Q&A: Former NHL Great Brendan Witt

PuckBuddys occasionally gets cool features (more oft than not thanks to their ace Isles writer). This is one of them – a Q&A with former Caps Captain and Isles Alternate Captain, the bruising bastion of the blue line known as Brendan Witt. This was conducted via twitter DM. Excuse the choppiness that comes from a Q&A with a 140 character limit, but I learned my lesson and will do these via email from now on. Thank you to Brendan Witt, give him a follow at @whitemooseranch.

But first, since my Isles face the Caps at Verizon tonight, my Three Keys to the Game:

  1. Specialty Teams. Isles need to earn PP opportunities with consistent net drive and stay out of box themselves.
  2. Physicality. Caps core guys (e.gg, Ribeiro & Backstrom) arent happy when their finesse game is disrupted. Martin, Cizikas et al have to take the body.
  3. Rebound control: Caps have guys like Ward,Laich and Brouwer that specialize in dirty goals. Clean ’em up & keep blue paint clear.

Vinny Piccolo: One of my favorite memories for you was your 2 goal game against EDM (in 2009). How bad did you want that hatty? Was that your highlight as a scorer?

Brendan Witt: It was nice but not a real big deal for me. I enjoy dishing out pain instead or coming up with a huge shot block. Hatty still be nice

Brendan_Witt_ CapVP: You were with the Caps when they made their move from a suburban locale to downtown. Do you think the Isles in Brooklyn can replicate that?

BW: First of all it’s nice to see them get a new building. They need it! If they put a winning team together they won’t have a drawing problem.

VP: What did you think of owners once again being willing to shutdown the game to get a deal completely to their liking? Will NHL recover?

BW:  Not good for the game or fans. I think the game will recover but it may take longer than last time. Owners are playing with fire.

Anaheim Ducks v New York IslandersVP:  Do you have any regrets over the 2005 round of negotiations? The PA changed leadership thereafter, was that the right call for NHLPA?

BW: 04/05 lockout was terrible, they were looking for a cap and got it. the NHLPA needed new blood. Fehr is a good fit.

VP: There was night where Avery speared you south of the border in LA. Is that something you ever get over as a player or forgive & forget?

BW:  With Avery that’s what kind of player he was. I don’t take it personally at all. I will tell you on the ice it’s never forgotten.

Witt as CapVP:  Who was your biggest mentor in NHL as a younger player? A lot of Isles fans compare Hamonic to you. Your thoughts on his game?

BW: Tinordi, Hunter, Berube…were all awesome towards me and helped me out tremendously. Harmonic is a promising D-man. Tough, eager, young. all good.

VP: 1 more anecdote question: The day in Philly you got hit by the SUV. Did you even think of missing that game? Did you drop your coffee?

BW:  Never got my coffee yet. Never crossed my mind in missing the game once I realized I wasn’t hurt. I had gotten really lucky!

VP: You were revered in your time here for your charity work. Anything going on with Witter’s Hitters still? How’s retirement treating you?

BW:  Got together with the NHLPA program LEARN TO PLAY and donated 10 grand towards the minor hockey program here in Missoula Retirement has been great so far. Full time father hunting and hiking.

VP: What’s your take on the Isles organization? What do they need to do to take the next step? What should fans know about Garth & Charles?

BW: Thought the Isles would’ve made a breakthrough by now. They need a stable goaltender, strong D, supporting cast for JT. He can’t do it all now.

Witt bloodiedVP: What’s  your take on NHLs new concussion protocols? Does the league do enough for retired players after they leave the game?

BW: With concussions they have more info now than they did 10 yrs ago.it’s important that the player doesn’t hide the symptoms. tough for a player that’s depending on that paycheck.

That wraps up our Q&A. I’d like to once again thank Brendan for taking the time to speak with me. I’ll break down the playoffs soon enough. Until then, try to avoid the crosschecks.

About RoseTintedVisor

RoseTintedVisor ( thats @RoseTintedVisor on Twitter for the newbs) is the nom de plume of moi, Vinny Piccolo. Park Ranger/ Grad Student (History) by day, token gay hockey player & blogger (devotee of the NYI) by night. In my spare time, I hit the ice on LI as a grinder and general irritant with a penchant for crosschecks and trashtalk. I also fancy comic books, wrestling, history, political discussion, particularly LGBT & Environmental Issues . Addtl interests include Miami Dolphins Football, Atlanta Braves Baseball, & The Florida Panthers.
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