Adam Brady: Exclusive Interview and Insider's View of the Anaheim Ducks
Bleacher Report Readers:
First, let me get some background information out of the way. Adam Brady is the Director of Publications and New Media for the Anaheim Ducks and Honda Center. Adam has had a huge influence on my writing, and I must admit he makes some topics and articles much easier, as he does the hard work for me.
To my readers, be sure to always cite the sources of your information. Guys like Adam deserve credit for their work, just as we deserve credit for ours.
I’m hoping this will be the first of many interviews with Adam.
And to Adam, thanks for taking the time to do this. I know you have had a hectic schedule lately with the draft and everything. If there is anything else you want to say to aspiring sports writers please do, as your friendship and advice has certainly helped guide me. Even when I point out that the American Airlines Center is in Dallas—ha, ha!
Ken: What is the best part of your job, and working for the Ducks?
Adam: Even though my job covers Ducks publications (like Ducks Digest) and the website, I would say my favorite part specifically is working on the Ducks Blog. It really gives me the freedom to use my writing ability in kind of a different, hopefully entertaining way. And one of the best parts is the response I get from fans on a daily basis. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Ken: How did you end up working for the Ducks?
Adam: I had been living in Northern California for about nine years and was looking for the chance to come back down to Orange County, where I grew up. I found out about the opportunity with the Ducks and went after it.
Apparently, the interview went pretty well. I started in September of 2005, doing strictly publications. It wasn’t until March of ’06 (just before the Cup run) that I took over the website as well. The lucky thing for me is that since I started working, they’ve been pretty good. There were some years before I got here that were pretty lean.
Ken: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Adam: I’d say from both a blog standpoint, the hardest part is coming up with material. It’s not so hard during the season when the Ducks play every other night or so, and I was literally writing something every weekday. But during the offseason it’s tough.
That being said, there are times I think I don’t have much to offer, then a half hour later I look up and I’ve written 800 words.
Ken: Who is your favorite Ducks player to interview and work with?
Adam: I don’t think you can do much better than Teemu Selanne as far as a guy who “gets it” when it comes to talking to media or providing a good quote. It sometimes gets hidden in the heavy accent, but he’s very well-spoken, very bright, and seems to know after all these years how to give reporters what they’re looking for.
Another guy that is kind of underrated as far as how bright and thoughtful he is would be J.S. Giguere. I’ve had good experiences with him as well.
Scotty Niedermayer is also a very smart guy, who might tend to give the bland quote once in a while, but every now and then you get some good stuff from him.
Ken: Who is your favorite Ducks player personally?
Adam: As far as on the ice, my favorite player is Sammy Pahlsson. I just love the way he plays the game. He’s such a no-nonsense guy, so quiet, and yet he’s always one of the toughest guys out there.
At the same time, if you were to put him on a top-two line, I think he could easily be a 20-goal scorer. He just seems to have that scoring knack, but he’s not asked to fill that roll. I think he’s one of the more underrated guys in the game, but the more we keep claiming that, the less he’ll be underrated.
Ken: (I know Brent Severyn from where I worked in Dallas.) Is Brent as crazy in Anaheim as he is in Dallas at the rink?
Adam: Brent is truly one of my favorite people in the organization. He’s just a good guy to be around. He can definitely give it out and he can definitely take it.
Considering what he used to do to guys on the ice at times, it’s amazing how not afraid to make fun of him I am. That being said, one of these days he’s going to throw me into a wall.
Ken: Most memorable experience while working with the Ducks (besides the Stanley Cup win)?
Adam: Well, it’s hard to find a second best to that, but I would say being with the team in London was pretty memorable. That was just a surreal experience from the moment we got on the plane all the way through the two games.
It was just so strange being over there with the Ducks, especially knowing no team had done that before. And to have people come up to me at the arena because they recognized me from the blog was pretty unexpected and flattering.
Ken: Has working for the Ducks changed your ability as a fan?
Adam: No, I really don’t think so, aside from not being able to cheer in the press box. I’m still a huge fan of this team, even though I’m kind of in a unique position where I’m writing about them on an almost daily basis.
