If you watch and listen to our broadcasts on Comcast Sportsnet California, you may have heard me mention Sharks Video Guru, Brett Heimlich.
Brett and I are kindred spirits because as some of you may know I was the video guy for the team when we first started this little adventure called San Jose Sharks Hockey.
Now when I was doing video, I was referred to as "The Vidiot". For "Bretzky" that is not the case. The kid is a Wiz when it comes to computers and game analysis.
Brett is the operating master behind a system that collects, stores, analyzes, edits and shares digital video and statistical evidence in all of the hockey categories you can think of and some you haven't.
The Sharks made that hefty investment because it is the lifeblood of information for the coaches, management, scouts and players. With the desire being the more you arm an individual with visual facts and figures, the better that individual will become. If your entire hockey department is plugged into that information super highway, then your team and organization will be successful.
Information is power.
However the XO System is mainly used by the coaches to to breakdown games, scout opponents and compile video to improve player performance.
Under the guidance of Todd McLellan and working closely with every member of the coaching staff, Brett diligently produces clear concise video vignettes that help drive home salient points the coaches need to make.
He also pours over voluminous numbers and says to either affirm or dissuade opinions on players, opponents, special teams, faceoffs, shootouts, hits...well you get the picture.
Remember though that any piece of equipment is only as good as the person operating it.
Brettster is about as good as it gets.
But besides his work ethic and technical know-how, I have become a fan of how Brett has grown into a "Hockey Guy".
He breaks down a game as good as anyone I know. He has gained insight working with the great coaches.
He has learned the tough lessons of what it takes to be great working with Todd McLellan.
But you can learn a lot by watching how he works with and interacts with his co-workers. Put aside the pranks, jokes and good natured name calling. Brett treats and is treated with admiration and respect. Admiration and respect that he has earned.