New Friends

The beginning of hockey season on the road has given me the opportunity  to get to know new Maverick players.  They all have wonderful stories.

During the season opening road trip to Denver I got to know 6’8” forward Riley Emmerson.  He and his 6’3” wife Jennifer believe their first child will be big.  The newest Emmerson will arrive in May.

Emmerson said that early in his career several opponents challenged him to fight.  In recent seasons few opposing players want to tangle with him.

However last season he declined an offer to brawl because he knew that due to the situation it would put his team at a disadvantage.

I also met players who have skated against the Mavericks.  Former Rapid City Rush forward Colt King, who amassed 152 PIMs for Sheffield in Great Britain last season, said 10-minute misconducts are frequently handed out in the UK.

King, other former Rush players Derek Leblanc and Jamie VanderVeeken  and former Odessa Jackalope Jeff Pierce (33 goals for Cardiff in the UK last season) all have fantastic senses of humor.

Brian Bicek, who lit the lamp 33 times for Evansville in 2011-2012 talked about a mutual friend….Icemen announcer Terry Ficorelli.  Bicek does a great Fic imitation.  I wonder if he will impersonate me by the end of the season.

While having lunch with eight Mavericks the discussion turned to a  player some had known in college.  They still laughed about his antics after a coach told him he wasn’t crashing the net.  After the other players left the ice following a game he skated at full speed and leaped into the goal knocking it over and pushing it to the boards.  The player then calmly skated to the dressing room.

The next day he found his gear awaiting him outside the arena.

Learning pronunciations is something I  do at the beginning of each season.  With defenseman Matt Krug I envision the crowd yelling “Kroooooooooog”.    With goalie Michael Clemente I think of Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente.

This season will be one to remember.