BostonBruins.com – For many hockey players trying to make it in the NHL, the biggest challenge is making the most of limited opportunities.
Bruins forward Lane MacDermid attempted to capitalize on his chance last spring, when he exchanged blows with New York Rangers enforcer Mike Rupp in his first shift of NHL ice time.
Despite giving up two inches and forty pounds, MacDermid landed a few hard shots and eventually earned the takedown. Still, he insists the bout was not a planned ordeal.
“No, I didn’t plan it actually,” he said. “We just kind of got tied up after the draw. He wasn’t going after me or anything like that, but I just saw an opportunity to fight so I took it.
“It was for sure exciting,” he added.
Four months later, MacDermid has been given another opportunity to earn playing time in Boston, as he signed a one-year, two-way contract with the club last Wednesday. Prior to finalizing the deal, he did his best to stay confident that he would get to wear the Black and Gold again.
“There was a little bit [of nervousness], but I knew that they had talks and that they were really close to working something out,” MacDermid said. “I was really confident, but there’s always nerves not knowing what’s going to happen.”
The one-year contract shows the B’s confidence in the 6’3”, 205-pound winger and his physical style of play, as evidenced by his 434 penalty minutes over the past three seasons and the aforementioned spar with Rupp.
However, MacDemid knows that he needs to add other dimensions to his game in order to become a regular in the TD Garden home locker room.
“I’d just like to keep working on my skating and puck handling abilities – that’s where I have to improve to play in the NHL,” he said.
“That’s why they’re in the NHL – because they’re good at those skills – so I’ll try to continue to work on that and try to show them during camp that I’ve improved and try to continue to improve.”
The biggest question now facing MacDermid is whether he can show the Bruins brass enough in training camp to warrant a promotion to the NHL ranks. In spite of the pressure, the Hartford, Connecticut native is just trying to stay focused on his own game.
“Honestly, a lot of players are going to be trying to make the team out of camp,” MacDermid said.
“There might be a couple spots open on the forward end so obviously that’s the best case scenario, but I’m just hoping to play as well as I can in camp and really show them that I’ve improved and…that I’m able to play at [the NHL] level.”