The team bus broke down Thursday afternoon, meaning a 20-hour ride from Independence to Prescott Valley, Ariz., was going to take 25 hours, but Missouri Mavericks coach Scott Hillman didn't really care.
He was on the verge of signing a former thorn in the Mavericks' side and was feeling pretty good.
The Mavericks announced Friday they have signed left wing Obi Aduba. The 29-year-old Walpole, Mass., native spent the last four seasons with the Quad City Mallards, where he accumulated 65 goals, 89 assists and 263 penalty minutes in 271 games.
And Maverick fans must feel like half those goals came against the hometown team.
"This is one of those if-can't-beat-them-join-them scenarios,” Hillman said of the 6-foot-1, 210-pound forward. “Obi has absolutely killed us over the past few seasons. He is a big, strong, power forward who adds grit and scoring to the lineup.”
The Mavericks waived goaltender Erno Suomalainen and will continue the start of the 2013-14 season with Joe Howe and Shane Owen in goal. Owen notched his first win of the season last Saturday with a 3-2 shootout road victory over the St. Charles Chill.
One of Aduba's game-winners against the Mavericks came with less than two seconds remaining in regulation.
“He has a flair for the dramatic, as our fans well know,” Hillman said. “I think they are going to be thrilled to see Obi in a Mavs uniform in the home opener (Nov. 2 against the Denver Cutthroats).”
Aduba will be dressed for Friday night's game against the Arizona Sundogs. The Mavericks play back-to-back games in Arizona this weekend. Saturday's game also has a 9:05 p.m. (CDT) start.