Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sitting Down with Stamler

I had a chance to have a chat yesterday with newly acquired Broncos defenseman Bretton Stamler.

The veteran shows a lot of good leadership skills and that's maybe what the Broncos need for their stretch run to put all the pieces in place.

Here for only a week, Stamler has had some good observations on what needs to be done to make the Broncos a consistent, winning hockey club.

Here's some pieces of the interview....

JK: Home ice debut tonight for you and Jesse Dudas. What do you expect?

Bretton: It's kind of like any other game. I've been through lots of these situations before whether it's in front of scouts or a home opener. Obviously being traded is a bit different but it still carries the same emotions and I know how to handle it. Just play a simple game, move the puck and try not to do too much.

JK: The Broncos have an abundance of depth on the blueline. How confident of a group are you guys with that mix of talent and veteran leadership?

Bretton: I think we're very confident but I don't think fans will see that until playoffs. In the past like in Seattle we rolled four guys. Three of us defenseman played all situations and one other just played PK and even strength. When you're in a long series and you're playing four defenseman, it's almost impossible. When we played Vancouver (in the playoffs), it just became impossible with forechecks and teams have so much video....when you play them night after night they get to know your tendencies.

As we're going into playoffs, if we get into the habit of rolling six guys I think you'll save a lot of legs and later in series you'll have a lot more success moving the puck out of your zone.

JK: What's been the focus of the team at practice lately?

Bretton: Not a lot of systems right now. The Broncos are known as a very highly skilled team throughout the league. I think any team knows the Broncos have a lot of talent and can score goals throughout the line-up.

So the last couple days we've just been working on competing consistently. You hear a lot of coaches talk about it even in the NHL. When I went down to camp at Detroit that's all Mike Babcock preached was making sure you compete. Even the other night when the Islanders were in Edmonton that's all Ted Nolan talked about in the post-game interview is that you have to be able to compete.

Systems are systems, they don't change very much from team to team. If we can just learn to compete every night and be consistent we will have success especially going into the playoffs.

JK: How comfortable are you with this team? You were the captain in Edmonton but can't really come in here and take-over from that standpoint but eventually you will be leaned on for some leadership. How comfortable are you in your present role?

Bretton: I'm comfortable because they have a good group here and guys who are willing to listen and have the same goal as I do.

I just think looking at this team and all this talent... it's almost like taming a Bronco. I know that sounds strange being that it's the name of the team and all but it really is. There's so much talent and a lot of potential but... you really have to focus and condense that. We have to make this team consistent every night. It's tough, and it's one of the hardest things to do for an individual hockey player.

For example, you look at the Vancouver Giants last year. They probably weren't the most skilled team offensively but they did the same thing every single night. Lines 1 to 4 and six defenseman, everybody did the same thing and no one could compete with them at the end of the day other than Medicine Hat who did the exact same thing. That's what it takes.


Broncos and Red Deer Rebels tonight for the fourth time this season. The Broncos have won the previous three meetings but it's a new look Rebels squad after they made a handful of moves at the trade deadline. Departed players include J.D. Watt, Scott Doucet, Brennan Sonne, Dallas Jackson, and Matt Strong. They welcome players Colby Kulhanek, Troy Ofakuny, Juraj Valach, Cody Gross and Brett Miller.

It's a 7:30pm face-off. The Eagle begins coverage at 7pm.

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