Team photographer Brian Liesse is introducing T-Birds fans to those connected to the team whose contributions might not be readily visible. We are excited about this project because we get to highlight those that make T-Bird hockey possible through their hard work and dedication to the team and the sport of hockey. We look forward to introducing you to T-Birds staff, accesso ShoWare Center staff, Booster Club members, Game Night Staff, Media, and others who help us celebrate and promote the team and the sport in the Pacific Northwest. Each person highlighted has answered a questionnaire about what they do with the team or how they are connected to the team,and some personal highlights. Brian took the photos of each person in their T-Bird environment.
What do you do for/with the Thunderbirds?
I cover the Thunderbirds for 710 ESPN Seattle’s web page and occasionally join Thom Beuning on the radio broadcast and the weekly Coach’s Show.
How long have you been working for/with the Thunderbirds?
The 2019-2020 season is my eighth season covering the team.
What is your favorite aspect of what it is you do for/with the Thunderbirds?
I love hockey and I love writing stories so being able to combine them and tell the Thunderbirds story to their fans has to be one of my favorite things. I’ve also been lucky enough to meet some great people in this game, including coaches, players, fans, and other media members.
What is the most challenging aspect of what you do for/with the Thunderbirds?
Three in three weekends. You think it’s taxing to play in three games in three nights, watching three games in three nights is flat out exhausting. Nobody thinks of the media when they schedule those. In all seriousness, I get to watch, write and talk about hockey and there isn’t too much that’s a challenge about that, it’s something I feel fortunate to be able to do.
What is your favorite Thunderbirds memory?
The two trips to the WHL Championships Series were a memorable ride but my favorite memory — and I’m trying not to be dark here — is the post-game at the Memorial Cup in Windsor, after Seattle had been eliminated. Seeing the raw emotion on players like Mathew Barzal, Ethan Bear, Scott Eansor, and Keegan Kolesar was a reminder of how passionate these guys are and how much winning means to them. They knew they had just played their last game in a Seattle sweater and even though they all had pro hockey in their futures, they were overcome by the moment. I’ll never forget it.
Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
I like to get to the rink as early as possible on game day, usually two hours before puck drops. It’s a great way to get set up, read about the visiting team, talk to people who cover the other team and just be around the game more.
Are you excited for an NHL team to come to Seattle?
Yes, I’ve been lucky enough to cover that story for both NHLtoSeattle.com and NHL.com and it’s been a blast to watch that franchise come together. I think it’s going to be a huge success and have a positive impact on the Thunderbirds and the WHL.
What do you enjoy doing when not working for/with the Thunderbirds?
I’m a big music guy and play the guitar, badly but with a great deal of enthusiasm. I also am a movie buff and I watch a lot of hockey at home.
What position do you/would you play if you were to play hockey?
A brooding shut down D-Man who can’t skate, pass, or shoot well.
Who are the Thunderbirds biggest rivals?
Without a doubt it’s the Portland Winterhawks. Rivalries can heat up and cool down and Seattle and Everett is perhaps more heated at the moment — thanks to playing three straight years in the playoffs — but for over 40 years it’s been Seattle and Portland. I feel that it runs pretty deep on both ends and is always fun to watch.
Where can we find you on social media?
I’m on Twitter at @andyeide and Instagram at @the_eide