Brooklyn is ready for Freddy.
The New York Islanders Monday named retired National Hockey League goaltender Fred Brathwaite as the team’s new goalie coach.
“He’s ready for this next step and we look forward to him working with our organization’s goalies,” Islanders Head Coach Doug Weight said.
Brathwaite, 44, was goalie coach for Hockey Canada’s Under-18 team for the last three seasons. Before that, he coached goalies for Canada’s Under-20 program and for Adler Mannheim in the German Professional League during the 2013-14 season.
His former Hockey Canada students include NHL draftees Carter Hart, a 2016 Philadelphia Flyers second-round draft pick, Zach Fucale, a 2013 Montreal Canadiens third-round selection, and Eric Comrie, taken in the second-round in 2013 by the Winnipeg Jets.
“Fred’s experiences at just about every level of hockey make him a tremendous addition to our hockey club,” Weight said. “Not only has he has a solid NHL career, but he’s also worked with some of the top net-minders coming out of Hockey Canada.”
Brathwaite spent nine seasons in the NHL, occupying the net for the Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets. He posted an NHL career record of 81 wins, 99 losses and 37 ties with a 2.73 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in 254 regular seasons games. He had 15 shutouts.
The well-traveled goalie also played for the Syracuse Crunch and Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, Ak Bars Kazan and Avangard Omsk of the Russian Superleague (now the Kontenental Hockey League) and Adler Mannheim of Germany’s DEL. Brathwaite won Goaltender of the Year in the RSL in 2005-06 and Player of the Year in 2008-09 in the DEL with Adler.
He appeared in only one Stanley Cup Playoffs game, for the Blues in 2001-02, and was on the ice for only a minute. But Brathwaite did earn championship hardware during his North American playing days, winning a Memorial Cup with the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals in 1990 with a bruising young teammate named Eric Lindros.
Getting the Islanders job fulfills Brathwaite’s goal of returning to the big leagues as a coach.
“I would love to be an NHL goalie coach,” he told the Color of Hockey in June 2015 “And having this opportunity with Hockey Canada is helping me prepare for that. And it’s really not that bad paying dues when you end up getting the best kids in the country to work with.”
Brathwaite replaces former NHL goalie Mike Dunham as the Isles’ netminder boss. The Brooklyn-based team ranked 23rd among the NHL’s 30 teams with a 2.90 goals-against average last season under Dunham.
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