Cam MacIntyre: Skating on the edge of greatness

Local hockey player makes it in the big leagues playing in the AHL

  • Wed Jan 25th, 2012 1:00pm
  • Sports

Cam MacIntyre came from small town Sooke and made it to the professional hockey scene for the Worcester (San Jose) Sharks.

Local hockey player makes it in the big leagues

Christine Vopel

Sooke News Mirror

Before he could even tighten up his own skates, Cam MacIntyre was on the ice playinghockey.

“I started skating when I was five. It was great playing in Sooke,” he said.

MacIntyre, played junior hockey for the Cowichan Valley Capitals, Nanaimo Clippers,  Salmon Arm Silverbacks and most recently the San Jose Sharks — earned a combined 75 points between Cowichan and Salmon Arm. He scored 41 goals and 34 assists in 60 games– not to mention being a first team all-star and captain of the BCHL Coast Conference all-star team. MacIntyre also won the team’s Coaches Award and was the team’s Scholastic Player of the Year in his quick rise to fame.

But although proud of his early success, the young Sooke local, does not feel he is there yet.

“I’m right on the edge. It’s exciting but stressful. Pro-hockey is such a short window of opportunity, you only get so many chances,” he said.

MacIntyre grew up in Sooke, as the only son of Cam and Rhonda MacIntyre; a firefighter and a nurse.

“Sooke is a small town and it’s a hard-working community. Growing up in that environment helped instil a strong work ethic.”

His father drove him to every hockey game in Nanaimo.

“My dad coached me when I was a kid. He was a hard ass but it helped,” MacIntyre said with a laugh.

Some of his best childhood memories are exploring the woods around the hobby farm MacIntyre grew up on with his older sister Christie.

“I miss the lifestyle, fishing, surfing, being in a rural area. Just being able to go outside and get your hands dirty.”

From 2006-2008 MacIntyre played professional hockey at Princeton University and completed a four-year degree in History.

“I’ve had the opportunity to play all over the U.S. but you always miss home. Sooke is a very beautiful place to live.

In 2010, upon signing an entry-level contract with the Worcester (San Jose) Sharks, MacIntyre moved to Worcester, Massachusetts and his dream became a reality.

“It’s every Canadian boy’s dream, I think, to become a professional hockey player.”

When on the ice, MacIntyre’s position is a power forward.

“I shoot and hit well. I have good aim and accuracy most of the time but skating is what I struggle with.”

A month ago, MacIntyre injured his knee after being checked during a game against Newfoundland. The 6’1, 205-pound athlete has not been able to play since but feels he is on the mend having completed multiple physiotherapy sessions and rested for almost a month.

“I should be playing in a week or two,” he said with confidence.

This is not the first injury MacIntyre has sustained. A minor concussion caused him to miss a month of games while at Princeton University.

“Injuries are a part of hockey but they’re the worst part. I still love hockey. The opportunities have been so great. I’ve been lucky to play a sport for a living.”

At 27-years-old, MacIntyre has made it into the minor league (AHL)  but his dream is to join the NHL.

“I’ve had a taste of it when I got to play an exhibition game in Vancouver. It’s my dream. It’d be pretty cool to be able to play in the NHL.”

MacIntyre’s greatest success so far has been going to college and playing pro hockey while completing his degree.  Another moment that stood out for MacIntyre was the time he played in Vancouver against the Canucks in the fall of  2011. His father and a couple of his friends were at the game.

“A bunch of people called me up to say they’d seen the game and that felt pretty great. My parents are a big part of my support network.”

This is MacIntyre’s second season playing for the Sharks. He and his fellow players  have grown closer — with a greater understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

“I love my team. I’ve been lucky to get great team-mates,” he said.

MacIntyre remarks how out west hockey is far more appreciated than in the east of Canada where it’s seen as no big deal at times.

“Out here it’s always positive. People love athletes and in B.C. they love hockey players.”

He looks forward to visiting Sooke this summer but states there will be no time off during the playing season.

“I get home once or twice in the summer for a week or two at a time and that’s it.”

MacIntyre’s day begins at the rink 8:30 a.m. sharp. He works out and warms up before the practice, which takes place from 10:30 a.m. until 12 noon. After that he ices and treats injuries and then departs for lunch at 1 p.m.

“After that you’re free. Game days are different, they’re a full day.”

At present MacIntyre’s goals are to play well and be consistent so that he will get a call out.

“They push you hard but if you want to get to the next level, it’s up to you,” he said.