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Memories Of The Basement Where Trent Frederic Became Bruins’ Future Tough Guy

March 8th, 2021 by Matt Kalman - Full Press Coverage

After NBCSN Boston’s The Camera Guys got the skinny on Trent Frederic learning how to fight in his family’s unfinished basement, it was time to dig deeper with possibly the last man to physically dominate the Bruins forward — his older brother Grant.

Grant, who’s almost three years Trent’s senior, describes the relationship between the two boys (two of five Frederic siblings) as best friends that were highly competitive growing up. They didn’t hold grudges after their battles in the unfinished basement of their St. Louis-area home, but their 1-on-1 roller hockey games would often end in a battle of fists more than pucks and sticks.

“We played thousands and thousands of games, for many hours, playing in that basement,” Grant told Full Press Coverage last week. “At that age, when you’re younger, I was more physically mature than him probably, even though he was a pretty strong kid. I think that’s kind of why he said I had to dominate him, just being bigger, naturally from that time. But, yeah, they were fun games, that’s for sure.”

With couches for mini boards and a concrete floor, the Frederic brothers did their best to avoid injury, although Grant figures “somewhere there’s blood marks somewhere from us fighting and what not.” Nonetheless, the battles paid off because now the younger Frederic, who turned 23 last month, can go toe-to-toe with some of the biggest baddies in the NHL, including Washington’s Tom Wilson.

One thing Grant learned early on that the NHL’s gritty class is finding out is that his younger brother doesn’t react to taking a punch the way most mere mortals respond.

“The crazy thing I will say about him, and it’s something I think — I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet — is when he gets hit, it’s not he’s like most kids or people. You get hit in the face or whatever and it’s like ‘I’m done, that’s enough.’ [For him], it’s like a switch. And it’s like ‘oh no, you just woke a bear.’ You don’t want to hit him anywhere, but he just gets more mad and then he’s really just pure strength,” Grant said.

Grant, who’ll turn 26 this month and is coming off a four-year career at Miami University where he was a defenseman, confirmed that one time he knocked Trent out and that was their last fight.

“I remember hitting him one time and that was pretty much the last time we did it,” Grant explained. “It scared me and I think scared him and we were like ‘OK, we’re done. We’re going to too hard, this is just a basement hockey game, let’s relax.’”

Trent’s putting all those basement lessons to use without his gloves on. But it wasn’t all fighting between the brothers. They honed what became Trent’s NHL-caliber skills in that basement too.

“We would shoot pucks for hours in our basement,” Grant said. “And our parents, their room was right above where we would play. We would be there until one in the morning, late at night. I’m sure they lost sleep over us — either playing 1-on-1 or shooting pucks.”

Grant and Trent often would attend Blues games and then re-enact what they witnessed in that basement. Now there’s no re-enactment necessary, Trent’s a full-fledged NHLer. His brother couldn’t be prouder.

“It’s pretty cool to see how it kind of came full circle and he’s actually playing in the NHL,” Grant said. “That’s probably the coolest part. Fighting Tom Wilson and whoever, it’s cool, [Trent’s] a big guy and I trust Trent, and he’s pretty tough. So it’s cool to see and to see him do whatever he has to do for that team.

“Naturally you get nervous, but it’s cool to just see him out there on the ice.”

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