Brad Fredrick is far from squeamish at the first sight of blood.
In fact, the Toledo Walleye athletic trainer is smack dab in the trenches when it comes to gashes, broken bones, and missing teeth.
Fredrick is in his second season with the Walleye, handling the daily treatment and health evaluation of Toledo's pro hockey players. His duties also include overseeing injury rehabilitation and managing player workouts.
Fredrick began his career as a hockey trainer with Toledo's former ECHL team, the Storm. He spent three years with the team.
Fredrick grew up in Wayne, Ohio, about 15 miles southeast of Bowling Green. He never played hockey, but wanted to find a career in athletics.
Prior to joining the Storm, the Bowling Green State University graduate spent nine years as a trainer for high school athletes through ProMedica Sports Care in northwest Ohio. Fredrick graduated from BGSU in 1995 with a degree in athletic training.
The 38-year-old lives in Sylvania with his wife Stephanie, son Tyler, 9, and daughter Jordan, 6.
When and why did you decide to become an athletic trainer?
In college, I wanted to get into a profession where I could help athletes.
How do you handle all of the blood?
I think of the injury itself and not the secondary aspects like who the player is, where we are, the score of the game and things like that.
What is the nastiest injury you had to treat?
A Storm player had his bottom four teeth pushed backwards into his mouth when he was hit by a stick during a game.
Who is the toughest player that you saw fight through various injuries?
Scooter Smith. With the Storm, Scooter was always battling his way through different injuries. He'd do his rehab to play in games for the team. But he couldn't practice full-go very often.
Why do you think hockey players are regarded as some of the toughest pro athletes?
It's a long season and it's a very physical sport. They will play through almost any injury.
What qualities and skills make up a good hockey player?
Good hand-eye coordination, core strength and self motivation.
What are the most difficult aspects of your job?
Juggling my family with work.
Who's the best hockey player you ever saw in the ECHL?
Scott Gomez. He played for the Alaska Aces during the NHL lockout.
What's your favorite way to spend time away from the rink?
Watching my kids play sports. I like to golf and fish. I like to go out to eat with my family.
What are your thoughts on the state of the game today?
I like the rule changes to increase scoring. We need to do more to get more kids playing hockey.
If you were commissioner of hockey for a day, what would you do?
There would be no more three games in three days with travel included.
Did you have a nickname?
What were your duties as a high school trainer through Sports Care?
Injury evaluation and rehab for all sports, both boys and girls.
What was your first job?
Bag boy at Kroger.
What are some of the highlights of your career thus far?
Making it to the ECHL semifinals with the Storm and meeting a lot of great people associated with hockey.
What was the most memorable game?
The last game with the Storm before the team folded and the first game with the Walleye - all the excitement from the players, staff, and crowd.
What are some of your best memories of the Sports Arena?
The team office was a doublewide trailer. The fans were so close to the players. It was a great home ice advantage.
What do you think of the Huntington Center?
It's absolutely awesome. It's a great locker room set up.
What's your favorite city in the ECHL, other than Toledo?
What is something nobody knows about you?
I can't skate very well.
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