Every day during the 2008 TELUS Cup, hockeycanada.ca will sit down with the captain of one of the six teams competing for Canada’s National Midget Championship.
Today, we sit down with Calgary Buffaloes captain Brett Switzer.
What does it mean to be the captain of a team at the National Midget Championship?
It is a great honour. Our captain, Brooks Myers, got injured in the second game of the regional finals, so I’m actually the alternate captain. They gave me the ‘C’ for the TELUS Cup only, but it’s a tremendous honour to be captain of my team and be picked as the one to fill in for our injured captain. It’s an honour to be in that category.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of your team?
We’re definitely a young team so we can get a little frustrated at times and lose our focus. However, we’re a very hungry team. We definitely try to wear down the opposing team.
What was the defining moment for your team so far this season?
Holding it together during the playoffs. We really had a strong season from start to finish; the boys really came together, especially in our series against Lethbridge. They were the top team in our division, but we really took it to them and got stronger as a team.
What is your team’s style of play?
We’re very gritty and we’re a physical hockey team. We dump pucks in and hit them hard.
As captain, what do you try to bring to the ice every game?
I’m a hard-working player. I try to go to the net and put up some points – it’s really nice when I can do that. We have a pretty young team this year, but all the guys are very focused and mature. Everyone on our team is a leader, but it’s nice to be recognized as a leader.
Where do you get your leadership skills from?
From growing up through hockey with older players – watching how those guys conduct themselves and how they lead some of the younger players. A lot of the coaches, especially these last couple years, helped me – they know what it takes to lead. Just watching them, I can take that from them use it in the dressing room and help the other players on the team.
What NHL player do you look up to and why?
Steve Yzerman, because of all that he has done leadership-wise. He’s an all-star on and off the ice, and he conducts himself well everywhere he goes. I just try and do what he did.
What is your best asset as a player?
I’m a playmaker and I can see the ice pretty well – I can set up some of our goal scorers. If they can get to open ice, I can give them the puck.
What is your favourite minor hockey memory?
It would have to be this year, being here. Ever since I was young, especially a Calgary kid seeing the Buffaloes do really well, I’ve wanted a chance to be here. We’ve reached our goals so far this year, and hopefully it keeps getting better.
What would winning the TELUS Cup mean to you?
It would just be amazing. Everyone in our room wants to be that team that will be remembered. Winning the TELUS Cup, everyone would know who you were. There was a lot of effort you put in, but with something like this, you’ll never forget it.