New Mavericks getting acclimated

By Bill Althaus
New Kansas City Mavericks forward Rob Bordson is getting used to his new surroundings at Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence. Bordson comes to the ECHL's Mavericks after spending much of his pro career in the AHL and in European elite leagues.

This week, many of the Kansas City Mavericks will arrive in town, get accustomed to their new homes in Lee’s Summit, hit the ice at the Cable Dahmer Arena and greet new head coach Tad O’Had and assistant Kohl Schultz.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks coaches are making sure their players get tested for COVID-19, that many of the Canadian players get their respective visa issues taken care of and everyone has a special meal for Thanksgiving.

“I feel like I’m juggling chainsaws,” quipped O’Had, who has worked with Schultz and president and general manager Brent Thiessen to put together a team that the first-year coach said, “will make our fans proud on and off the ice. This is a special group.”

Two of the special newcomers are already in town, as veteran forward Rob Bordson and his wife Halle arrived last week and Monday veteran defenseman Willie Corrin, his wife Emily, daughter Colette and the family pooch Rainy made their first trip to the metro area.

“We’ve been here a while because Halle is in the 31st week of her pregnancy and she had an appointment last week with a group at Centerpoint Medical Center,” said Bordson, a 6-foot-2, 201-pounder who joins the Mavericks in the midst of a prolific professional career that has spanned the American Hockey League to elite European leagues. “We already love it here. We found a great little breakfast place in Lee’s Summit and everyone is giving us barbecue suggestions. It’s really beginning to feel like home.”

In his ECHL career, Bordson is nearly a point-and-a-half-per-game player, scoring 26 goals and tallying 43 assists for 69 points in just 47 games. In his last ECHL season (2015-16), he had 18 points on nine goals and nine assists in nine games for the Adirondack Thunder. 

He has spent the last four seasons in Europe, playing in the Swedish, Danish and German elite leagues, scoring 21 goals and compiling 71 assists for 92 points in 124 games.

“Halle and I talked, and with COVID and all that is going on, we wanted to remain in the States,” he said, “and we are so happy that the Mavericks got in touch with us. It seems like the perfect fit. I’ve already been on the ice at the arena and can’t wait for the rest of the guys to get in town this week.”

Neither can their coach.

“Our fans are going to love watching Rob and Willie,” O’Had said. “They’re the type of guys we want representing our team. They’re going to be huge in the locker room, the community and on the ice.”

Corrin, 29, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder, is returning to North America after playing the last two seasons in Europe.

Willie Corrin

Last season with HKM Zvolen in Slovakia, he had 47 points on nine goals and 38 assists and 136 penalty minutes. During the 2018-19 season, Corrin led the DEL-2 league in Germany in assists for all defensemen.

Corrin said he is eager about his return to North America and ECHL hockey.

“I think we’re going to have a really good team in Kansas City,” Corrin said after unloading groceries that were delivered to his new apartment in Lee’s Summit. “Like Rob’s wife Halle, Emily is pregnant – they’re both going to see the same doctor at Centerpoint – and wow, what a great hospital.

“I just got here, so I haven’t visited the rink or talked in person with Tad, but I can’t wait to do both of those things. Now that we’re in town, it all seems real and I can’t wait.”

The Mavericks are scheduled to open the 2020-21 schedule Dec. 11 against the Indy Fuel at Indianapolis and play their first home game at Cable Dahmer Arena on Dec. 18 against the same team.