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Claimed:MAD MAX: Behind The Name [Final: 6/6]


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MAD MAX: Behind The Name




The VHL has long been known for their superstar players, the kind that captivate the masses and have drawn NHL fans into their grasp; these kinds of players are rare, because not everyone has the personality or desire for the attention…Or the drive to work hard enough to get there. Talent alone won’t get you to this kind of level. It’s always hard to truly predict how a prospect will fair, because there are so many variables you can’t account for, such as injuries, off-the-ice decisions and whether they truly have what it takes to achieve greatness. Many players come and go, some projected as top players, others not so much, but their stories seem to be the same in the end: They weren’t cut out for the show.


Enter 20-year old American winger Max MacInnis, or as his teammates have dubbed him “Mad Max”. Like so many before him, he comes in with a load of hype and excitement. So I’m sure you are asking yourself, “What makes him different?”, well the answer to that lies within his nickname. MacInnis was selected #1 overall in the Ontario Hockey League draft by the Kitchener Rangers, and quickly made a name for himself with his aggressiveness and competitive nature in route to 150 points in 68 games.


The idea that “Americans are only happy with first place” is not just an idea, it is the truth for the vast majority. For Americans, anything short of winning, whether it’s on the world stage or local, is unacceptable, it’s drilled into them from a young age. You’ve watched the Olympics, and if you are an American, you’ve felt the deep disappointment in not finishing first, it hurts deep down inside of you, because we all believe we are the best, at everything…even when we lose. Max MacInnis embodies this philosophy, this mindset, and it drives him to succeed.


MacInnis is the kind of individual who wants to win at everything. As one of his ex-teammates from Kitchener put it, ”He’s crazy. We could be taking a s**t and he’ll make it a competition, if it’s something he’s confident he can beat you at it, he’ll call you out. He lives to be #1, he’s like a lion establishing his dominance over a territory…It’s great on the ice, because when I say he gives 110%, he really does…but dear lord, it gets aggravating off it, literally everything is a competition to him.” When it comes to his nickname, the teammate went on to explain how it came about ”Well, aside from what I just mentioned, he’s like an unending ball of energy, he attacks everything with this animal like aggressiveness. He ran the workout program at Kitchener, because when he showed up, he was so far ahead of everyone else physically that the trainers wanted to know how he trained. We all hated him as soon as they implanted his plan, so brutal…So we started calling him “Mad Max” due to his aggressiveness and hardcore approach to everything.”



MacInnis swept the awards, including the OHL’s MVP trophy.


As stated before, MacInnis totaled 150 points in his 68 games during his sole season with Kitchener, 82 goals and 68 assists respectively. While he is more of an offensive player, “Mad Max” doesn’t shy from confrontation, his competitive nature has gotten the best of him on several occasions, leading to a few fights that probably would have been considered unnecessary. But he holds his own, his 6-3, 185lb frame is rock solid and MacInnis is very difficult to knock off the puck.  His offensive prowess was key in leading Kitchener to a championship, helping them go from worst to first in one season. MacInnis is the kind person who pushes those around him to reach their goals and turn potential into reality, it’s a trait that doesn’t go unnoticed and is rare to find.


How Max MacInnis will fair amongst the VHL’s elite is far from determined, and before he ever gets the opportunity he will have to work his way up through the VHLM, which has been proven to weed out those not cut out for the VHL. One thing is certain, MacInnis will be captivating, whether in success or failure, and is a player you will want to watch as he rises up the ranks. When we asked him what his goals were going into the VHL, he said the following, which is what we will end this piece on: "To be the best. Any goal short of becoming the greatest is just cheating yourself out of becoming everything you can be...being satisfied is a career killer.  I'm gonna focus on making my mark in the VHLM and proving to everyone I'm here to stay."


Word Count: 797

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