Brust wants sequel

KEN WIEBE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

It wasn't the Hollywood ending Barry Brust was hoping for, but no one can ever take the time he spent in the National Hockey League away from him.

And who knows, maybe somewhere down the road there might be a sequel.

Brust became the first person born in Swan River to play in the NHL last season when he suited up in 11 games with the Los Angeles Kings.

UNIQUE SITUATION

"It was pretty surreal," Brust said before the Houston Aeros took on the Manitoba Moose last night at the MTS Centre. "You hear people say that, but it's true. It's kind of crazy, it all hit me pretty fast. I was up there for a lot longer than I thought I would, which is always nice."

The Kings goaltending situation was unique last year as current starter Jason LaBarbera was stuck in the minors because the parent club was afraid of losing him on re-entry waivers.

So when Mathieu Garon went down with injury, it was Brust who got the call.

When Dan Cloutier was injured during the pre-game warm-up on Dec. 14, Brust found himself in net against the San Jose Sharks and he responded by making 34 saves to pick up his first NHL victory.

Brust returned to the minors when the Kings signed veteran Sean Burke and the script took a somewhat unexpected turn this summer when the Kings decided not to tender a qualifying offer, leaving Brust to search for employment as an unrestricted free agent.

Spending time in the NHL didn't translate into a bidding war for Brust's services.

In fact, the man who once stopped pucks for the Swan Valley Stampeders of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League before moving on to the Western Hockey League had to settle on an American Hockey League deal with the Aeros, the farm team of the Minnesota Wild.

"They wanted me," said Brust, who sports a record of 5-7-1 with a 2.58 goals against average and .917 save percentage in 13 games with the Aeros this season. "I was familiar with the organization because they drafted me (in the third round, 73rd overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft)."

Brust said having the opportunity to play for new Aeros head coach Kevin Constantine was also a factor in him signing with the Aeros.

"It's been a great experience so far and I've learned a lot," said Brust. "There are so many detailed things that he stresses. He knows the goaltending position."

Constantine is impressed by Brust's skill set and work ethic.

"He's been very good for us," said Constantine. "Size is on his side. He's a big goalie (6-foot-2, 235 pounds) and yet, real quick on top of that.

"Besides that, he's very dedicated to learning the position, learning the game and very willing to be coached. He puts a lot of work into studying the game, studying video and working in practise."


Videos

Photos