McKenzie was called up to the big club last week and played his first game Saturday night in front of visiting family and friends.

Golden’s Curtis McKenzie makes NHL debut with Dallas Stars

McKenzie was called up to the NHL club early last week and made his debut on Saturday against Philadelphia.

When Curtis McKenzie got a phone call from Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff last week, he was left speechless.

The call being one every pro hockey player dreams of, to tell McKenzie that he would be suiting up for his first NHL game, Oct. 18 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

“I think I was a bit speechless at first. I don’t even know what I said back to him I was so excited,” McKenzie recalled.

McKenzie had been called up to the Stars early last week as a result of an injury to forward Valeri Nichushkin, but was a scratch for Dallas’ games against the Blue Jackets and Penguins before getting the call against Philadelphia.

Naturally, McKenzie says he felt pretty nervous during the game, which he played in front of friends and family who made the last-minute trip south to Dallas.

“I was probably a little nervous during the game, a little jumpy. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t,” he said.

McKenzie was in the lineup for several of the Stars’ pre-season games and was one of the team’s final cuts at the end of training camp. He says that experience prepared him well for the real thing.

A friendly initiation at the hands of his veteran teammates also helped him calm his nerves during the pre-game skate.

“We were going out for pre-game warmups and (Trevor) Daley took my helmet off and said I’ve got to start updating my profile pictures without a helmet. So we went out and the guys said that I might as well lead them out for pre-game warmups…I go flying out on the ice and the rest of the team just stopped. I was stuck out there for two laps by myself,” he said, laughing. “It took a lot of the pressure and nerves away from me and kept me loose.”

“They got me pretty good.”

When the night was through, McKenzie had seen just under 12 minutes of ice time across 18 shifts while posting a shot on goal, two takeaways and four hits, which led the team. It was a strong debut in what was ultimately a losing cause, as the Stars lost 6-5 in overtime.

“I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into the game,” he said. “I got a lot more ice than I thought, it was tough losing the game but other than that it was a pretty good experience.”

As is the case with most players as they are breaking into the league, McKenzie’s playing situation is a fluid one and he isn’t sure how long his stay in Dallas will last.

Just Posted

Golden gets wagging and walking for dog guides

According to the Canadian Survey on Disability, 2017, one in five Canadians… Continue reading

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Golden Secondary School Eagles soar at Kootenay championship

Submitted The Golden Secondary School track and field team has completed another… Continue reading

Your weekly Mountain Minute

Golden’s 60-second news recap

An Everest fundraiser

Man set to climb elevation of Mt. Everest in one day to raise school lunch funds

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Most Read