It’s expected that I am still a fan of the team even though I’m supposed to be writing from an unbiased perspective. But because I work for the team, I don’t think people expect me to trash them—and hopefully understand when I don’t. But I’m just like any other fan when I’m watching the team on TV, watching intently like anyone else.
Ken: If you were Brian Burke for one day what would you do?
Adam: Fire Brady.
Ken: (Onto the serious journalistic questions...) With such a busy draft, how excited are you about Jake Gardiner?
Adam: It’s hard to get overly excited about a guy that you know probably won’t develop into an NHL-caliber player for at least two years (and he admitted that himself). That’s especially because he’s only been a defenseman for about a year and is still getting used to playing back there.
But the fact that he made such a dramatic switch and excelled at it shows that he’s a naturally gifted player. And the fact that he’s going to be immersed in a great program like Wisconsin (as are two of the other 10 Ducks picks) is definitely a positive for him.
Ken: What have you heard as to why Burke chose to invest in a pick that will go to college for four years when a junior hockey selection would be available in two or three for NHL play?
Adam: From what I’ve heard from Burke, they went with the best player available, regardless of position. They definitely were leaning toward a defenseman, but they weren’t limiting themselves to that if someone really special was available when they selected.
I think the fact that they wanted Gardiner at 12 and traded down hoping they would still get him at 17 says something about the kind of player he would be. And I don’t think the fact that he might spend a couple years in college was a concern.
Ken: What do you think of Nicolas Deschamps? Will he be a regular Duck in two years? Is it expected he will go to Iowa this fall?
Adam: I actually don’t know a lot about him and I’m not sure what the plans are for him in the near future. He’ll be here for conditioning camp over the next week, and I’m sure we’ll have a better idea after that.
Ken: What was the best part of your draft experience?
Adam: To be honest, just the city of Ottawa itself. I was really reminded how much I liked that city. When we were there for the Final, we stayed in a hotel that was outside the downtown area. This time I was right downtown, so I got an even better feel for the city, even though I was there a short time.
At the draft itself, it’s always fun to be a part of any experience where all 30 teams are involved and there are some pretty big shooters in the room.
In addition to that, the crowd at Scotiabank Place was great, even when they booed Brian Burke.
Ken: Which up-and-coming Ducks prospect in the system are you most excited about?
Adam: I guess it would be too obvious to say Bobby Ryan, but I am curious to see how his career pans out. We saw glimpses of how good he can be last season, and I really root for him because he’s a good kid with a ton of pressure on him.
As far as someone that really hasn’t had any NHL time, I’m definitely interested to see what Brian Salcido can do. It’s partly because he’s a SoCal kid and partly because of the fact that much of the Ducks' defense is getting up there in age, so a young d-man who can play is going to be vital.
Ken: What do you feel the Ducks must do to reload for a Stanley Cup run this season?
Adam: Well, I think the fact that Scott Niedermayer just decided to come back is huge, and hopefully that paves the way for Teemu Selanne to do the same. I’m also fairly certain Corey Perry is resigning.
That being said, I don’t think that’s going to be quite enough. This team had a lot of trouble scoring goals last season, and I think they need a little help to find scoring on that second line. That probably starts at the center position. We’ll see what Brian Burke and the rest of the front office is able to do about that, considering the limitations of the cap.
Ken: Do you think the Ducks will make any waves in free agency or trades during the offseason?
Adam: I have a hard time believing they will, but I’ve thought that in the past and the Ducks have made some moves. I think the Ducks are pretty limited as far as what we can spend on free agents, but you never know what the team might do in order to fill those needs.
Again, I would like to thank Adam for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions. Hopefully, this will be a semi-regular thing between us. To read more of Adam’s work, visit the Anaheim Ducks website, or Adam Brady’s Ducks Blog.
To other Bleacher Report community leaders, I recommend getting to know journalists around the team. Set up communication with a newspaper writer who covers your team, or even someone within the organization. Not only might you gain a friend, but the constant offseason talk and looking forward to next season can keep you motivated to write.
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