Brodziak looks to improve

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

Kyle Brodziak isn't bitter, he just wants to be better.

The St. Paul product loved it here, he owns a house in Sherwood Park and lives there year round, at least he did until the Oilers dealt him to Minnesota last weekend for a couple of draft picks, but he's looking forward to the new address.

"I'm definitely excited about it," said Brodziak, speaking for the first time since the deal went down.

"I'm disappointed that I have to leave, but I'm excited about it. I think it will be a good fit for me. I know the head coach (Todd Richards), I had a good relationship with him in the minors.

"Obviously I'm disappointed I have to leave Edmonton, but I think hopefully it'll be good for me in my career."

Brodziak is a good skater with good hands around the net -- averaging 13 goals a season over the last two years despite limited minutes on the fourth line -- but he could never lift himself into a more prominent role with the Oilers.

"If I could really put a finger on it I would have been able to fix it a lot quicker," he said. "I don't think I played my best hockey there. Something I have to work on is a little bit of consistency.

"It's disappointing that I didn't make it work and didn't show them enough to make them want to keep me that bad. Hopefully I'll be able to make the best of my opportunity when I go to Minnesota."

Did he get a fair shake here, or was he miscast as a fourth line plumber?

"It's tough to say. I don't feel like I got that good of a chance, but maybe I didn't earn it. It's really hard to pinpoint it, I guess. I don't know if they really didn't see me as more than a fourth line centre. I definitely feel I can be more than a fourth line centre. If they didn't see that for me, maybe that's why they decided to trade me."

The deal didn't catch him by surprise, though; Brodziak had a feeling he wouldn't be back this season.

"The way the contract negotiations were going, my agent really felt like something was up because we really didn't feel like we were getting anywhere. He kind of gave me a heads up before the draft, said 'don't be too surprised if you get traded or something happens.' So that's kind of how we went into the draft, sitting by the phone waiting for something to happen."

When it did, and it turned out to be the Wild, he let out a big sigh of relief.

"It's a good hockey city, the fans are really loud there, they have a great building, everybody loves hockey, they have a new GM and a new coach. I'll be going to a fresh situation. And I played for the coach in the minor leagues and we had a great relationship. I know that he knows what I'm capable of and that can definitely benefit me."


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