NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. Lane MacDermid admitted that his mind was racing more than a little bit as he was trading punches with Mike Rupp during his first NHL fight at Madison Square Garden last spring.
The one dominating thought going through his head: Damn . . . how cool is this? Thats quite an experience for the son of an NHL player during his first game in The Show against a big time team in the Rangers.
"I remember during the fight thinking to myself 'Im fighting in the NHL right now. This is pretty cool,' " said MacDermid with a wide smile on his face. "Even just sitting on the bench at the start of the game was pretty cool."
MacDermid and Chris Bourque both signed AHL deals with the Bruins organizations on Wednesday in anticipation of the P-Bruins first preseason game against the Springfield Falcons tonight in Marlboro. MacDermid should be busy this season protecting Ryan Spooner among others this season in Providence, and he knows thats his first priority. But now MacDermid has that sweet NHL taste in his mouth after debuting with Boston last season, and is ready for more.
He clearly has Shawn Thornton ahead of him on the organizational depth charts for that particular role, but its more than possible he could be added as reinforcements if things go all Adams Division against beefed up clubs like Montreal and Buffalo.
I usually work pretty hard in the summer, and I feel like Ive come a long way from where I started as a pro, said MacDermid, who hopes hes called up to an abbreviated Boston training camp when the NHL regular season does begin. I just want to continue on that line. Throughout the summer I was watching and had the lockout in mind, so I was ready for all this.
Now Ive experienced all of the different aspects of the NHL. Its the elite league of the world and I was just happy to be there. It was a great experience all-around.
It will be most interesting in this lockout world to watch players like MacDermid, Matt Bartkowski, Jordan Caron and youngsters like Spooner and Jared Knight as theres a tangible connection between them and NHL hockey. The AHL enforcer and Bs draft pick did his usual power skating drills and strength-work during the summer, but also focused quite a bit on the mental side of the game.
In the past MacDermid would let anger and frustration get the best of him, and its an important emotion on the ice given his propensity to drop the gloves. But the Bs brawler also needs to harness those fiery feelings to effectively do his job protecting teammates and sending out a vibe of intimidation.
There are always things you can work on. I work on the mental game and I work on the skating aspect. Puck-handling is always something that I need to work on, said MacDermid. Theyre all just things I need to go to get ready.
The journey back to the NHL starts anew for MacDermid with the start of the P-Bruins preseason games, and hell be looking to add to that NHL fight resume after an auspicious start.