It has been a memorable few days for Manchester Monarchs’ defenseman David Kolomatis. On Friday at Newfoundland, he notched an assist on a Nick Moutrey goal to become the Monarchs’ all-time leader with 200 career points.
Earlier today, Kolomatis appeared in his 415th career game with the team in a 4-1 win against Adirondack, setting the club record for most career games played.
The 29-year-old has played for the Monarchs in both the American Hockey League and the ECHL. Kolomatis posted 110 points (29g-81a) in 250 games with the team in the AHL from 2009-13, and then returned to the organization for its first season in the ECHL in 2015-16. He has added 91 points (19g-72a) in 165 games with the Monarchs over the last three-plus seasons.
Kolomatis sat down for a Q & A with ECHL.com to talk about his records, his career and what lies ahead.
ECHL.com: With all of the great players who have played in Manchester over the years, what does it mean to you to be the Monarchs' all-time leading scorer?
David Kolomatis: When some of the guys had mentioned that I was close I couldn't help but think of that scene from Bull Durham where Kevin Costner's character is on the verge of setting the minor league home run record states that its “kind of a dubious honor.” I look at some of the names on that list, many of whom I had the opportunity to play with when I first came to Manchester, and it’s pretty special to be grouped in with some of those great players. It’s no surprise that many of them are still playing and that it only took them half the amount of games.
ECHL.com: You also have set the Monarchs’ all-time games played record. Do either of the two records mean more to you than the other, and if so, why?
DK: I would have thought this one to be untouchable based on the guy sitting at the top of the list. Andrew Campbell was a great role model for me when I first came to Manchester and it’s no surprise that most of the jerseys he’s worn since moving on to new teams all have the "C" stitched on them. He was, and still is, a tremendous competitor that seemed to play just about every game each year which is pretty incredible when you think of the three-inthree’s and long bus trips.
ECHL.com: You have played with the team during both their AHL and ECHL eras. How important is it for the fans and community to have someone they can relate to over both leagues?
DK: I think it was very important for the fan base to have a familiar face out on the ice and in the community when the team transitioned from the AHL to the ECHL. They were coming off of a Calder Cup championship season, and to have the team move the next year was tough. Life for a minor league hockey fan can be difficult. They are torn between selfishly wanting their team to do well while at the same time, understanding that many of the players are hoping for that phone call never to return. When I came back that first year in the ECHL it was nice to see a couple #6 jerseys in the stands and to be able to reconnect with so many of them from previous years events.
ECHL.com: With so many rookies on the team this season, how important do you see your role as the lone veteran on the roster?
DK: I don’t think my approach has changed much since that first day in Manchester. I might be a bit more vocal than I once was, but I rely heavily on my teammates that have been around for a couple years now, the same way I relied on those veteran guys many years ago.
ECHL.com: How many more years do you see yourself playing hockey? What do you envision doing in your post-hockey days?
DK: I'm not sure how many more years I see myself playing hockey. My original plan did not have me playing this year. My first year back in Manchester, I decided to return to school and work towards a degree. The (PHPA’s) Career Enhancement Program was not something I gave much thought to in previous years, but returning to Manchester, I decided to take advantage of it. I thought once I graduated, that would be it. I graduated back in August, and while I'm well aware that this ride will eventually come to an end, I decided it wasn't going to be this year. Thankfully, I have a very understanding wife. My degree is in PR and Advertising. I'm not sure if that's ultimately the road I'll end up on, but it’ nice having that as I transition to life after hockey.