Category

McKenzie a mucker, a grinder… and a winner | TheAHL.com

6 minutes read


by Lindsey Willhite | AHL On The BeatWhen Curtis McKenzie created his Twitter account in September 2010 — early in his sophomore yr at Miami (Ohio) College — he needed his bio to clarify his model of hockey.Accordingly, he typed “Mucker, grinder, free puck finder.” He merely was being self-aware -– not self-deprecating -– when he authored these phrases.“I’ve all the time been extra of a employee in my profession,” McKenzie stated. “How I discover success for myself is simply working onerous. Possibly I’m going a bit of more durable to the online than different gamers and going to the corners to search out pucks. That’s one thing I’ve all the time prided myself on – being the most effective on the ice at these items.”The Golden, British Columbia, native has by no means modified these phrases on his Twitter bio, despite the fact that he has achieved much more in his skilled profession than you’d count on from a mucker/grinder.Because the 28-year-old Chicago Wolves ahead begins this season, his resume exhibits 99 profession video games within the Nationwide Hockey League with 10 objectives and 13 assists.He additionally has piled up 112 objectives and 142 assists throughout five-plus seasons within the American Hockey League — wonderful numbers that don’t do justice to the worth McKenzie gives for his workforce.Right here’s what we imply: There’s just one participant who participated in every of the final two AHL Calder Cup Finals –- McKenzie. He captained the Texas Stars to the 2018 Finals, then joined the Wolves final yr and led the workforce in playoff objectives on the way in which to the Western Convention championship.There’s additionally just one participant who has competed in three of the final six Calder Cup Finals. Yep, McKenzie. Throughout his rookie yr, he performed an necessary position on Texas’ 2014 Calder Cup champs.Principally, he ought so as to add “winner” to his Twitter bio –- solely he’s not egotistical like that.Photograph: Ross DettmanThat leaves Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson, who watched McKenzie lead the Wolves in scoring whereas guiding the workforce to final yr’s Calder Cup Finals, to do the bragging for him.“He’s a winner!” Thompson stated. “He’s a man who has gained championships and been massive elements of these groups. He’s simply a type of gamers who, whenever you play towards Curtis McKenzie, you realize that he has been on the ice. He’s a participant that the opposition will discuss as a result of he’s so tough to play towards.“He performs onerous each single recreation. Each single observe, he desires to be higher. He’s chief. He cares about his teammates. He cares concerning the group first.”The Wolves didn’t have an official captain final yr, however any gamers who had a priority or a fear appeared to open up to McKenzie. Then he would take the steps obligatory to unravel the difficulty. McKenzie believes the inspiration for this position begins on the ice.“My management type is to verify I’m the hardest-working man on the ice and the opposite guys will play that tough, too,” McKenzie stated.However enjoying so onerous -– and enjoying all the way in which into June two seasons in a row — has its worth. Whereas McKenzie led the Wolves in postseason objectives (eight) and shared the workforce lead in factors (15), he performed via a painful harm that required additional time to heal throughout the offseason.Thankfully, he and his bride, Lucia, discovered the right place to recuperate: Greece.GREECE IS THE WORDEight years after assembly briefly at Miami College, Curtis McKenzie and Lucia Carr had been wed on Aug. 18, 2018, at attractive Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada.As a result of that was too near the beginning of final season to embark on their honeymoon, they saved their journey for late June and early July. Whereas Curtis was busy pursuing the Calder Cup, Lucia made all of the preparations for his or her 12-day journey that started in Athens earlier than heading to 3 of Greece’s 6,000 islands.“She did a ton of analysis into locations to remain, locations to take a look at, eating places to go to,” McKenzie stated. “It was an superior journey. We had a lot enjoyable. I don’t assume there was something that went poorly.“The primary day we had been there, we went to the Acropolis and that’s the primary factor we needed to see in Athens. Then we received on a ferry and began going to the Islands. We went to Mykonos, Milos and Santorini, and all three had been fairly spectacular in their very own methods. It was good seeing three totally different kinds of islands and all of them had been so stunning.”Curtis and Lucia determined Milos was their favourite cease, partially as a result of Lucia discovered the right place to remain.“We stayed in a bit of boathouse proper on the water,” McKenzie stated. “You’d open the door, take two steps and also you’re within the Mediterranean. That was a fairly cool spot.”“The water is so blue there,” Lucia stated. “We went out on a few catamaran rides. We went snorkeling. There have been quite a lot of fish, however nothing you don’t need to swim with.”“It was nice to fully shut every thing off and see different elements of the world,” McKenzie stated. “I’m positive we’ll find yourself again in Greece sooner or later.”BACK TO THE GRINDAfter returning to North America, McKenzie gave his physique yet one more week to relaxation, after which he jumped again into his complete routine to organize for the season.As you may think from a younger man who prides himself on his work ethic, McKenzie doesn’t do something midway. A typical summer season day discovered him at Fortius Sport and Well being gymnasium by eight a.m. for a two-hour exercise, then off to physiotherapy, then headed to a rink in North Vancouver for 75 minutes on the ice for expertise work with Jon Calvano, the director of Elite Expertise Growth. He’d cap his days with a visit to the chiropractor.“This summer season I switched up my routine lots,” McKenzie stated. “I haven’t lifted any heavy weights in any respect. I’ve moved my exercises to extra of a motion base, the place it’s lighter weights and extra motion and simply enhancing my flexibility and vary of movement.“I’ve discovered it helps fairly a bit and I really feel actually good on the ice this fashion.”Photograph: Ross DettmanMcKenzie took half in a brand new Four-on-Four league referred to as The Boys of Summer time that was modeled after Da Magnificence League in Minnesota.“There are tons of NHL guys and AHL gamers within the space,” he stated. “It’s enjoyable to meet up with all of the buddies you may run into just some instances throughout the season -– or possibly not see in any respect. They’re good skates to go to and it’s league. It retains you within the recreation -– and it’s quite a lot of enjoyable whereas doing it.”Now it’s only a matter of enjoying for retains, and serving to his workforce go so far as it might probably.“I all the time discover I play my greatest hockey within the second half of the yr, in all probability from January-February on to the top of the playoffs,” McKenzie stated.“Gamers like him turn out to be so efficient within the playoffs and normally find yourself main your workforce in factors -– which he did for us,” stated Rocky Thompson. “These guys all the time find yourself being the blokes who push via and turn out to be an enormous purpose why their workforce has success.”

