Fans watching the Sharks 2007 rookie camp will notice a couple of familiar last names. First there is left wing Frazer McLaren, but he is not related to defenseman Kyle McLaren. However, Patrick Bernier does have a family tie – he is the younger brother of right winger Steve Bernier.
He is a couple inches shorter at 5-foot-11 vs. 6-foot-2, but one glance into the smiling face and the gene pool is not in question.
“We look a lot alike, but don’t have too much in common,” said Patrick Bernier.
The younger sibling may not have the first round status of his big brother, but earned his NHL tryout with a solid season at Shawinigan in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In 2006-07, Patrick totaled 13 goals and 26 assists for 39 points in 60 contests.
This summer they spent a lot of time together, and the work ethic of Steve, has definitely worn off on Patrick.
“I worked out hard with my brother,” said Patrick. “I’m in the best shape of my life.”
Like many brothers where the elder reached the NHL, the younger has the same goal. However, Patrick was just 14 years old when Steve set off to launch his junior career, so the two missed out on some good quality time as teenagers.
“We’re very close, but we did not have too much in common,” said Patrick.
They have only played together recreationally since they were kids, never able to play organized hockey on the same team, but now it’s possible they’ll be battling each other in the corners for loose pucks. If some line shuffling worked out right, the two right wings could even be on the same forward grouping at one time.
“It’s very exciting,” said Patrick. “It is an extra push playing here with my brother.”
Since Patrick was playing junior hockey once Steve made the Sharks roster, he has never seen Steve at HP Pavilion in person.
“I’ve never seen him play in San Jose,” said Patrick.
The last time Patrick saw Steve play live was when they skated against each other in juniors.
As a tryout player, Patrick knows that Steve has no influence as to whether a player earns an NHL or AHL contract, but he is aware of what will give him that opportunity.