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I’ve been everywhere, man


TORRE PELLICE, ITALY – In a small café in a tiny village in Italy, David Brine sits on his laptop and Skypes back home.

In the process of unpacking his life for the third time this season, Brine doesn’t yet have Internet in his new home. He isn’t sure how long he’ll be staying, and he doesn’t speak the language. He doesn’t yet have much in the way of local knowledge.

What he does have already, however, is one goal and one assist.

“We are in a very, very small town,” he laughed through a crackling connection. “We came in knowing that. My buddy (and teammate) said it was a one-street town and he wasn’t lying.”

Brine, the 30-year-old journeyman hockey player from Bible Hill, landed in Torre Pellice in late January. The move followed a quick stay with SC Riessersee in Germany’s second-tier pro league, where he posted 13 points in 15 games. The season started with an eight-game stint in Denmark.

In Germany, Brine relished in a league with a North American-style hockey sense and his coach’s full confidence. Unfortunately, an injury to the team’s goaltender saw the club bring in an outsider to fill the void. With the new addition, the team was over its number of import players and its budget.

“It was unfortunate because things were going well there,” Brine said. “The coach told me he wanted to keep me and they tried to keep me.”

Two days later, he was released. The following day, the coach resigned.

It wasn’t long before Matt Pope, a former teammate in San Antonio of the American Hockey League, contacted him. Pope was playing in Torre Pellice and convinced his old teammate to join.

“You always want to stay the whole season in one place, but it wasn’t able to happen this year,” Brine said. “A couple weird bounces came my way so we ended up seeing a lot of countries.”

Seeing the world is something Brine and his wife, Ianne, have grown accustomed to.

After playing his junior years with the Truro Bearcats and Halifax Mooseheads, Brine made stops in Southwest Florida, Rochester, NY, and San Antonio, TX, before cracking the Florida Panthers. After his time was up in North America, he spent time in Austria and South Korea before entering this season in Denmark.

In between games, the couple has travelled around Europe and Asia before getting married last April.

“We’ve tried to lock down our favourite stays, my wife and I, but we always come up with different ones,” he said before noting Rome, Prague, Budapest and Ljubljana. “We have so many pictures and memories, it’s hard to even pinpoint a few.”

With 738 games split between 10 leagues in seven countries, David Brine’s career will always be highlighted by the nine games he spent in the NHL in 2008.

“It was a dream come true,” he said. “You want to be able to stick, but if you can’t stick at least you can say you were there. It’s the best league in the world.”

Brine and his Valpellice Bulldogs have two games remaining in the regular season before they take on the playoffs. The Bulldogs currently sit fifth of 12 teams, with a 13-7-2 record.

Whether Italy becomes his permanent home or not, Brine is thankful for every chance he’s had to play hockey professionally. His goal is to do his best to help his team and learn a bit of Italian in the process.

In a small café in a tiny village, he’ll pick up a few words to go along with his bits and pieces of German, Danish, Korean and Austrian.

“I can honestly say that I did not (think I’d see the world),” he said. “As a kid, you dream of the NHL. You don’t dream about traveling the world and seeing all these amazing places. I feel very fortunate to be able to experience this.”

 

 

In the process of unpacking his life for the third time this season, Brine doesn’t yet have Internet in his new home. He isn’t sure how long he’ll be staying, and he doesn’t speak the language. He doesn’t yet have much in the way of local knowledge.

What he does have already, however, is one goal and one assist.

“We are in a very, very small town,” he laughed through a crackling connection. “We came in knowing that. My buddy (and teammate) said it was a one-street town and he wasn’t lying.”

Brine, the 30-year-old journeyman hockey player from Bible Hill, landed in Torre Pellice in late January. The move followed a quick stay with SC Riessersee in Germany’s second-tier pro league, where he posted 13 points in 15 games. The season started with an eight-game stint in Denmark.

In Germany, Brine relished in a league with a North American-style hockey sense and his coach’s full confidence. Unfortunately, an injury to the team’s goaltender saw the club bring in an outsider to fill the void. With the new addition, the team was over its number of import players and its budget.

“It was unfortunate because things were going well there,” Brine said. “The coach told me he wanted to keep me and they tried to keep me.”

Two days later, he was released. The following day, the coach resigned.

It wasn’t long before Matt Pope, a former teammate in San Antonio of the American Hockey League, contacted him. Pope was playing in Torre Pellice and convinced his old teammate to join.

“You always want to stay the whole season in one place, but it wasn’t able to happen this year,” Brine said. “A couple weird bounces came my way so we ended up seeing a lot of countries.”

Seeing the world is something Brine and his wife, Ianne, have grown accustomed to.

After playing his junior years with the Truro Bearcats and Halifax Mooseheads, Brine made stops in Southwest Florida, Rochester, NY, and San Antonio, TX, before cracking the Florida Panthers. After his time was up in North America, he spent time in Austria and South Korea before entering this season in Denmark.

In between games, the couple has travelled around Europe and Asia before getting married last April.

“We’ve tried to lock down our favourite stays, my wife and I, but we always come up with different ones,” he said before noting Rome, Prague, Budapest and Ljubljana. “We have so many pictures and memories, it’s hard to even pinpoint a few.”

With 738 games split between 10 leagues in seven countries, David Brine’s career will always be highlighted by the nine games he spent in the NHL in 2008.

“It was a dream come true,” he said. “You want to be able to stick, but if you can’t stick at least you can say you were there. It’s the best league in the world.”

Brine and his Valpellice Bulldogs have two games remaining in the regular season before they take on the playoffs. The Bulldogs currently sit fifth of 12 teams, with a 13-7-2 record.

Whether Italy becomes his permanent home or not, Brine is thankful for every chance he’s had to play hockey professionally. His goal is to do his best to help his team and learn a bit of Italian in the process.

In a small café in a tiny village, he’ll pick up a few words to go along with his bits and pieces of German, Danish, Korean and Austrian.

“I can honestly say that I did not (think I’d see the world),” he said. “As a kid, you dream of the NHL. You don’t dream about traveling the world and seeing all these amazing places. I feel very fortunate to be able to experience this.”

 

 

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