CALGARY, AB — One decision has altered Chad Cummings career forever.
It wasn’t as glamorous as Lebron James’ infamous ‘Decision’ to take his talents to South Beach, but it was a big move for the young defenceman.
In fact, it was a fairly quiet move.
After finishing up his hockey career at the University of Brockport, Cummings – who had been on the Calgary Roughnecks Hold-out List since he was drafted back in 2013 – decided to trade in the hockey stick for a lacrosse stick.
And it wasn’t a decision he made lightly.
“It was a really tough decision,” admitted Cummings. “I grew up playing both sports; hockey in the winter, lacrosse in the summer. It was hard making that decision.
“I figured I had a good run down in Brockport playing hockey and the Roughnecks were patient waiting for me, hanging on to me, so I finished school and I though it was about time to go and try to play in the NLL or atlas try to and try this lacrosse thing out.”
Despite his main focus being hockey over the past four years, Cummings did keep the lacrosse stick in his hand during the summer to stay in shape.
He plays in the Major Series Lacrosse League with the Cobourg Kodiaks (formerly the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks). During his time there, he managed to compile 32 points (14g, 18a) in 66 games out of the back door.
“I basically played every game for the past three years. In my rookie year, I was in and out of the line-up, but it’s been consistent since,” Cummings said. “I’ve been staying in lacrosse shape that way. I’ve had the stick in my hands, that’s for sure.”
At 6-foot-5, Cummings is a presence on the backend. A physical defender, he also has the ability to push the pace and run the ball up the floor.
But he’s only got one focus.
“Defence is definitely number one,” stated Cummings.
“When I’m out on the floor, I try to make sure that the ball doesn’t end up in our net. I do anything and everything to make sure that happens. If there’s an opportunity to push the ball up the floor and create offence, I’m always willing to do that, but defence is the number one thing.”
General Manager Mike Board is looking for Cummings to utilize all of his skills.
“He wants me to be a steady defender who can hopefully push the ball up the floor and create some offence with speed out of the backend,” Cummings said of his new GM. “That’s where they left me; try to provide some athleticism and solid defensive play on the backend.”
Coming to camp, it will be the first time Cummings has played alongside any of his new teammates and is really looking forward to mixing it up with the squad.
“I don’t have any connections with anybody on the team,” said Cummings. “I haven’t really been able to chat with them, but I’m excited to get into fitness testing and training camp and get to know the guys.”
He’ll also make his first trip to Western Canada when he arrives for training camp on Thursday.
And he’s excited to get to know the city better.