Friday, July 3, 2015

Returning Faces: Cole McCaskill

After two injury riddled starts, Cole McCaskill is ready to start this season off healthy (knock on wood). The defenseman was a star for the Spruce Kings last year after coming over in a January trade. In just 22 games, he scored 17 points which nearly beat his previous high of 19 points in more than double 47 games. McCaskill is excited to start this year off right, with what should be a very tough defensive core with several key members returning from last year, and the additions of Adam Brubacher, and Stephen Penner.

In a recent interview, Cole talked over the phone about this coming season, and the experience of winning Game Six against Langley last year.

What are your plans for the off-season? 

There’s always training, hockey is a year round business, so training almost every day. There’s lot of beautiful golf courses up here in Kamloops, so lots of golf, and keeping busy swinging the clubs. There’s a couple lakes nearby, so I’ll heading out there.

What do you expect from yourself this year? 
I’d like to keep up that high scoring play, and also really be a leader this year, and help grow the young guys into good defencemen. Hopefully it turns into a winning hockey team that goes far into the playoffs.

How do you like the new additions of Brubacher and Penner? 
I think we’re going to be a much older, defensive minded, and strong defense core. There are lots of guys with games under their belts. Last year we had lots of injuries, [Ryan] Fritz was injured, he couldn’t play as much, and I think it started to really hurt us. We were rolling four defensemen some games, so I think having a big defense core like that, with lots of guys wanting ice time will be huge. 

Favourite NHL Team? 
The Pittsburgh Penguins. 

What are your thoughts on the Kessel trade? 
I’m pretty happy for there to be a goal scorer to play with Crosby, he needs that.

How do you think the playoff experience from last year will help the team?
I think it’s going to be good because obviously it’s our goal to win a championship, the Fred Page Cup, and represent the BCHL out at the Western Canada Cup and RBC Cup. Having some playoff experience, and winning a series, and it was a tough against Langley so all the guys who played, and were a part of that are going to be huge in the playoffs coming up, and I think that experience is going to pay off for us.

What was your highlight of last year? 
Game six against Langley was a pretty special moment. Being successful against those guys and sending them home for the year felt pretty good.

What have you heard about your new coach? 
He’s actually from Kamloops too, so he’s spent a little bit of time here in the summer. We’ve met up a lot, and I think we’re both really excited to get back to PG this year and get this team rollin. I think he especially wants get ready early right out of camp, and just start playing.

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