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Claimed: Michael Kinkaid Biography [1/2]


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The Long Road Home




Michael Kinkaid was born in Buffalo, New York. He grew up in the Riverside area, just near the Riverside Park, where he spent much of his time as a kid, both summer and winter playing sports. He grew up playing football in the summers, and hockey in the winters, using an outdoor rink that would be set up every year in the park. Kinkaid's father was a police officer with the BPD, and when Kinkaid was very young, his father would often be on patrol in the park area, and some nights would bring Kinkaid with him and let him skate on the rink while his father worked. It was where Kinkaid first learned to skate and where he fell in love with the game. When he was about 6 he really started to play hockey more than just skate around, spending lots of time with his friends and also his cousin (who was also Michael). They were close as they grew up and both would be heavily into hockey, though Kinkaid did split time playing football. They spent many an hour bonding at that rink, and had dreams to both play for the same team one day, as the first defense pair with the same names.


Unfortunately for Kinkaid, it's also where, in the summer 7 years after he first learned to skate there, during a football practice, he learned that his father had been killed in the line of duty. It was devastating for Kinkaid, undoubtedly, as his father was a huge part of his life and especially his sports. It also took a huge toll on his mother, who had immigrated to the USA from Australia. With her husband gone and her family half a world away, she eventually just couldn't deal with it alone, and took Kinkaid and went home to Australia less than a year after his death. For Kinkaid not only did that mean he lost his father, but also all the friends and family he had, except his mother. He lost all his sports.


The move took it's toll on Kinkaid, though eventually he came to terms with the loss of his father, and was able to cope, he never settled in after the big move. As most know, Australia isn't a popular place for hockey, or football. He tried soccer, rugby, but could never get into either. It was 2 years of not much, never settling in. That is until, Kinkaid reached high school, and one of his teachers directed Kinkaid to the nearest Australian minor hockey. Initially, Kinkaid didn't follow up on it, but after a couple months his want to feel the ice, the puck, be back in the sport he loved, it got to him enough that he went to see about this minor hockey program.


Eventually, Kinkaid started to feel like he was home again, for the first time in almost 3 years. He had his new friends, the sport he loved. The loss of his father would always stay with him, but for the first time since then, he started to feel happy. It had taken a long time, but Kinkaid was having fun again. Until he again started to feel out of place again. It was nothing Australia had or didn't have, but he'd come to terms with his father's loss, and his father was never in Australia, this wasn't his home. Kinkaid missed Buffalo, where he shared so many memories with his father, memories that he could now look back at fondly, without the pain being too much. He wanted to go back home, to continue the path his father put him on. His mother wanted him to be happy, but she simply wasn't ready to. It became a rift between Kinkaid and his mother, Kinkaid growing more and more dissatisfied with his life in Australia. However without his mother willing to move him back home, there wasn't much Kinkaid could do. He played his heart out with the minor hockey program, doing everything he could to get the attention of any kind of American scout, or NCAA school. Whatever he could to get back home.


Nothing could ever seem to materialize for Kinkaid. He toiled through the rest of high school, progressing as far as he could in the Australian hockey program, with never a speck of interest from any American hockey programs or schools. One day, finally, Kinkaid received a letter from Syracuse University, and he was full of excitement, until he read the letter, and realized they had mistakenly sent him the letter meant for his cousin, also Michael Kinkaid. He called his uncle to forward on the letter, and his uncle could sense the disappointment from his nephew.


A couple weeks later, Kinkaid got a call from his uncle. His cousin had accepted the Syracuse scholarship, and would be moving out in the fall. Kinkaid thanked him for letting him know and wished his cousin luck, but didn't really seem to understand the point of the call. Before he hung up though, his uncle stopped him, and at that moment Kinkaid's life changed again. With his cousin moving out, there was now a space in his uncle's home. His uncle was offering to let Kinkaid come back to Buffalo and live with him, finally getting the chance to go home.


Despite the rift with his mother, it was still very difficult to leave Australia without her. But she encouraged him to take the chance, to follow his dream. So he did, moving back to Buffalo. Once he got settled in, it only took him a couple weeks to get into a local minor hockey program. He took the year of and did not pursue university, but after just one season, he got multiple smaller schools showing interest in bringing him in on partial scholarships. It was a partial disappointment for Kinkaid, but his uncle reminded him that his path to get here was unorthodox at best. Several years in the prime of his growth where he didn't play hockey, and as hard as he played, the Australian programs aren't up to speed with American hockey, and he might need to adjust his goals.


He wanted to honour his father's wishes to see him become a great hockey player. The speech alone from his uncle wasn't quite enough, so he took him to visit his father's grave. It was a tough visit for Kinkaid, but it was a conversation they needed to have, his uncle reminding Kinkaid that his father wishes weren't to see him become a great hockey player. He wanted him to be a good person and to follow his dreams, be whatever he wanted to be. If Kinkaid wanted to play professional hockey, it's still possible.


Kinkaid took the conversation to heart, and refocused himself, fully committed to whichever school would have him, and eventually did find success, before finally making the move to the VHLM and on to the VHL. He's still struggled to get his mother to come back to the USA, one point of sadness that still sticks with Kinkaid, but he's come to be proud of where he is, and knows his father would have loved to see him now.

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  • DollarAndADream changed the title to Michael Kinkaid Biography [1/2]

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