“I’ve been sick to my stomach in anticipation for awhile so it’s really nice to get back out there with familiar faces and new faces and with excitement, it’s like Christmas morning, kinda, for someone who’s been here before, it’s like a second home”.
When the chance came up for 36 year old, Pete MacArthur to be back with the Adirondack Thunder for his fourth season it was a no-brainer decision for himself and for his family to be closer to home. MacArthur a native of Clifton Park, NY has served as captain for two out of the four season he’s been wearing a Thunder sweater. He even played his 500th game in a barn that he grew up in back then and to some still the “Glens Falls Civic Center”. Almost two weeks into training camp but it already feels like a bit of a family, MacArthur described.
“Having that full year off, it’s fairly new again. You get back on the bike and you know how to ride but now you got the finer details”.
Mac as those close to him or his teammates in the locker room is entering his 13th professional season full time after just dabbling in some AHL games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers after his four year college career with Boston University and then not playing last season. If you stuck a plain map and said here’s a Tac throw it on there and see where it lands 9 out of 10, Mac has either visited, played or lived there. After serving as the team’s captain for the second straight year after joining Adirondack in late November of the 2015-16 hockey season after deciding to come back to North America, capping off a four year tour over-seas in leagues as such as the DEL along with the DBEL. Mac, joined forces with Founder and President of Coast 2 Coast Hockey Player Development Rob Galatiuk and co-founder Scott Green to help the younger generation and to give back everything he learned from playing pro and help him achieve at a higher level in San Antonio Texas. Thunder fans might remember some names who are now Consultant’s, mentor’s and give a special in depth look to help the future of hockey. Those names include Greg Wolfe, Michael Sdao, Drew Fielding, James Henry, Matt Salhany along with NHLer Brett Burns and longtime ECHL goaltender Sean “Bones” Bonar.
“Running development camps on and off the ice and mentoring players, it’s very different than being here doing this, having a mentoring roll, a honor that and relish the opportunity that Alex, Pete and Jeff provide I think when you play for a long time you learn and I think that if you aren’t willing to share the knowledge then what are you doing?”
While we’d like to see MacArthur play forever, he acknowledges that, that isn’t possible.
I’m not going to be a player forever but I have kids and would like to have a positive influence on whoever you have contact with it’s a full roll to have”.
Head Coach Alex Loh will be looking to learn the the veteran move than ever with all the young guns coming down from Utica. Joe Masonius, Patrick Grasso, Jordan Kaplan, Sam Laberge and Markus Mitens are all guys that MacArthur will be looking to lean on and learn from this season. Having the absence of Shane Harper around the bench, it’ll be Mac and Robbie Payne, Alex Carrier and others that have been around the block to make sure that things get done but you have fun while doing your job.
“Everyone was really personal when we first met each other as a group, we’ve got some good energy on the ice, we’re a little rusty skill wise but the effort was there”.
MacArthur has a chance to break some records in a Thunder uniform this season. He currently ranks second in all-time points and assists. The 36 year old also is third in all time games played at 164 and is 29 games 2nd behind Conor Riley. Lastly Mac is second in points per season in the franchise with 63 points in 63 games during the 2016-17 second after a hearting playoff exit was handed to Adirondack by the Manchester Monarchs. Henry, Conacher, Kirkpatrick and John Edwardth are also on that list within some pretty good company.
” The think I like is guys are enjoying it, if you have fun at your job you are going to get good, and you’ll going to get good faster so it’s an encouraging start”.
Pete has also done some recruitment to this year’s team as well, bringing in 32 year old veteran and former Phoenix Coyotes draft pick Colin Long. Long was skating with Shane Harper in training camp but then the news of the broken jaw for the fan favorite brought back MacArthur and Long together again. Long and Mac have a relationship going back to their San Antonio days and their first official stint in the ECHL with the Las Vegas Wranglers. The two than later continued their friendship over-seas. Now with the unfortunate injury to Harper the two were reunited again on the same line Friday night against the Reading Royals with Robbie Payne. Of course there were mixing and matching but this line seemed to have it together and would great to see this pairing come Saturday night.
“We’re hoping to get our legs and lungs beneath us and implement some of our systems and learn how we want to play Thunder hockey”.
MacArthur and the Thunder open up the season Saturday night against Newfoundland. Adirondack’s roster stands at 19. With one likely headed to injury reserve to start the season with that one being Shane Harper.