Scotsburn native will wear ‘A’ this season
© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
Weeks Crushers defencemen Daniel MacLeod will play his first regular season game tonight against the CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks. MacLeod’s only game action this season was in the team’s preseason game against the Truro Bearcats. He injured his knee late in the game and hadn’t been able to skate until last week.
NEW GLASGOW – Anyone that attends Weeks Crushers games on a regular basis and takes notice of details on the ice likely saw the big rip in Daniel MacLeod’s hockey pants at the end of last season.
Although it may be a little harder to tell this year cause they’re sewn up, he’s wearing the same pair of pants. It’s not that he hasn’t had the opportunity to get new ones, he said he likes the feeling of old gear and is slightly superstitious about it. This season the entire team received new gloves, so he was asked to retire his pair after six years to match with the rest of the team.
He made a deal with head coach Jason Malone that if he fixed up his pants, which he’s had since his second year with the Weeks Major Midgets, that he could continue to wear them.
“I just don’t like the feeling of new gear and Jay actually had a conversation with me over the summer and actually set a few guidelines,” he said. “I actually sewed my pants up this summer before training camp. It’s just superstition I guess. I’ve always had old gear and I wear it until they won’t let me wear it anymore.”
In his final year of junior, MacLeod said his pants will likely get retired after this season because they’re pretty worn out.
He said he did have a scare that he would have to do that sooner than later as he lay on the ice with his knee dislocated during the Weeks Crushers exhibition game Sept. 5 against the Truro Bearcats. He didn’t know what the word was going to be or what the issue was.
MacLeod said he knew it wasn’t good, but didn’t know the severity of the situation – he was thinking of the worst-case scenario.
“When it first happened I felt the knee come out so I didn’t really know what happened, but I felt something really weird,” he said. “I knew I was in trouble and the first thing that came to me was I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play my last year, but Shannon (Estabrooks) did a great job taking care of me and stuff, so I’m happy to be back out there.”
For a few days after the injury he had his leg in a cast to ensure his knee stayed in place. Since then he’s been doing physiotherapy a few times a week. Wednesday was MacLeod’s fifth time on the ice since sustaining the injury, although the first few practices he didn’t do all the drills. He felt no pain in his knee during the drills, but said at this point the biggest struggle is getting back in shape.
Thursday will be the first true test with him back in the lineup for the Crushers home game against the CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks.
“Lately I’ve been able to go on the bike, so I’ve been trying to get my cardio back,” he said. “The last couple of practices have been a little hard because I lost the cardio I had built up. There is nothing better than just going back on the ice though. That’s how I’m going to get it back.”
Not only will MacLeod be throwing a new Weeks jersey on for the first time in the regular season, he’ll also have an ‘A’ stitched on it. He said the team voted for who they wanted as their assistant captains.
“It’s definitely a big honour to be an assistant captain because with this group there are 10 other guys that could’ve had it because we have a veteran lineup, so it was definitely an honour and a pleasant surprise,” he said.
When asked about it affecting his play, he said it will make no difference. MacLeod added that even with the official title it won’t affect the way the first-year players look at him.
“No, everyone is going to be a leader in the room, but the only difference is I can talk to the referees, that’s the only difference really,” said MacLeod. “I try not to think about it really. Like I said, everyone’s a leader in there so I don’t think it changes the way rookies or anyone looks at me. Everyone looks at the leaders with the same respect and we give them respect.”
Goals for: 14
Goals against: 10
Vs. CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks
Goals for: 12
Goals against: 19
2012-13 record against Lumberjacks: 5-1
Game time: 7 p.m. at the Pictou County Wellness Centre
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris