LoVerde Pushes Through The Process On His Path To The Top

By: 
Trish Bradle

Winning the Calder Cup and earning an invitation to the Los Angeles Kings’ training camp this summer are huge accomplishments for Vincent LoVerde. Especially since there was a time when he wasn’t sure if those dreams would ever come true.

After his fourth and final season with the Miami Univer-sity RedHawks, LoVerde sat home waiting for an offer that never came.

  

 

 

 

 

Position: Defense
Shoots: Right
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 205 pounds
Birth Date: Apr. 14, 1989
Hometown: Chicago
Junior Hockey: Waterloo
Black Hawks (USHL)
College Hockey: Miami Univ.
Acquired: Signed as a free agent in 2014
USA Hockey History: Participated in four USA Hockey Player Development Camps, and was a member of the 2006 U.S. Select Team that won the silver medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.

“There were days when I didn’t know what I was doing or where I was going,” he recalls. “It definitely looked bleak.”

Faced with a future out of hockey, LoVerde talked with a family friend who helped him sign with the Ontario Reign of the East Coast Hockey League.

Almost overnight, the Chicago native went from having no prospects to being in a “good situation.”

Two seasons with the Reign helped LoVerde punch his ticket to the Manchester Monarchs, the AHL affiliate of the Kings, where he would eventually serve as the team’s captain and score the winning goal in this year’s Calder Cup clinching game.

“It was a pretty cool feeling,” LoVerde admits. “You don’t experience that often.”
The victory proved to be somewhat bittersweet, as earlier in the year the team announced that it would be relocating to Ontario in the offseason.

Having spent time in the Los Angeles suburb, LoVerde said the move is a “welcome change,” but he felt for the Monarchs fans, noting that around 1,000 of them came out for a rally after winning the Cup.

With the Kings capturing two of the last four Stanley Cups, and now the Monarchs winning the Calder Cup, one has to question if there is something special going on in the Kings’ organization to breed so much success. LoVerde said it’s “a culture thing” that starts at the top with Kings’ general manager Dean Lombardi and permeates throughout the system.

That leadership can also be found in the locker room where captains like LoVerde and the Kings’ Dustin Brown set the table. While he has never had a chance to pick Brown’s brain regarding his approach to leadership, LoVerde has observed others throughout his career, and have taken note of what they’ve done and incorporated that into his own style.

Being the captain has not only shaped him as a player, but also as a person.

“It has made me more responsible both on and off the ice,” LoVerde says. “I’m setting the tone for the team and it has made me focus more during practices and games.”

LoVerde’s youth hockey days somewhat mirror his post-college career. He began playing for a local AA team before finally getting a chance to play for the powerhouse Chicago Young Americans program. He has fond memories of his days with CYA and keeps in touch with some of his youth coaches.

LoVerde plans to draw from his past experiences and use the hard lessons of the past as motivation as he looks to crack the Kings’ talented blueline crew.

He also wants to pass on this philosophy to youngsters looking to make it to the top of whatever they do.

“Work everyday, get better everyday,” LoVerde says. “There will be ups and downs, but it’s all about the process.”

It seems as though this “process” has worked out pretty well for LoVerde.

 


Jake Williams
Age: 12
Crofton, Md.

Making a save meant more to Jake Williams than simply preventing a loss for his team.

After attending a Special Olympics event with his father, Jake decided to help out with the charity.

The goalie for the Nelson Hockey Metro Maple Leafs developed a fundraising plan for the 2014-15 season called Saves for Superstars, where he received donations for each save he made. By the time the last shot was blockered away, he raised $1,450 to donate to the DC Chapter of the Special Olympics.

“It felt great,” said Williams, who tallied 600 saves. “I was calculating them up after each save.”

Williams already has plans to raise more money next season, and the Special Olympics is offering to help him set up his own fundraising page.

“As his father and coach, I am very proud of his efforts,” Keith Williams said. “Not only did he raise money, but he gained greater self-esteem by combining his love for the game and a way to give back.”

 

 

Photos courtesy of Manchester Monarchs; Williams family
Issue: 
2015-08

Poll

Who is your favorite American player?: