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Veteran Presence - Jacques Lafontaine


SlapshotBear
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Hey, Jacques Lafontaine here. I was asked to write about my experience in the Victory Hockey League so far. Apparently, I’m a veteran. Makes me sound old, eh? Well, all that means is that I’ve played in this league for quite a while. In fact, this is my 4th season in the VHL. I’ll be honest, I haven’t really noticed the fact that I’m getting older. I always had the same mindset throughout all of my seasons, get good. But this serves as a reminder that I’m going to have to end my career eventually and that I’m slowly getting closer to my last season. Might sound sad but I guess that’s the way it is. We won’t always be fit for hockey forever.

 

Anyways, being a veteran is still way different from being a fresh rookie from the Minors. As a rookie, you are still trying to find your way and finding how you fit in into the league and your team. You are trying to find your role on your team and even if you knew your role in the Minors, you can’t be sure it’s the same in the big leagues. However, as a veteran, your role is already established, especially if you have been on one team for your whole career or have been on a team for a long time. You aren’t really trying to find your way as much, you’re more focused on doing your job because you know what your job is. When trades happen, teams can be more confident in getting you because you have been tried and tested and you have shown that you can fit in and do your job but as a rookie, they have to guess what you will do in the future and make predictions. Sure, they can look at your Minors performance but the minors are nothing like the real thing.

 

Another thing that is so different is that you are way more confident in your game as a veteran. As a rookie, you are worrying about moves because you are not sure if they work. You aren’t really confident and you don’t know what to do in certain situations. Experience is really important and it helps you know what to do and when to do it. You also know how to deal with the pressure of the VHL in general because you’ve had lots of time to adjust to it. 

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