Former St. Lawrence 100-point man and current Florida Everblades forward Mike McKenzie is keeping a journal of his life in American minor hockey. He has agreed to let me share his journals with you every Sunday.
You can follow Mike on Twitter @MikeMcKenzie11
For more McKenzie journals, search "Minor Updates" in the blog archive.
January 23, 2011
It is officially All-Star break in the Coast. My dad was still in town for the day so I went to see him where he was staying at his friends place in Naples, and we ordered an unnecessary amount of PF Changs take out and took it back to the condo and watched some afternoon hockey followed by some NFL playoffs. I never used to be much of a football fan but now that I have lived in the U.S. for almost 5 years I have really started to follow it. I have become a Ravens fan over time mostly because my favorite player is Ed Reed.
Some guys decided to go to Miami and spend a night there but I decided to pass it up to spend some time with the old man. The rest of the guys are just staying around Fort Myers and we booked some tee times tomorrow so a bunch of us are going to hit the links. I love to golf and played over 20 rounds this summer. I am not by any means a great player but slowly improving. I'm guessing tomorrow will be a tough round considering I haven't swung a club since late August. Should be fun though.
January 24, 2011
Just like I predicted, it was a rough day on the course. I didn't exactly hit the ball the way I would have pleased, but it was fun to get out there with six of the fellas. Now that I have been out once I am getting the itch to start playing more and might try to get out a bit more in the coming months. We booked another tee time for tomorrow so hopefully I am hitting ‘em better then. We saw our Coach at the course today, which was kind of funny. He was probably thinking, “Oh great, I get three days away from these punks and I end up seeing them on the course.” Ha.
January 25, 2011
Today was a much better day for my golf game. I started hitting the ball much better even though I didn't end up scoring too well thanks to my driver issues. On hole 14, I hit my ball into a pond and when I got up to it there was a friend waiting for me on the edge of the pond. It was the first gator I had seen since being here, so it was cool to see but I didn't plan on ending up like Chubbs in “Happy Gilmore,” so I took a picture and got the hell out of there.
We saw our coach out there again today and while we were teeing up on hole 18, which is right beside the road you drive in on, he drove by and honked at us. His honk happened to come right in the middle of Snetsy's (Ed Snetsinger) backswing, so naturally he figured it was some guy trying to mess his shot up. As soon as it happened he dropped his club turned around and gave the guy in the car the finger.
I said: “Umm Snetsy I'm pretty sure you just gave coach the finger, nice knowing you buddy, better pack your bags you're getting traded tomorrow for sure.”
January 26, 2011
All-Star break is officially over. We were back at the rink today and had a good hard practice. I got a good hard weight workout in after practice as well. Most guys really don't enjoy working out, especially during the season for obvious reasons, but I really enjoy it and it is more like a hobby to me than actual work. I find it really helps to keep my strength up throughout the season.
Things around the rink were pretty crazy today. Some big political convention took place in our rink all day and people like Laura Bush, Colin Powell and others spoke. I have never seen so many cars parked outside our rink, and security was crazy tight. Secret service had all sorts of places on lock down so it was kind of a hassle, but pretty neat to see how much security and how seriously all these important people are taken.
Right now, I am just relaxing in my room and doing a little research. Last summer a couple of my best buddies from home and I decided to try and take a baseball road trip this summer. Right now I am looking through all the schedules and trying to find a possible route for our trip. Nothing is set in stone, but if everything falls into place we would hit Boston, New York (Yankees and Mets) and Philadelphia. Hopefully everything falls into place and we pull it off. I am a huge baseball fan, and the Blue Jays are by far my favorite sports team. I think it is a joke they have to play in the same division as the Yanks, Red Sox and Rays but I'm not even going to get started on that. Go Jays!
January 27, 2011
We had early practice this morning and are flying out tonight for a game in Kalamazoo and two in Toledo. Our equipment guy, Steve-o, and trainer Timmy are driving all the hockey gear from Florida to Kalamazoo, so we don't have to bring it all on the plane. That is a helluva drive for those guys, and I'd just like to say that those two put in so many hours and often never get enough credit for the work they do. It is a thankless job and the effort and time the put in is greatly appreciated.
January 28, 2011
We lost tonight, that is all I will say about that game. My mom, dad, brother and cousin are all coming to Toledo tomorrow to see our next two games so I am excited to see all of them.