If there has ever been a face of the Condors over the past five seasons, it is Laurent Brossoit.
From the time the goaltender introduced himself to the Condors by shutting them out in back-to-back games while in the Calgary organization as a rookie in the ECHL with the Alaska Aces in November 2008; to being in the net for the Condors in a 3-2 victory over Ontario in the Outdoor Classic on Jan. 7, 2017, Brossoit has made his presence known.
Brossoit was called up to the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 11 of last year and stayed the rest of the season. It looked as if his long run with the Condors was likely done when he started this season in Edmonton as a backup to Cam Talbot.
But in a move that caught everyone outside of the Oilers’ front office by surprise, Edmonton acquired journeyman backup goaltender Al Montoya on Thursday. Montoya joined the Oilers in Dallas on Saturday, and Brossoit was waived and returned to the Condors after clearing waivers.
Brossoit will be in goal Wednesday night as the Condors begin a three-game homestand at Rabobank Arena, a year to the date of his last appearance in a Condors jersey.
“If you look at the big picture, there’s always some good to come from it,” Brossoit said of his demotion Tuesday following practice. “I think it may be a blessing in disguise to just be able to get back into game shape, playing more, feeling the puck. I think that’s kind of the best thing for my development.
“Just because it was a shock, it kind of made it easier to get over because it happened so quickly. I think it’s a good thing.”
Brossoit, 24, played in 13 games for the Oilers this season, his last stint in net coming back on Dec. 14.
As much as he’d like to still be at the NHL level, Brossoit said coming back to Bakersfield lessons the blow.
“A huge key is being comfortable right away and not having to get used to more aspects that I need to.” he said. "That’s definitely a positive, for sure.
“It’s familiar territory. There’s still a lot of guys on the team that I know pretty well so the transition’s pretty easy that way, and I’m just looking forward to getting back into the crease more often.”
A few days after blanking the Condors back in 2013, Brossoit became a part of the Oilers organization in a multi-player deal between Edmonton and Calgary. He played his first game for the Condors on Dec. 18, a shutout win over Idaho.
Brossoit recorded five more shutouts for the Condors as rookie and was a key reason the Condors advanced to the ECHL Western Conference Finals against Alaska, falling in six games.
Brossoit spent the bulk of the next season with Edmonton’s AHL franchise in Oklahoma City but was back in Bakersfield for the 2015-16 season when the Condors became the AHL affiliate for the Oilers. He went 18-9-3 before being called up to the NHL, where he spent six weeks.
As for his overall impact with the Condors, Brossoit’s stats tell the tale: No. 1 in shutouts with 11, second in all-time goaltender appearances at 90, and second in wins at 51.
Back once again, Brossoit is looking forward to seeing much more game action than he did at the NHL level.
“It’s nice to know you have the net and just focus on what you have to do and just playing in general,” he said. “Getting that game feel back is something I’m looking forward to.”
Condors coach Gerry Fleming said Brossoit brings a positive outlook with him.
“His attitude’s been great,” Fleming said. “He understands the situation. It’s the nature of this business. It’s a great game, not always a great business. So he’s come down here with the attitude he’s going to play and he’s going to play well.”
But the addition of Brossoit gives the Condors three goaltenders, not an ideal situation.
“They have to share the net during practice.” Fleming said. “We’ll make it work. It’s not the first time teams have had three goalies during the course of the year. It happens.”
Brossoit joins the Condors just as the team has garnered points in five straight games and climbed above .500 for the first time in more than two months.
“The energy is very contagious so it’s nice to come into a dressing room that’s feeling good and everyone seems to get along really well,” he said. “I’m looking to fit in and add to it.”
And likely playing for a job. He is in the last year of a two-year deal with the Oilers.
“I think you’re always playing for a job, right?” he said. “Whether you have a contract already signed away for long term or not. You’re always being watched, you’re always under the microscope. Anyone could be watching at any time. As long as you perform at your best at all times, the contracts will come.”