Stanley Cup Celebration
Tracking the Storm
 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Getting to Know: Tim Brent

Tuesday, 07.5.2011 / 1:49 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
X
Share with your Friends


Getting to Know: Tim Brent

Before he joined the club last week, Hurricanes fans might have remembered Tim Brent for a couple of outstanding games he had against it as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs last season.

Paul Branecky
Follow on Twitter
Safe to say, he remembered them too.

“When you’re going into free agency, you sit down and start to talk about what teams might possibly be interested,” said Brent. “My agent asked me, ‘If there was one team you thought you played really well against, which one would it be?’

“Carolina was at the top of my list.”

That’s part of why Brent topped the Hurricanes’ list as they prepared for the free agency period that began at noon on July 1.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Brent. “I was hoping for a team to come out, much like Carolina did, and say, ‘We want you here and think you can contribute.’

“As a hockey player, that’s the most important thing. It’s not like you’re the eighth guy on their list and they’re settling on you. I think they called at 12:01, so that’s really nice to know. It’s good to know that I’ll be there for the next couple of years.”

Over that span, Brent, whose new contract is the first multi-year agreement he’s had since his entry-level deal expired, can only hope to as feel as much at home in Raleigh as he did last season. The penalty-killing, faceoff-winning center the Hurricanes had hoped to land this offseason enjoyed a career-best offensive performance at the RBC Center on Jan. 24, notching 2 goals and an assist. He picked up another helper in the Maple Leafs’ March 16 visit, meaning that a good chunk of his 20 points on the season came at Carolina’s expense.

”I don’t know what it was, but I felt comfortable playing in that building,” he said. “I’m glad I’ll be able to do it at least 41 times next season.”

Back in Toronto, he made his presence known in other ways. With Carolina on a key two-man advantage, Brent, obviously hurting as time went on, blocked several shots at the point to help maintain the Leafs’ lead, one they would not relinquish in an eventual 3-0 win on Feb. 3.

“That’s something I’ve been doing for a while, but that penalty kill was a little more painful,” he recalled.

Brent’s new contract also marks his first one-way pact, having paid his dues in the minors for most of six seasons across four different organizations. The 27-year-old finally made his breakthrough last season, playing 79 games with Toronto.

As to what changed, Brent said it was a combination of opportunity and improvement.

”I had to kind of reinvent my game a little bit,” he said. “I was a pretty high scorer in junior and the minors, and then I kind of got put in a third-line checking role with lots of time on the penalty kill. I was just kind of willing to do whatever it took.”

Brent was indeed prolific in the minors, scoring at a near point-per-game pace over his last few seasons. That followed a junior career with the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors (where he was teammates with Hurricanes goaltender Justin Peters) that saw him selected to a star-studded Canadian World Junior team that also featured fellow Carolina free-agent signee Anthony Stewart. He also played at the highest level at under-18 tournaments, having suited up alongside Eric Staal on a few separate occasions.

While his role at the highest level may not be as glamorous, Brent said that the more conventional schedule, easier travel and, perhaps most importantly, readily-available catering more than make up for it.

“I’m pretty sure NHL stands for ‘Never Hungry League,’” he said.

Though he’s now proven that he belongs and is happy in his role, feelings of content haven’t crept up just yet. For Brent, who some consider to be a power-play-capable, third-line center that could potentially do more than the Hurricanes are necessarily expecting from him right off the bat, the steady climb through the ranks may not be over.

“I’ve gotten better every year as a player, and I fully expect to improve next season,” he said. “Hopefully Carolina gets me on the upslope.”


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
8 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
9 NJD 54 26 21 7 120 122 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
Alumni Game