Former Windsor Spitfires and current Herner EV forward Brad Snetsinger sits down with us to discuss his style of play and hockey philosophies.
What are the most important stats? And how would you best measure a player’s worth to a team?
Nowadays I think special teams are more important than ever before. PP and PK guys are assets to any team and every PP/PK starts with a big face-off.
Stats-wise I would like to see the stats of face-off percentages on the PP and PK.
Power play conversions: How many times a team scores in their power play in key situations such as 1 goal games or tied games.
Killed penalties: How many times a team kills a penalty off and scores right after. Also, penalties killed in the last five minutes of a game when leading by one goal.
With 3-on-3 overtime, puck possession players are key factors to a team. The stats I would look for are; puck possession time, takeaways and giveaways.
Do you have any hockey pet peeves?
Dump and chase hockey. I can never understand why teams/players would dump the puck in when they have full control just to work to get it back.
If you could make one change to the game of hockey, what would it be?
Get rid of the instigator rule and allow fighting in all professional leagues. It will cut down on cheap shots and make players accountable.
Are there things that annoy you about the current system?
That there are too many semi-professional leagues out there. For me, no country needs more than three professional leagues.
Under what circumstances do you play the best? Why does this bring out the best in you?
Playing guilty and playing in big games. It makes me concentrate on the little things. In those situations I try not to do too much. It seems like everything goes my way when I play like that.
What’s the story behind using a long stick? Is there a specific reason, or is it something you’ve just always done?
As a kid, I always liked a short stick. Once I got to the OHL, I started trying different stick lengths, curves, flexes and lies. It seems like every year it got a little bit longer, until three years ago when I hit the max. I tell anyone that asks me about my long stick; “Every year I get a little bit slower so my stick gets a little bit longer.” Since I hit the max already, I’ve been working on my quick feet.
What are important skills in your eyes?
To me the most important skill is your hockey IQ. You don’t have to be the biggest or fastest guy out there. You also don’t have to have the hardest shot. If you have good hockey IQ you can play and be effective.
What do you think makes a team a championship winning team?
I think it’s having all the guys going in the same direction and everyone having a role to play that they accept. You have to make everyone feel important, whether they play 30 minutes a game or two.
You’re known for racking up points everywhere you play. What do you believe is the secret to being so effective?
I’ve been lucky. I always seem to play with great players, so it makes it a lot easier. I think the way I see the game, being a big body with a long stick, and always playing with one or two really fast players gives me a little bit more time and space to make plays.
Who that you have played with did you have the best chemistry with? What are his assets and why did you play well together?
Kyle Doyle. I played with him in Kassel. His assets are that he is a great skater, good on face-offs and an all-around good player. Chemistry-wise we could read off each other. We knew what the other person was going to do on the ice. Along with being a good player, he is an even better guy and we got along great.
What was your favorite on-ice (or off-ice) hockey experience in recent memory?
My favorite “recent” on-ice hockey experience was winning the championship in Kassel. The first year we lost in overtime of the deciding 5th game in the playoff finals. . Winning the championship the following season to move up to the second league was great after how it ended the season before.
The championship in Tilburg was also great. I was brought in for the last two months, with the goal to win the championship. It was nice to help the team out on our way to reaching that goal.
Have any experiences / coaches / players / role models / other events significantly shaped your career?
I have been lucky to have had some really great coaches over the years. Starting as a kid with Bill Carroll and Bobby Lalonde, to my OHL days with Greg Gilbert, Bill Bowler, DJ Smith, Bob Jones, Bob Bogner, Warren Rychel and Mark Turner to professional hockey with Rick Kowalsky, John Maclean, Larry Robinson, Jacques Laperrière, Greg Poss and Paul Gardner… Just to name a few.
Along the way I got the opportunity to play with a lot of great players. Over the years you learn a lot of different things from a lot of different players and coaches.
What are your intangibles that you bring to your game?
I would say the way that I see the game and my creativity with the puck.
Brad has good hockey sense and vision on the ice. He stays patient in almost every situation. Last but not least: his pretty hair and his awesome beard
Brad has a silent confidence about him that he brings to the ice that not all players have. He has very good hockey vision and makes other players around him better. His long reach and stick is a major asset for him which makes him a great PK player and his shot is very deceiving and quick. Additionally, when you see him skate he isn’t the most fluid skater, but his skating skills are deceptive as he is quite quick for a bigger player. Playing with him over my two years in Kassel was great as we had great on-ice chemistry and complimented each other. Sometimes he drove me crazy- but thats just Brad (laughs). Overall, a player who I would have on my team anytime. He has proven to be a goal scorer and helped Kassel get to the DEL2.