
Brandon Prust: Yes, one of my biggest hockey idols was Wendel Clark. Wendel Clark played for the Leafs. He was „Alternate Captain“, he hit, he fought, he scored – i always wanted to be like him.
Have you ever thought about becoming a pro hockey player ?
Brandon Prust: My Dad says when i was 5 or 6 i always said i want to play in the NHL, it was always a dream of mine. And i guess i believed that i always have worked hard enough to get there.
What would else would you have done for a living ?
Brandon Prust: Well, it´s tough to say. When i was in High School and didn´t know if i could play hockey i was appyling for a fire fighter college – but i ended up starting playing pro hockey.
That´s kind of funny – lots of hockey players are interested in being a fire fighter!
Brandon Prust: Maybe that´s because it´s kind of team-oriented.There is the fire fighter family, you know. And you´re always protecting people – that´s something what we do out of here. It´s satisfying. It´s also a job you take a lot of pride.
How about the bigger rink size – does it make much difference for you ?
Brandon Prust: Not too much. You have to make a few adjustments, you have more time to play the puck and some systems are a bit different – but it´s still the same game.
You seem to have lots of fun on the ice?
Brandon Prust: That´s why we play the game – if you don´t have fun playing the game you´re in the wrong business. I´m always joking around just to make sure that we´re having a good time – i think that´s very important.
Why did you pick #8 ?
Brandon Prust: Growing up i was a Dallas Cowboys fan and there was a quarterback who was wearing the 8 and i always have liked the 8. It was the number i had when i was a kid so i stuck with it.
You seem to be a big ( American ) Football fan, who do you suppose to win the Superbowl ?
Brandon Prust: Yes, i am a big football fan. I am a big Dallas fan and my Dad is a big Dallas fan as well. So i grew up watching the Cowboys. I hope Atlanta now will win the Superbowl because i am not much for any other team .
Do you have any „special“ hockey moments ?
Brandon Prust: I have played twice in the Conference Final – defenitely these are my two most memorable hockey moments for sure.
I played with the Montreal Canadiens against the New York Rangers in the Conference Final and played with the New York Rangers against the New Jersey Devils. Obviously we lost both in game 6. You won´t forget these moments because millions of people watching the game and you were that close to the Stanley Cup Final. Well, it was fun though.
How about the fans ?
Brandon Prust: Well, i had a blast all the places that i have played. I always played with really good fans. But the fans over here are incredible. Even my financé was blown away and my Dad and my Uncle were like“ „ That´s crazy!“. You don´t see that back home. It´s more in soccer. It´s pretty exciting when the fans are chanting my name – especially after my fight with Wolf. It´s cool.
How came you took over your career to Germany ?
Brandon Prust: I was training with the Leafs and hung up with them for a couple of months. It was kinda getting late and i had to make a decision. Danny Syvret is one of my best friends and he told me about the team, and that they are pushing for the championship and told me about the town and everything – so it seems like a good fit for me. The german league is more my kind of hockey style for sure. So i picked it.
How about playing another season in Europe ? Does it depend on your fiancé?
Brandon Prust: I haven´t made my decision yet. I am focused on this year at the moment and i am focused on winning the championship. And then we will see what will happen. Well, my fiancé understands that it is important for me playing the game i love. This is my life. Obviously it won´t last forever, but we will see when time comes.
What is it with this „ Hockey Wife Reality TV Show“ ?
Brandon Prust: That is more for my fiancé´s career. They came here and filmed for a couple of days but i do not care for it too much. It´s good for her. Obviously she has been kind of model and TV personality and this was kind of a good show for us.
Please tell me about your foundation „ Prusty4Kids“ !
Brandon Prust: Back home in my hometown i have this foundation and we raise money for kids in need. We support a lot of kids programms, raise a lot of money and we have started a programm called „ Kids Kicking Cancer“ - it´s not only for kids who have cancer but also for kids who are in pain.
We give them room, we get them acitve, we help them to learn breathing techniques or how to deal with pain and needles.
It´s hard to contribute that much from here but i try my best to be involved. One of my best friends back home does a lot of paperwork for me and when i am back home in summer i spend much time for this foundation. But its fun. And i am pretty proud of it.
Talking about summer- how do you spend offseason ?
Brandon Prust: I have a house back home and relax a lot and of cource prepaing for the upcoming season.
You´ve have been here for a couple of month now – how about your German ?
Brandon Prust: Not very good. I just know the greetings and have started to learn that „ Can i get the bill please“ is „ Zahlen, bitte !“ and that „Cheers!“ is „Prost!“
Who sits next to you in the lockerroom and what music would you choose if it was up to you ?
Brandon Prust: I sit next to Joker and Yasin, just because there was an open spot. I listen to a lot of music, depends on the day, on whatever mood i am. I listen to Hip Hop, Rap, Accoustic, Alternative Rock, Ed Sheeran, Lukas Graham and so on.
Thank you Brandon for this interview !
We wish you and yours all the best and and we cross the fingers for you and the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers in the Play-Off !
(photo Birgit Eiblmaier)
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