“I like that you couldn’t find anything,” said the soft-spoken Edmonton-born left winger. “I do like to keep my private life, private. I haven’t made a concerted effort to hide anything, but I’m glad you couldn’t find anything.”
Maybe somebody neglected to mention to Isbister that he had signed a one-year contract to play in one of the most hockey-intense markets in North America. Canucks fans want to know what you had for breakfast if you score a hat-trick or, conversely, pick what players and draft position should be acquired if you’re in a slump. They want to know as much about their favorite players as they can – part of the emotional investment they put into their team.
“I’m well aware of all that,” says Isbister of the fan and media scrutiny he is sure to be facing. “It can be looked upon as being very exciting. I know the whole city is very interested and very supportive of the team and that’s a great situation to play in.”
It would be fair to say that Brad Isbister is still looking for a great situation to play in after he was a draft pick of the old Winnipeg Jets in 1995 and has played for 10 different pro teams in 11 seasons, including a 70-game stint in Edmonton. You can find all the numbers with a Google search, along with career highlights like a 45-goal season with Portland in the Western Hockey League or four goals and seven points in seven games for the 1997 Canadian team that won the World Junior Hockey Championship or his best career season in the NHL, 1999-2000 with the New York Islanders, 22 goals and 42 points in 64 games.
The Canucks signed the 6-foot-4, 227-pound Isbister as an unrestricted free agent as part of an upgrade to their lineup on size, grit, and experience. The ‘book’ on him has been pretty consistent… good size, decent wheels, at times, has underachieved.
“I’ve played on a number of teams and I would definitely like to put down some roots, somewhere,” he says. “Vancouver would be the ideal place. It’s a great situation. It’s close to home. The Canucks are a winning organization; they’re a team with plenty of depth and have one of the best, if not the best, goalies in the game.”
This might be one of those ‘right-place-at-the-right-time’ scenarios for the 30-year old Isbister. Everything is falling into place for a move to the west coast.
“I just got married this summer and, no joke, my wife and I were actually thinking about relocating to Vancouver in the off-season,” he says. “My two sisters have lived there for years and they love it. The city was a big selling point in me signing there. I love being near the water. Vancouver has it all, and you can be as busy or as quiet as you want to be.”
The Canucks hope that Isbister becomes a permanent fixture in their lineup and he candidly admits he is here to resurrect his career.
Maybe even to the point where the personal profile is all ‘positive’ when you go searching at BRAD ISBISTER-dot-com.