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FACEOFF: Brendan Witt

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

(Yarmouth, Nova Scotia) First in a series of sit-downs with new members of the Islanders at training camp in Yarmouth.

Brendan Witt was born on February 20, 1975 in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. He lived there until age 15 before traveling to Saskatoon to play AAA Midget. Witt brings ten years of NHL experience to the Islanders and moves to Long Island with his wife of eight years, Salima and his two daughters Aliana (7) and Safyia (4).

The Witt File:
Favorite TV Show: South Park or Dave Chappelle
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite non-North American city: Paris
NHL team growing up: Edmonton Oilers
Sport (other than hockey)? Surfing
Favorite Book: Pipes Dreams
Favorite Magazine: Surfer or Trans-World Surf
Will the NHL mullet return: Yes
Favorite arena outside Long Island: General Motors Place in Vancouver
Favorite Board Game: Monopoly
Mets or Yankees? Mets (would like to see a Subway Series)
Favorite Food: Thai
Favorite Movie: Syriana
Jets or Giants? Jets
Favorite Automobile: Ducati SR2 800
Favorite Brand of Skates: Easton
Like the color orange? Yes
Favorite Brand of Hockey Stick: Warrior
If you could have dinner with two people who would they be? Kelly Slater and Mike Sillinger
Favorite former Islander: Billy Smith
Favorite thing about Yarmouth, Nova Scotia: The people

On joining the Islanders:
"I'm excited about bringing the winning tradition back to Long Island. Growing up, I knew about the Islanders and all their Stanley Cups. I'd like to return greatness to this team."

On the Islanders coaching staff:
"I'm excited about playing under Nolan. He has such a good reputation. I won a World Junior Championship with Danny Flynn as a defense coach in 1994 in the Czech Republic, so I look forward to working with him again. I'm excited about getting to know all of the coaches."

On the new group of Islanders defensemen:
"The new Islanders are certainly not new faces. They've been around a while and have good experience. (Sean) Hill and Tom (Poti) are great additions. Zhitnik has played a lot of games and been effective throughout his career. Bouchard will also contribute. We have a deep defense on this team."

On becoming a surfer:
A neighbor in Maryland introduced me to surfing. It took 20 times before I got up, and then I got hooked. I eventually moved to Florida and have been surfing for five years. It's a good pastime for me. It's very therapeutic. I hope to do some surfing up here on Long Island. I can surf at Long Beach or 45th St., and hopefully get out to Montauk. I did my homework before I came up here."

A personal scouting report:
"I'm a defensive defenseman who's very physical and competes every night. I try to lead by example and stick up for my team and my goaltenders. My teammates are like my second family next to my wife and kids. It's important to have a tight group and have each other's backs."

On his favorite teammates:
"I played with Dale Hunter in Washington and he's the reason why I wear 32. He was a big influence for me. I appreciated his work ethic and competitiveness. I also respect Calle Johansson and Olaf Kolzig, who was very vocal in the locker room. "

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