By Len Bardsley
Jan. 6, 2006
Las Vegas would not be the first place that comes to mind for most people when they think of settling down.
The world famous strip has plenty to offer for wandering souls, but when it comes to hockey, Las Vegas was the perfect destination for Mike McBain to stabilize his career.
McBain arrived in Las Vegas before the 2003-2004 season after two seasons in Europe. McBain was looking forward to playing with his brother, Jason, and to get a chance to enjoy hockey after being bounced around the AHL and IHL following 64 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning over two seasons.
“It sounded great,” McBain said of a chance to play in Las Vegas with his brother. “I ended up buying a house here and have been here ever since.”
While Jason is no longer playing hockey, Mike McBain’s stability and veteran leadership has been a perfect fit for the Wranglers. The 28-year-old defenseman, who was a second-round pick of the Tampa Bay in 1995, has helped lead the Wranglers to first place in the West Division with the best record in the ECHL.
So, the bright lights of Las Vegas do not distract the Wranglers’ captain eh?
“I have gotten over the whole going out every night thing,” said McBain. “I am married with kids and settled down, enjoying life here.”
McBain admits the Wranglers may have counted on visiting teams being a little distracted when they came to play at Orleans Arena last season, perhaps resulting in a mediocre 31-33-8 mark.
“I think our attitude has changed a bit,” McBain said. “We might have gotten a little bit cocky about teams coming into Las Vegas and enjoying themselves (last season). This year we are coming in a little more mentally prepared.”