Barry Brust has been with the Aeros for awhile, so he is like family. He's a good goalie on the ice and an even better person off it.
His foot injury last year was devastating at the time as it forced the Aeros into a rotating goalie situation to close out the regular season. The team barely made the playoffs, but a 10-10 showing got them to the Western Conference finals on the back of Anton Khudobin.
Nolan Schaefer was hurt, too, and even Khudobin could not finish the playoffs healthy.
To make matters worse, Barry hurt he same foot during training camp this year and has not played a minute. That will change Friday night at Germain Arena in Florida where he will take the ice for the first of two ECHL games with an alligator on his sweater.
(Growing up in Canada, you just know that is what all the boys brag about .... wearing an alligator on your uni.)
Seriously, though ... Barry needs minutes and this will give him a chance to test the foot and get into some sort of a rhythm. Before Christmas last year, he was on fire ... and that is the kind of netminder Barry can be at the AHL level. But in order to get there, he will need to see some shots, and this is the perfect chance for him to get that.
Barring the unforeseen, he will play Saturday in the second of back-to-back games against the Toledo Walleye. (Yes, I know ... it will be the gators vs. the fish in the all-marine affair. Anyone hungry?)
T3I will stay on top of Barry (not literally) and we'll post links to the game sheets and stories from the local newspapers.
Update: Here's a link to the Everblades beat writer's blog. Also, he'll be tweeting the games this weekend, so you can follow his Twitter here.
Another Update: I spoke with Aeros GM Jim Mill this afternoon. This is a rehab move to get Brust some solid playing time. Something more than practice. He needs game action to shake off the rust and to test his foot.