Blaine, minn. – As co-owner of Hockey Central in Blaine, Kathy Brodzinski wasn’t looking for a different job. So, when Pete Carlson, the ice arena operations and programs director from the Super Rink stopped in and said, “I think I have the perfect job for you.” Kathy’s initial reaction was, “But Pete, I’m not looking for a job!”
However, within a week Carlson’s persistence won her over, and Kathy took the job in charge of office administration and ice sports programming at the National Sports Center’s Super Rink, and in her words, “I’ve never worked a day since!”
Six years later, Kathy is still on the job, and she really wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Our whole life is centered around hockey," Kathy said. “We owned the store for 13 years and Mike (her husband) is still running it. It was always hockey everywhere we went; our business, our personal life, and it always was.”
Not that Kathy’s complaining.
She met Mike when they were attending Blaine High School and now, four boys later, Kathy’s about to vacate the Super Rink for a few days to watch Bryce, her youngest, suit-up for the Bengals, in the boys State High School Hockey Tournament.
“The State Tournament never gets old,” Kathy said. “Jonny was there all three of his years, Michael was there for two of his years, Easton made it his senior year, and I was like, ‘Come on! Please don’t make Bryce the one who doesn’t make it.'”
So far, all the Brodzinski boys have made hockey work pretty well.
Jonny, the eldest, is a defenseman for the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. Michael is playing at the minor league level in the San Jose Sharks system. Easton is a sophomore at St. Cloud State University, and then there is the afore-mentioned Bryce.
“They’re so competitive,” Kathy said. “They’re never mean, but they can dig just hard enough. Still, they’re the best of friends.”
Four boys playing hockey gets expensive, even when you own a hockey store. But hand-me-downs were not only a reality in the Brodzinski household, in many cases the equipment being passed down was actually coveted.
“Bryce was a total mutt. I’m surprised he had two matching skates, honestly," Kathy said. “But the thing is, he never cared. None of them did, really. They were like, whatever. Mike would be the one to say, ‘You really need to get a new pair of shin guards,' and the boys would say, ‘No, it’s fine’. You know how it is when you get attached to a certain piece of equipment.”
Kathy says Bryce’s big brothers were really unhappy to hear the Bengals would be playing an 11a.m. game in their tournament opener as two of them will be practicing at that time.
“I’ll be giving updates," Kathy said.
Following the tournament Bryce, who has committed to play for the Gophers next season, will skate down to join Omaha and play Junior hockey. But first, there’s one more state tournament experience for the Brodzinski’s
“It really hasn’t sunk in yet. I know I should be thinking that this is my last one ever, but I’m too excited to think that!” Kathy said.
And who can blame her? After all, no matter what happens this weekend in St. Paul Kathy Brodzinki knows there will never be any shortage of excitement at the NSC’s Super Rink.
“Oh yeah, I love it here! Like I said, I’ve never worked a day here. There has never been a day where I’ve said, I don’t want to go to work. How could you not want to be around this? I get paid to be around sports!”
Tag(s): NSC Blog