Veteran forward Anthony Collins eager to join Mavericks

By Bill Althaus
Anthony Collins

Anthony Collins has many friends who have played in Cable Dahmer Arena, and even a few former Kansas City Mavericks.

And the veteran forward said the venue and the organization always drew rave reviews when they were mentioned.

That is why the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder signed with the Mavericks, and he could not be more excited about his eighth season in the ECHL.

“When you’ve been in a league as long as I have,” Collins said by phone Wednesday afternoon, “you know a lot of guys and have a lot of contacts. 

“And I have never heard a bad thing about the Mavericks. Their arena is second to none and they are a first-class organization. I’m so excited about coming to Kansas City that I wish the season started next week.”

The 31-year-old forward from Surrey, British Columbia, joins the Mavericks after his Atlanta Gladiators team opted out of this season because of concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, he scored 14 points on three goals and 11 assists in 59 games for the Gladiators.

“Anthony is a major presence on the ice and he has been a force in Atlanta over the past few years,” Mavericks coach Tad O’Had said. “He is an exceptional person on and off the ice. Our fans are going to love watching him play.

“He plays an aggressive brand of hockey and sticks up for his teammates. He has great experience in the ECHL with Atlanta, Quad City, South Carolina and Rapid City. 

“Anthony was the Man of the Year twice in Rapid City and he is a great community guy. He is exactly what the Mavs need from leadership, toughness and quality of player and person.”

Collins, who also played a season with the Indy Fuel, said he knew he was going to play in Kansas City after visiting with O’Had on the phone.

“Coach O’Had has seen me play many times over the years while he was in Florida and I was with Atlanta and some other teams,” Collins said. “He’s a big reason I signed with the Mavericks. He is a players’ coach and he knows the game.

“He has the same type of passion for the game that I have, and I can’t wait to get to town, meet him and my new teammates and, of course, our fans.

“Kansas City was always a stop when I was with a visiting team that I enjoyed because of the energy in the building – and that comes from the fans.”

In his ECHL career, Collins has played in 336 games, scoring 22 goals and compiling 35 assists for 57 points and 720 penalty minutes.

“I’m not the only one in my family who’s excited,” Collins added. “My wife Jennifer and our 6-year-old daughter Isabella are excited, too. Jennifer is a nurse and I know our family is going to fall in love with Kansas City and our new team.

“She’s as excited as I am, and Isabella can’t wait to get on the ice at the arena.”