Defenseman Cody Brookwell is a staple on the blueline for the Gwinnett Gladiators. He's a plus-7 in 52 games this season and has 12 points, four of those goals, so far.
Defenseman Cody Brookwell has played for the Gwinnett Gladiators for the last three seasons, since he graduated from the University of Denver. Brookwell, 26, has scored several clutch goals for Gwinnett this season and has 12 points in 53 games. The Calgary native is a stalwart on the blueline with a plus-8 plus-minus rating and was recently named a reserve on the Gladiators 10th anniversary team.
In this installment of "Getting to Know ...", Brookwell talks with staff writer Christine Troyke about a variety of topics, including his musical preferences, the best player in the NHL and the most difficult place he's played during his hockey career.
CT: What's your preferred method for passing the time on the long bus rides?
CB: Movies and, if not, a book.
CT: Have you seen or read anything good lately?
CB: Um, geez. I've watched a lot of movies. Haven't seen a lot of good ones. I'm working on a book called "Shantaram" right now which is pretty good.
CB: (Casey) Pierro-Zabotel.
CT: Do you guys distribute the cooking and cleaning equally?
CB: Absolutely. Fifty-fifty. It's a partnership. A domestic partnership.
CT: Who on the team this year amuses you the most?
CB: I'd have to go ahead and say my buddy Brando (Andy Brandt).
CB: A hundred percent intentional.
CT: What kind of music do you prefer to listen to most often?
CB: It's a split between country and then just a little bit of everything else. But country is my favorite.
CT: Do you try to catch concerts when you're able?
CB: If they're here, I've been known to. I went to Brad Paisley last year. But we really haven't had a good schedule for when concerts are here.
CT: How about during the offseason?
CB: I always try to get out to a good concert at the Calgary Stampede. They usually have some good ones. Garth Brooks came through there last summer.
CT: How would you describe Calgary for someone who hadn't been there?
CB: Well, if they've been to Denver, it's a lot like that. If they haven't, it's a beautiful little city. Nestled right next to the Rocky Mountains. About as clean and beautiful as you can get for a city, I'd say, anywhere in the world. Slow-running rivers through downtown. It's quite beautiful.
CT: So no question that's where you like to spend your offseasons?
CB: That's where I head.
CT: Are there any TV shows you try not to miss?
CB: I actually don't really watch a lot of TV. I can't think of a single show.
CT: Did you follow the Flames growing up?
CT: Any particular players that you lied to watch?
CB: Jerome Iginla. He's the best player in the league.
CT: Did you get to go to games live?
CB: Oh yeah. The most memorable was the run they had in the playoffs a few years back. I was in town for that.
CT: Are tickets hard to come by?
CB: They are. They sell out pretty much all the time.
CT: You've got to know people?
CB: (smiling) Yeah, you know, a few guys here and there.
CT: How old were you when you left home?
CB: I was 17 when I went to juniors in Williams Lake (BCHL).
CT: Did you know what you were getting into?
CB: I mean, you know what it's all about, but it's your first time so you don't really know what to expect until you get there. But I had really good billets.
CT: The bus rides you must have had to take in that league were even longer than the ones in the ECHL?
CB: It was terrible. And it's a sit-up bus.
CT: When you were looking at colleges, with Denver on the table, did you consider other places?
CB: There were other option on the table, but Denver approached me and my family first. I really liked the city -- obviously since it's a lot like Calgary -- and when they approached me, they were just winning their second national title in a row. So it was a no-brainer.
CT: Did you have a specific d-parter?
CB: Yeah, it was actually Chris Butler of the Calgary Flames, now. And that's my ticket hook-up (laughing).
CT: What degree did you get?
CB: A business communications degree.
CT: And what would you use that for?
CB: Ah, I'd use it pretty much for show in my office. And that's about it.CT: Do you remember how you played in your first pro game?
CB: I wish I could say I scored. But no, I don't remember. It was here. Obviously.
CT: Do you remember the first goal?
CB: I do. It's actually on the front of the Gwinnett phone book. Slap shot from the point. Phenomenal picture.
CT: You played many places, what's been the toughest place to play?
CB: I would say the toughest place to play was in junior when we had to travel 15 hours down to Trail. Which is at the bottom edge of B.C. You basically played the next day. There were no days off. And then you were right back on the bus right after the game for another 15 hours, sitting up. So that would easily be the hardest place to play.
It wasn't necessarily the building or the team itself, but the whole meal deal really (messes with) you.
CT: Did you go a fairly long time before getting major teeth knocked out?
CB: It was in college. It wasn't even really in college. It was at home on an outdoor rink. But it was during my time in college. And I got them all knocked out. It wasn't even really in a game.
CT: What's the biggest rivalry game you've been involved in?
CB: Denver-CC (Colorado College) for sure.
CT: Did you guys fare fairly well in the rivalry?
CB: We'd play them four times during the year and the best of the four gets a trophy called the Gold Pan. My whole time in Denver, we always did better than them in the standings, but we could never bring back the Gold Pan until my senior year.
CT: What's your offseason in Calgary like, other than the obvious training?
CB: Every summer, the family goes down to, it used to be Montana, now we're in Idaho. We have a boat and do the whole skiing thing and have the house on the lake. It's nice. We got with family friends for two or three weeks.
Then golfing and of course you've got to get to the Stampede. That's pretty much the summer.