When NHL training camps started back in September, Jamie McBain joined the Arizona Coyotes on a professional tryout after having spent the previous season with the fledgling Buffalo Sabres. Just a few years prior, he was a hotshot offensive-defenseman prospect who enjoyed a 30 point, eight goal campaign as a rookie with the Carolina Hurricanes. Cut late into Coyotes camp though, McBain was forced to sit and wait, patiently hoping for an offer to bring him back to the game he loves.
A call finally came, one month into the season, but it wasn’t exactly what McBain had hoped for. Instead of an NHL offer, the LA Kings asked him to join their AHL team in Manchester. He gladly accepted and this past weekend saw the 26 year old make his debut with the Monarchs. After his first game on Friday, he sat down to speak with MayorsManor about his tryout offer, the potential of an NHL offer from the Kings, and more…
On his debut game:
“Obviously, it’s kind of getting the kinks out a little bit, after not playing anywhere structurally for a month. It’s just getting back on the ice, kind of getting my habits back, my hands back. Just trying to do whatever I can to help the team. Tonight didn’t quite go as planned. We’ve got to rebound and come back tomorrow.”
On signing a PTO with the Monarchs:
“I’m excited. I’ve kind of been sitting around waiting to get playing somewhere. At the end of the day, all you want to do is play hockey. It’s what we do. It’s what we love to do. To be able to get this chance here and be here playing again, it’s all I want to be doing.”
On how long the process was to sign the tryout:
“It was very quick once we found a place that worked for us. A few other options that we were looking at just weren’t quite right. Things kind of fell into place. It was a pretty quick process once LA said, ‘We want you. You’re going to play tomorrow. Come play’. That’s all I wanted to do.”
On if he’s had talks with the Kings about an NHL deal:
“Not really. We’re going to have to take it slow. Start here, and obviously, (they) want to see where my game’s at and vice versa. It’s just kind of coming in and kind of earning my stripes again, and seeing what the future holds.”
On what he has been doing over the past month:
“I was back in Minnesota. So just working out, skating, mostly on my own, and with a few buddies in a men’s leagues, trying to keep the hands and things going. Really, just making sure that when I did find the right fit and find the spot that wanted me, that I was going to come in and be ready. I feel good. It’s finally here. I think overall, considering the month kind of off, I feel pretty happy with my game overall.”
On if it adds anything joining a winning organization:
“It’s huge. Obviously, they’re a winning organization – there’s no other way to put it. That’s what they are. They develop great hockey players. Both the teams are winning teams. It’s going to be a fun organization to be a part of.”
Our sources have indicated that McBain does indeed have a chance at earning an NHL offer, as the Kings are not particularly deep with puck-moving defenseman who are NHL ready. The team likes his right handed shot and NHL experience.
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