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Leader of the pack


NEW GLASGOW – Whether it’s taped or stitched onto a sweater, wearing a letter has a lot of meaning to a hockey player.

Weeks Crushers defenceman Cole Hutchinson watches for a point shot during last Thursday’s home game against the Bridgewater Lumberjacks. Hutchinson was named captain of the team last week, alongside six players who will share assistant captain duties.

The Pictou County Weeks Crushers’ captain from 2013-14, Nick Parker, graduated from the program in April, leaving the role vacant for this season. Speculation over who would eventually don the ‘C’ ramped up as selection camp got underway, but last week that was put to bed.

Cole Hutchinson, better known as ‘Hutch’ around the locker room, will sport the ‘C’ on his chest this season.

The Uxbridge, Ont., native is in his final year of junior hockey and second season with the Crushers. Last Wednesday it was publicly announced that he is the captain for the 2014-15 campaign.

“I guess all along I was kind of hoping it would happen and I think I’ll be a good captain for the team, but at the same time there’s multiple guys in the room that could wear the ‘C’ this year, so I wasn’t 100 per cent sure until he (head coach Jason Malone) made the decision,” said Hutchinson. “I felt last year I showed some good leadership on and off the ice, in the dressing room and in the community, stuff like that. I think he relied on me last year, wearing a letter or not, and I think he expects the same this year.

“There’s a few things I need to work on, on the ice, but I’m going to work on it and that’s what me and Jay also talked about.”

This will be the first letter Hutchinson has been given since he started playing hockey. He said he never wore an ‘A’ or a ‘C’ growing up, which adds to this opportunity with Pictou County.

“Yeah, in a way it does,” he said. “On every team there are only so many letters that can be handed out and I guess it’s all up to the coaching staff, but it definitely makes it more special being my 20-year-old year and last year of junior.”

Announced alongside Hutchinson as captain, the team also named six alternate captains.

Rory Graham, Regan Spears, Willie MacDonald, Daniel Walsh, Cole Murphy and Mike Lyle will share the duties this season.

The final decision was presented to this group last week after discussions started the first or second week of September.

Hutchinson said that the seven players were at the same meeting when Malone announced he would be named captain for the season.

“Jay brought me, along with the six other guys, into the meeting, the group that will be leaned on equally this year and that’s when he announced just to us seven that I would be the captain,” he said.

“Jason relies heavily on myself and the other six guys that were in that room and maybe that makes my job a little easier knowing that these guys are just as much leaders on and off the ice as I am. They’re there to support me and I’m there to support them. All the decisions we make are probably going to be made together.”

 

christopher.cameron@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsChris

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