Brian Miller, better known in hockey circles as BMan, joined the Petes as Head Trainer and Equipment Manager in 2002. In March, he worked his 1,000th game with the Peterborough club, and his 1,200th in the OHL. More than 16 years after joining the Petes, BMan provided some insight into his time with Peterborough.
1. What does the word ‘Petes’ mean to you?
BM: The Peterborough Petes are known worldwide and in the world of hockey. It represents tradition and it represents hockey legacy. It’s a franchise that has led the way in junior hockey for years now, it’s really been one of those flagship franchises in Ontario and in Canada.
2. What is your favourite Petes memory?
BM: Big Picture: The people that you meet that are connected with the team or with hockey, it’s great the way you meet people. Small Picture: it has to be the 2006 OHL Championship season, that I was part of. That’s special to me because the last time I had the opportunity to do that I was with the Guelph Storm back in ’96 and had lost to the Peterborough Petes in game seven in overtime. Coming back, I guess there was a six-year separation and getting the chance to join the Petes and winning a championship after just a few years was pretty special.
3. How do you think the city of Peterborough has embraced the Petes over the years?
BM: The city embraces it like they own it. The Peterborough Petes is like a child of the city. So many people just identify the city of Peterborough with the Peterborough Petes. It’s a big deal to the people here, that the Petes are here and a variety of people support the Petes on a variety of levels. That’s good because it means a lot of people are interested, closely connected, diehard fans or someone who just liked to check up on the team on the internet and see how they are doing. Anybody who is sports minded, whenever you mention Peterborough the conversation will eventually lead to the Petes.
4. What initially drew you to taking a position with the Petes?
BM: When I finished up my training at school I was fortunate enough to get a job with the Guelph Storm, I spent three years there as the head trainer. Then I had the opportunity to move up to the American Hockey League with the Saint John Flames, spent six years there and had some success there. A change of management within the Calgary Flames caused my contract not to be renewed and it was time to move on. I found out the Peterborough Petes were hiring and there was a little hesitation because there was a flashback to how I left junior hockey, losing to the Petes in game seven with the Storm. But thinking about what the Petes stand for, it was a franchise I felt honoured to be a part of.
5. What in your opinion makes Petes fans the best?
BM: Peterborough Petes fans are so good because they are so passionate about their team. The people who are dedicated to the team, win or lose they are long term dedicated fans. They hope for us every year. They hope that we will be successful and they get behind the players and the staff. They are typically very encouraging and hopeful that it will be a successful year and that some of our players will move on to the pros.
6. How do you think the team has changed since you first started working here?
There are a number of ways that the team has changed because the game has changed. The game has gradually started becoming more of a skill based game rather than a physical game. You see that out on the ice, more high skilled players out there. With the technology and the way these players are being trained. The game is a lot faster than it used to be. The Petes franchise has seen a big increase in office staff and rightly so because there is more stuff to do and more challenges.
7. What do you like the most about being in Peterborough?
I like that Peterborough is a decent sized city with a small town feel. I really enjoy the landscape, to be in the city but still have a rural feel depending on what part of the city you live in. The canal that goes through the city, the lakes and bodies of water, the river and natural landscape are amazing. I grew up on a small farm out in the country and it’s got a great rural feel. The people in Peterborough are great friends and I know some great people here in the city.