Minor League Holiday Trials and Tribulations

One of the toughest aspects of being a minor league hockey player is dealing with all the unknowns of playing on a two-way contract.  With only a short notice, players with these deals can be tossed back and forth within an organization.

Over the past two seasons Milwaukee Admirals forward Mark Van Guilder dealt with plenty of unwanted movement, in his case between Milwaukee and the Cincinnati Cyclones.  Van Guilder spent his holiday season of 2009-2010 putting a lot of miles on his car.

“Last year I was on a two-way contract between Milwaukee and Cincinnati,” Van Guilder said. “I spent the first half of the season up with the Admirals, but I was sent down to Cincinnati the week before Christmas.”

Van Guilder’s well prepared travel plans got washed away in the transaction.

“Instead of that quick five hour drive home that I was planning on doing, it ended up being that I played with the Cyclones in Trenton and then had ride back through the night to Cincinnati,” Van Guilder said. “After the bus ride I got right into my car and drove the 12 hours home.”

Van Guilder points to Milwaukee forward Dylan Hunter this year as a player who is going through the same sorts of holiday hassles.

“Hunter just got called up to the Admirals and now he’s had to change his travel plans,” Van Guilder said.

Despite the minor league travel issues, Van Guilder feels lucky to be able to get home.

“Playing in Milwaukee, we do get a few days to go home,” Van Guilder said.  “It’s kind of mess sometimes, but were fortunate to get home and see our families anyways.”

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