Monday, February 04, 2013

Absurd Goalie Monday: Fred Brathwaite

While this goalie is a fresh retiree, he does have quite a resume to show. From winning a Memorial Cup to scoring a goal in the IHL, to being in a hip-hop video, this week's AGM savvy nature has made him a great personality in the game and has moved him along to a life in hockey by coaching and technology, as well. This week, the profile of Fred Brathwaite.

Brathwaite's start was in Junior "A" in the 1988-89 season with the Smiths Falls Bears, where he would play in 38 games and have a record of 16-18-1, while in the 1989-90 season-- Brathwaite played in Junior "B" for the Orilla Terriers for 15 games before getting a call-up.

The call-up for Brathwaite was to the Oshawa Generals of the OHL, where he would finish that campaign with a 11-2-1 record in 20 games, then went 4-2 in 10 playoff games, as the Generals won the OHL title. In the Memorial Cup that year, Brathwaite played one game (a win) en route to the Generals winning the Memorial Cup. In the 1990-91 season, Brathwaite appeared in 39 games for Oshawa and compile a 25-6-3 record, then post a 9-2 record in 13 playoff games. The 1991-92 season put Brathwaite in Oshawa again, but only for 24 games (12-7-2), then he was dealt to the London Knights where he would go 15-6-2 in 23 games, then 5-5 in the playoffs. Brathwaite was on the move once again before the 1992-93 season, where he would play for the Detroit Jr. Red Wings, putting up a 23-10-4 record in 37 games while going 9-6 in the playoffs.

Going undrafted, Brathwaite was signed by the Edmonton Oilers before the 1993-94 season, where he would go 3-10-3 in 19 appearances, while being sent down to the AHL's Cape Breton Oilers for two games going 1-1-0. The lockout shortened 1994-95 season had Brathwaite in Edmonton the entire season, posting a 2-5-1 record in 14 games. Brathwaite struggled with Edmonton in the 1995-96 season, going 0-2-0 in seven games before having a stint in the AHL with Cape Breton, where he would have a 12-16-0 record in his 31 games there.

With no NHL contract, Brathwaite signed with the IHL's Manitoba Moose for the 1996-97 season, where he would put up a 22-22-5 record in 58 games, but he would record a goal in November of 1996. Returning to Manitoba in the 1997-98 season, Brathwaite had a 23-18-4 record in 51 games, then went 0-1 in two playoff games.

Brathwaite moved onto the Canadian National Team at the beginning of the 1998-99 season, playing 24 exhibitions and going 6-8-3 in those games before he would get a solid break.

In January of 1999, Brathwaite was signed by the Calgary Flames and would play 28 games the rest of that season, posting an 11-9-7 record along the way. The 1999-2000 season allowed Brathwaite to get starting goalie time, playing in 61 games and finishing with a 25-25-7 record for the Flames, as well as going to the AHL for two games (both wins) with the Saint John Flames; in addition to that-- Brathwaite played a game in the World Championships for Canada, a loss. In the 2000-01 season, Brathwaite played in 49 games for Calgary and went 15-17-10, while on the Canadian team in the World Championship-- Brathwaite played in four games with a 3-1-0 record.

During the summer of 2001, Brathwaite along with Daniel Tkaczuk, Sergei Varlamov, and a pick went to the St. Louis Blues for Roman Turek and a draft pick. With the Blues in the 2001-02 season, Brathwaite was a back-up to Brent Johnson and would play in 25 games and finishing with a 9-11-4 record and playing in six seconds of a playoff game. In the 2002-03 season, Brathwaite was a part of a seven goalie system in St. Louis-- playing in 30 games and finished with a 12-9-4 record.

Brathwaite signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets before the 2003-04 season and would go to 4-11-1 in 21 games, while playing in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch for three games and finishing with a 0-2-1 record.

Brathwaite went overseas for the 2004-05 season to play with Ak Bars Kazan in the Russian Super League, playing for two years there in 66 games with 14 shutouts in that time. Brathwaite came back to North America for the 2006-07 season, signing with the Atlanta Thrashers, but being assigned to the AHL's Chicago Wolves, playing in 40 games with a 22-13-5 record to show. In the 2007-08 season with the Wolves, Brathwaite only appeared in 13 games (10-2-0) before leaving the team and going back over to Russia to play with Avangard Omsk for 18 games to end out the season.

Staying in Europe, but moving to Germany, Brathwaite started out with Adler Mannheim in the 2008-09 season, playing in 49 contests and posting a 27-22-0 with six shutouts, then 5-4 in the playoffs, a performance good enough for Brathwaite to get the German League MVP. During the 2009-10 season, Brathwaite put up a 21-25-0 record for Mannheim in 47 games, then 0-2 in the playoffs; while in the 2010-11 season, Brathwaite went 25-24-0 for a 49 game season, then 3-3 in the playoffs.

Brathwaite attempted to get another NHL role, but has been unable to find a spot-- settling for an assistant goalie coach for Adler Mannheim. As well, Brathwaite is the Public Relations director for a new stadium smartphone app called SweetSeat, where fans can order food, drink, or merchandise from their seat and have it delivered to them.

With brief promises, the cards seemed to be stacked against Brathwaite-- being shuffled around a logjam of goalies from organization to organization. While he did start out to be a solid prospect, it never turned out-- but he chalked up many miles to keep his dream alive and well, regardless of cost.

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