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Mark Flood Reflects on Two Decades of Hockey

As Mark Flood (‘01-’05) laces up his skates for the Rouen Dragons of the French League this Friday, the defenceman has two decades worth of amateur and professional hockey experience spanning over 1,000 games behind him. The 37 year old blueliner’s success in junior hockey helped launch a career that is still going strong to this day.

Flood grew up in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He played for the Charlottetown Abbies before the Petes picked up the future team captain in the sixth round at 101st overall of the 2001 OHL Priority Selection. Flood was a gem as he led Peterborough defencemen in scoring twice and came second once across four seasons with the club. From the start, the organization welcomed the 16 year old with open arms.

“[Jeff Twohey] drafted me and he was so good to me there. I was so far away from my home in PEI and Jeff was like a father figure,” Flood explains from his French residence.

“I think a lot of guys would probably say the same thing. I think of the Petes and I think of Jeff Twohey. He was the backbone of that organization for so long and just a really really good man.”

Flood is one of a handful of former Petes who can say they played with Eric (‘00-’03) and Jordan Staal. The Charlottetown native says both young men were great teammates and highly skilled. He describes Jordan (‘04-’06), who joined the Petes during Flood’s overage and captaincy year, as “the quieter one.”

Former Peterborough head coach Dick Todd put the C on Flood’s sweater ahead of the 2004-05 campaign. It was a decision encouraged by the team’s enthusiasm for Flood.

“It was a really big honour for me and something I take very seriously. It was a really good experience for me because it put me in a leadership position that I had never been before,” Flood says.

Flood was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the sixth round of the historically deep 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He would never play a game as a member of the Canadiens, but became a fixture in the Carolina Hurricanes’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Albany River Rats, for three seasons. He then joined the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, where he would be called up for six games. He made his NHL debut against the Calgary Flames at the Nassau Coliseum on March 25, 2010. He would suit up for the Islanders and Winnipeg Jets in the NHL.

Flood.Mark (credit wikipedia)

“I remember before the game. I was in the hallway just kinda like nervously taping my stick and trying to get into my routine and seeing those guys walk by like Iginlia, Kiprusoff, Robyn Regehr,” Flood recollects.

The former Lift Lock City lad would return to the NHL two seasons later as a member of the Winnipeg Jets. Then, Flood moved to Europe where he continues to play today. He’s played for teams across the continent in Russia, Austria, Finland and most recently, France.

“[My wife and I] lived in a beautiful city in Salzburg [Austria]. It was a great experience. Then we went two years in Finland in Tempere, which is the second biggest city behind Helsinki,” Flood explains.

“The shortest day of the year [the] sun would come up around 10 or 10:30 in the morning and start setting around 2. That was tough, but the people are fantastic. Then we lived in Vienna for a year and now we’re in France.”

Flood and his wife, Heather, tied the knot in 2014. When Flood is away from the rink, the couple like to travel with their yorkshire terrier, Sully, across Europe.

Hockey has taken Flood from the shores of Canada to the shores of France. This Friday will mark game number 1,083 for the former Petes captain.

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