Photo by DAVID SZYMANSKI
Mike Liambas is excited
about returning to Milwaukee for a second tour of duty
with the Admirals. He played here from 2012-15, and
moved to AHL rival Rockford last season. Now he joins
the Admirals as they transition from playing at the BMO
Harris Bradley Center, their home since 1988, to the
UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. I spoke with the left winger
after a recent practice.
How do you like your
Itís been awesome. Itís a better atmosphere because itís a smaller
building. It feels like the fans are right on top of you. Theyíre
Did you see our locker room? Unbelievable. That locker room is probably
the best Iíve seen in our league. Itís better than some NHL locker rooms
right now. (The arena benefited from renovations totaling $6.3 million,
including $1.5 million for locker rooms.)
The city just in general is great. Iíve been to other places, and for
sure this is my No. 1 spot Iíve ever played. And Iíve played in
Orlando, Fla., but this still takes the cake.
What was it like
growing up outside of Toronto?
I have two brothers. We all played hockey. They were both goalies
(neither brother plays professionally). My poor parents; goalie
equipment is really expensive.
One of us would always be with another family on one of the teams ó
whether my parents would take one of my brothers separately and Iíd go
with a parent from another family, or someone would take my brother on a
road tournament and my family would be with my other brother. It was
hectic. I owe my parents for putting up with all the practices and
What was the worst
bus ride you endured?
When I played for Cincinnati, we were busing from Orlando, Fla., to
Elmira, N.Y., 17 hours. We got on a bus in Orlando at 9 at night and
bused all the way overnight.
Have you always done
That was ingrained in me from the start of Junior Hockey. We did a lot
of stuff with schools.
The thing that probably saved my career was I did volunteer work with
the Shriners Hospital in Erie, Penn. That summer, 2009, I had a hip
surgery in Cleveland. I came back for training camp, and I couldnít
Then I got to know the nurses really well and the head doctor, Dr.
Schranz, got ahold of my MRI. Dr. Berg, who is a leading hip specialist
at Vanderbilt and does work with the Predators, was coming to Shriners
in December to do hip scopes to teach other doctors. Dr. Schranz put in
a recommendation that I be one of them, and Dr. Berg performed my second
hip surgery. If it wasnít for them, I donít know if Iíd be playing
Photo by DAVID SZYMANSKI
My FIVE Favorite Things!
The Lumineers. We got to see them in Nashville this year during training
Fishing. I fish down by McKinley Marina.
Chicken wings at Points East Pub on Jackson Street. Theyíre
Tom Hardy. I love his roles, especially the one in the movie ďLawless.Ē
My dog, Roxy. I got her from the Wisconsin Humane Society a couple of