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Whatsapp Pocket

Related Posts:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has chosen Paul Branecky, vice chairman of promoting and communications for the Charlotte Checkers, because the winner of the league’s Ken McKenzie Award for the 2018-19 season.Recognizing the essential position performed by staff administration in constructing a profitable franchise, the Ken McKenzie Award is introduced yearly to an AHL staff govt who most efficiently promotes his or her personal membership.Branecky joined the Checker...
Curtis McKenzie scored twice and Oscar Dansk made 28 saves to ship the Chicago Wolves again to the Calder Cup Finals with a Three-1 win over San Diego on Monday evening.The Western Convention champions will tackle the Charlotte Checkers within the Finals, with Recreation 1 set for Saturday evening.Recreation 6 of the Western Convention Finals was a scoreless duel for greater than 52 minutes earlier than McKenzie deflected Nic Hague‘s shot previous Kevin Boyle to offer Chicago a 1-Zero ...
In at this time’s NHL Rumors rundown, all rumors come from TSN’s Insider Buying and selling the place Pierre LeBrun, Bob McKenzie, and Darren Dreger convey the newest information. The rumors embrace optimism surrounding Dustin Byfuglien, how Kyle Turris’ robust play impacts his commerce worth, and whether or not the Toronto Maple Leafs can re-sign Jake Muzzin. Plus, simply how scorching are the seats of Bruce Boudreau and John Hynes. Associated: NHL Rumors: Penguins, Coyotes, Devi...
The Philadelphia Flyers have come to phrases with ahead Kevin Hayes on a seven-year contract extension value $50 million, in accordance with Bob McKenzie. The deal will carry an annual cap hit of $7.14 million per season and can hold Hayes with the workforce by the 2025-26 season. PHI and pending UFA Kevin Hayes are closing in on a multi-year contract with an AAV of round $7M. Time period anticipated to be a minimum of six years, maybe seven. Put together to take one o...
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Nick Schmaltz scored within the shootout to assist the Arizona Coyotes beat the Buffalo Sabres Three-2 on Monday night time. Conor Garland and Carl Soderberg scored in regulation for Arizona, which improved to 7-Three-1. Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves and stopped all three Sabres makes an attempt within the shootout. Schmaltz scored the game-winner on a low shot to the glove facet. Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner scored for Buffalo (9-2-2), which had received 4 of 5. Carter ...
On Tuesday, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins will meet to determine their first-round matchup, with the Vegas Golden Knights visiting the San Jose Sharks in a series-deciding contest later within the night. On Wednesday, the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals will comply with go well with with a Sport 7 conflict of their very own. And the three winner-take-all video games within the first spherical will mark the primary time we’ve seen three opening-round collection g...