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By D.K. Williams
October 17, 2001
EXCLUSIVE TO GENERALSFAN.COM
ONE OF GRAEME’S FAVORITES
Defenseman Shaun Peet is one of coach Townshend’s favorite players.
He is a tough, scrappy player that will never back down. During the October 15 coach’s show, Graeme talked about Peet.
During Townshend’s last year as a player, 1998-99, Peet was a rookie fresh out of Dartmouth College. Both played in the Western Pro Hockey League.
Townshend was player-coach for the Lake Charles (La.) Ice Pirates and Peet for the Corpus Christi Icerays.
The two got into a fight on the ice, and Peet used language unfit for Radio Disney.
The next year, Townshend’s playing days were behind him and Peet’s were still ahead of him. Townshend was the coach of the Central Hockey League’s Macon Whoopee, and Peet was a free agent looking to latch on to a pro club.
Peet ended up on the phone with Townshend looking for a shot at making the Whoopee. "He was very polite on the phone," Coach T said, "I couldn’t believe it was the same kid that tried to kill me a month earlier and used a few choice words. It was totally different person off the ice.
"Then he had signed a tryout agreement to go tryout for the Hampton Roads Admirals. Typically, those agreements don’t really mean anything. You can still sign with another team in another league, you just can’t go anywhere in the East Coast League.
"I explained that to him. No one else wanted to sign the kid, so he was going to go on this tryout. I said, ‘I’ll give you a contract to come play for me.’
"He said, ‘coach, you know, I gave my word, and I know the tryout means nothing, they have no commitment to me, but I want to stick to my word and go down and tryout.’ He said, ‘but if I get cut, I’m going to come play for you.’
"He ended up getting cut, but it was the circumstances through which he got cut that really changed his mind as far as coming to Macon.
"He had gotten into a fight [while playing with the Admirals], and lost the fight in a preseason game. Coach [John] Brophy [of the Admirals] really laid into him in between periods. I mean, he called him every name in the book and told him he should pack it in and never play hockey again.
"So [Peet] wanted to prove Coach Brophy wrong. So he kind of made his way down the East Coast [League] looking for different teams to play for and ended up in South Carolina [playing for the Stingrays in 1999-2000.]
"He made the team and struggled through his first year there and battled in and out of the lineup, but he wanted to prove coach Brophy wrong, that he could play in the East Coast League.
After he proved he could play in the ECHL, "the next year he came to play for me [in Macon]," coach Townshend said.
"He was a kid that was so far away from being in the American Hockey League it wasn’t even funny. He had a long way to go. But every time I instructed him, told him what I thought he needed to work on, he worked on it and he worked on it diligently.
"Finally he got to the point where he was good enough to play in the American League, and he went up to play in Wilkes-Barre Scranton for two months and finished [the season] and went to the finals with them.
"He is a kid with tremendous character, impeccable honesty and just an incredible person. That’s what I look for in the guys that play for me.
"You’ll find out that once you get to know the players on this team that they are all great people. That is the number one thing I look for, that is character."
CHRIS BRASSARD MAY MISS SOME ACTION THIS WEEKEND
Left wing Chris Brassard’s best friend passed away earlier this week. Brassard has made arrangements to attend the funeral Thursday, October 18, and may not make it to Reading for this Friday’s game against the Royals.
He should be in the lineup for the home opener this Saturday, according to coach Townshend.