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Ask the Sharks: Lukowich's Answers

by Alison High / San Jose Sharks
While the Sharks were on the road in Western Canada, was able to catch up with defenseman Brad Lukowich for his segment of Ask the Sharks. Following practice on Thursday, he phoned from the car and proved he really is a bit of a rock star, dropping names of famous band members and explaining the meanings of his numerous tattoos, much to the dismay of his Dad.

As most fans have noticed from seeing him on SharkByte, the 32-year-old was talkative, funny and honest while answering questions about his life. Below are his answers to your best questions.

San Jose Sharks Brad Lukowich (37) celebrates his goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period of the NHL preseason hockey game Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008, in West Valley City, Utah. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
1.As a player who has won two Stanley Cups, what do you think the key is to winning hockey’s Holy Grail? – Josh
I think it’s buying into what the coach says. They put a game plan together to win games and you stick to it. But there are a lot of different keys to that. On the ice, everyone has to stick to the game plan; not bending, not breaking when you face a little adversity. Off the ice, you have to come together as a team and battle for each other so you come together as a family.

The two teams that I won Stanley Cups with wanted to win and wanted to do everything for each other. I see that here in San Jose. When you get away from that, you start to see bad habits.

With the Sharks, Todd (McLellan), Yawns (Trent Yawney) and the rest of the coaching staff put together an amazing game plan and they have us very well prepared for games. It basically comes down to the guys in the room to execute it.

You can definitely see when the guys are on, how dominate we can be. It’s the little tiny things, not the huge behind-the-back passes and those things that win you the games. It’s sticking to it and doing the little things wells.

2.I love how your tattoos have meaning! What other ideas do you have if you were to get a new one? – Jennifer Ammari

My Dad is sitting right beside me right now and he hates my tattoos (laughs). But I have a couple ideas. Obviously, if we win the Stanley Cup, I’ll put another Stanley Cup on my ankle. The one I got in Tampa Bay isn’t finished yet so I’ve got a couple things planned to do. I’ve got lots of real estate on my body left to do that.

St. Louis Blues' Barret Jackman (5) battles with San Jose Sharks' Brad Lukowich (37) in the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 27, 2008, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce)
All my tattoos are for big events that have happened in my life. Hopefully there are plenty left so I can fill in the blanks.

Altogether, I have two Stanley Cups on my ankle and when I got married, I got a Canadian flag and a Texas flag meshed together on my back. On my left arm I’ve got ‘Marley’, my youngest daughter, and on my right, I have a cross with Michaela’s name for my older daughter. On the inside of my arm, I have a music symbol because it’s a big part of my life and I’m really into music. The guy that’s kind of been a mentor to me throughout this whole thing had a cymbal so I got that right on the inside of my arm.

I still need a couple more. I’ve got to get one for my sister and one for my brother. Maybe we’ll do that this summer. I’ll take my Dad with me (laughs).

3.Do you have a specific playlist that get's you pumped up before a game? – Eddie
Yea, I’ve got a couple playlists. I listen to pretty heavy stuff: Disturbed, All That Remains. One of my favorite songs right now is from them called ‘Two Weeks’. The list is great because I know a lot of the guys too and I know what comes from behind the music and why they wrote that song. I use a lot of the lyrics for motivation and inspiration.

Guys are always giving me the weird looks because I’m freaking out before the games, but it gets me going and I love it. It’s a huge part of my pregame ritual. I always have music cranking and if I was to give you my playlist all the way through it would be: Nickelback, Disturbed, Three Days Grace, Seven Days, All That Remains, In Flames.

Boyle is just as bad into the music too. If we find a song, we throw it at each other. The playlist does change, but it’s always something heavy.

San Jose Sharks goalie Brian Boucher, center, celebrates with Marc-Edouard Vlasic, left, and Brad Lukowich after they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-5 in an NHL hockey game Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
4.I watched you on Shark Byte recently and think you are wonderfully outspoken and energetic. What has been your 'off-ice' role on the team since you came to San Jose and what is one aspect about your personality that we don’t get to see when watching you on the ice? – Liliana Aranda
Well I talk way too much (laughs). Basically in the room, I try to draw on past experiences for motivation. I got lucky. I came into a dressing room in Dallas that had twenty Captains. They basically taught you to respect; to respect the game first, and then respect each other next. But you have to have respect for yourself as well so when you come into that room, it’s business-like.

The dressing room is a sacred place. The team uses that room as a place that they go to and when someone’s mad at someone for the way they’re playing, we can handle that in there. When you walk out of that room, you’re yourself again. But when you’re in there, it’s the one place where you all have to think the same way. That’s the one thing that I try to push on any team that I’m with, the team togetherness. You’ve all got to be pulling the same way or it just does not work.

5.Was it difficult moving from Tampa Bay to San Jose? – Sarah M.

I’ve moved so many times lately that I’ve had some real horror stories. This move, going coast to coast, was so easy. There was a lot of hard work done by the Sharks that made it that easy. Rosemary (Tebaldi, Director of Hockey Administration) and Doug (Wilson, Executive Vice President and General Manager) have bent over backwards to get us settled into our place. No other team has done that in the past. This has been the best move for us for sure. And I can’t leave Tom Holy (Media Relations Manager) out either. He’s been great. Anything that we’ve needed, he’s helped us out with. It’s very comforting that you have people like that working for you.

6.Of all the rock stars you know, which one do you think would make the best hockey player? Perhaps not hockey skills so much as attitude? – Susan Munday
You know who’s actually really good is Brad Walst, the bass player from Three Days Grace. During the lockout, there was a bunch of us skating and I went and got a bunch of gear for them so Three Days Grace came and skated with us. Adam, the singer, he wasn’t so good. The drummer, Neal, was pretty good though.

San Jose Sharks Brad Lukowich (37) tries to steal the puck from the Tampa Bay Lightning's Vaclav Prospal (20) during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008 in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/ Craig Litten)
I know the old drummer for Nickelback, Ryan Vikedal, is a pretty good goaltender too. And the bass player, Mike, is pretty good too.

All the rock stars want to be hockey players and all of us want to be rock stars.

7.If you were the NHL's commissioner for one day, what rule would you change or what would you do? – Jay McKenna
I would take the instigator rule out. I liked the game better when it was played that way. I had to play then and I play now, and I liked the way it was played. I like the tough-guy role. When you looked at hockey guys, you would always think, ‘they’re the toughest guys, they’ve got to be a little bit nuts to play.’ I just think it’s kind of gotten away from that.

I’ve never seen people run for the doors when a fight broke out on the ice. Whenever I go home in the summer, the first conversations I have with guys are, ‘did you see this fight? Did you see that fight?’ I think it’s something that should always be part of this game.

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