Troy Brouwer was bought out by the Calgary Flames in early August, but the Brouwer Pouwer leader didn’t stay team-less for long. Tuesday, the Florida Panthers signed Brouwer to a one-year deal on Monday.
Posed to be a veteran on a young team, Brouwer joined the NHL Network on Thursday afternoon to talk about the leadership qualities he hopes to bring to south Florida. Brouwer also talked about how special it was to watch the Capitals win the Stanley Cup, and shared that Nicklas Backstrom is the godfather to his three-year-old son, Cade.
Brouwer starts talking about the Capitals at 1:53.
Brouwer spent four years playing for the Capitals before being traded to St. Louis in exchange for TJ Oshie. Similar to what happened when he left the Chicago Blackhawks, the Capitals won the Cup three years after his departure.
“Anytime you leave an organization and they win, you’re always a little…it hurts a little bit,” Brouwer said. “That being said, these guys… I was there for four years. I still have some amazing friends on the team.”
“Nick Backstrom is my three-year-old son’s godfather,” Brouwer continued. “Just an amazing group of guys. I couldn’t be happier for them.”
Cade Brouwer was born on September 1, 2015, two months after Brouwer departed the Capitals.
— Troy Brouwer (@TroyBrouwer36) September 1, 2017
Brouwer was always especially close with Backstrom. Their daughters, Haley and Kylie, were born a few months apart while the two were teammates on the Capitals. The girls grew up together before Kylie moved to St. Louis when they were two-years-old. When Brouwer reminisced on the trade to the Washington Posts’ Alex Prewitt in October of 2015, he shared that the girls shared video messages to each other after the move.
The full transcript is below.
NHL Network: What has you so excited about joining the Panthers?
Troy Brouwer: The potential of this team. I love what you see when you watch this team. They are fast and they have skill and jump up in the play. They move well. It’s just an exciting team and I am excited to be a part of it and hopefully we can do something special this year.
NHL Network: Troy, one of the guys that knows you very well in this organization is Dale Tallon. Dale was there when you were coming up the ranks in Chicago. You win a Stanley Cup with Chicago Blackhawks. What does he tell you and how does he he approach you to sign this new deal with the Panthers?
Troy Brouwer: He called me probably Tuesday or Wednesday night and talked to me about the team we had in Chicago and bringing in a couple older guys like John Madden to help the younger guys out and make sure they were evolving as players and people. He was like, we want a guy like you. We want your character and what you bring to the table, how you play, and just make sure you can help these guys along. These guys are young, skilled, have a lot of enthusiasm, lot of drive. Sometimes you need a little help to make sure guys are being pushed in the right direction. I’m not here to step on any toes but help in any way possible.
NHL Network: It’s always helpful for a guy that has won a Stanley Cup to come and join the fold as you did in Chicago. And speaking of the Cup, I know you spent four years playing in Washington. You know very well how much Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, etc. wanted that Cup. What was it like for you to watch them finally achieve that goal?
Troy Brouwer: It was great. Anytime you leave an organization and they win, it happened to me when I left Chicago, you’re always a little…it hurts a little bit. That being said, these guys… I was there for four years. I still have some amazing friends on the team. Nick Backstrom is my three-year-old sons godfather. Just an amazing group of guys. I couldn’t be happier for them.
NHL Network: Let’s talk about your situation. Have you talked Coach Boughner as to where he sees you in this lineup? I see a lot of the young guys, you think Borgstrom and Malgin, the offensive line of Barkov and Trocheck. Where do you see yourself and where does the coaching staff see you fitting into that?
Troy Brouwer: He called me yesterday afternoon and I just got a little bit busy with the family. I haven’t talk to him as of yet. I probably should give him a call back quickly. [laughs] When I was talking to Dale, it was being that versatile guy that could move up and down the lineup – trying to help in the tough situations, play some tough minutes and just really help out where I can and bring some leadership and hopefully some stability to whenever I am in the lineup or wherever in the lineup. That’s kind of what I am looking at right now. The ability to have some options and hopefully move up in the lineup when there is some time, but that being said just to help out where I can and be that versatile player.
NHL Network: From a personal standpoint, I am sure your wife and your family are probably exited about spending the winters in South Florida. What does the future look like for your family?
Troy Brouwer: It is coming quickly. We’re currently trying to find a place to rent. Trying to get our six-year-old in school which has been fairly easy but the school systems are a little different from Canada to the States. I am going to go down in a couple days, the family will probably follow me a couple days after that. It’s been a little bit of a hectic few days. Probably a hectic couple weeks coming up but they’re excited. With what happened here in Calgary, with just how the business side of the NHL goes, now it’s just looking forward and however it plays out we will just make it work as a family.
NHL Network: You’re a guy that has had tremendous success. Even in St Louis, the way you played in that playoff run there for the Blues was great. Looking at his team, this team had a great end of the season last year but how do you interact with the young players as to them to get ready for the first day of the season. In order to get in the playoffs, you have to get going right away now. By Thanksgiving you have to be in a playoff position. What are you going to tell the young players to get them ready for that situation?
Troy Brouwer: Everybody puts so much emphasis on the stretch and after the trade deadline and those last 20 and 30 games because all the teams are so tight, but I feel like where you create a bit of separation is in those first 10 or 15 games where you only play two games a week, maybe three games, and those points are just as important. You have to make sure you’re collecting those as soon as you can right out of the gates which means good competitive training camp so guys are prepared and ready to go right at the start of the season.
NHL Network: Well, Troy, we can’t wait to watch you out on the ice in that Panthers sweater. Thank you so much and good luck with the move.
Troy Brouwer: Thank you very much. Hopefully it goes smoothly.
Headline image: @TroyBrouwer36 and Marianne Helm
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