Kayne Gagner One Of The Lucky Ones To Be Playing Hockey During The Pandemic
At home in Chatham, most rinks are quiet, or filled only with small groups of hockey players honing their skills, waiting for a season to come.
For Chatham’s Kayne Gagner, his season is well underway South of the border with the USPHL Premier’s Charlotte Rush.
“I feel really blessed to be playing, skating almost every day during a pandemic is almost an escape from what’s going on in the world,” Gagner said of getting the opportunity to play, while many continue to wait.
“I couldn’t be more happy that my team is taking the measures in order for us to play safely, and I hope hockey resumes as fast as possible at home, I’m sure many players are anxious to get back on the ice.”
Gagner, a longtime member of the Chatham-Kent Cyclones, spent last season playing Major Midget ‘AAA’ for the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs before signing with Charlotte for this season.
Thus far, Gagner has enjoying nothing but positive in North Carolina.
“My early experience in Charlotte has been extremely positive, great coaching staff, incredible team unity, and a very caring billet family, and of course plenty of support from back home, and starting off the season,” Gagner explained.
His Rush sit atop the South East Division in a wide spanning USPHL Premier league, which stretches from California and Oregon, to New Hampshire and Florida, and everywhere in between.
Gagner is thrilled to be on the ice, and is working hard to get up to speed with the calibre of hockey.
“When moving up new level there are certainly challenges,” he said. “Of course the speed of the play and the transition from defense to offense and vice versa. However, my off-ice training over the summer and in Charlotte and on-ice training have helped me adapt to the game very quickly. I still have things to work on but my focus is to work on the elements of the game my staff wants me too, but overall I feel I have adapted to quickness of the play and the physicality required to play at this level.”
Every time Gagner steps on the ice during COVID-19 times, he’s one of the lucky ones who is able to play the game he loves.