MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- While the recent nice weather has many folks in the area still clinging to thoughts of summer, winter isn't too far away, and as proof, training camp is underway for the Milwaukee Admirals hockey team -- and one veteran is still on the skates.
Admirals hockey is back -- which means Scott Ford is back.
Born in 1979, the veteran defenseman has 300 games in a Milwaukee uniform on his resume, but he's still a presence on the ice, even if many of his teammates were born in the 1990s.
"I'm excited every day. I think age is an attitude and you come to the rink with this much youth and this much excitement and you can't help but feel exhilarated and excited and fresh and ready to go," Ford said.
Ford is still shooting for his first-ever NHL call-up by the Nashville Predators, but at this stage in his career, his contributions to this team are measured by more than statistics.
"What he does in the dressing room, what he does on the bench, his leadership qualities, his professionalism, he teaches the players. Nashville wants that too. They want a good pro to teach these guys how to conduct themselves on and off the ice," Admirals Head Coach Dean Evason said.
Ford first came to the Admirals in 2008, and he quickly made a home for himself. He was traded back to Milwaukee last February, and while familiar faces in the dressing room were awfully hard to find, he did feel that he was once again at home.
"I constantly praise the city whenever I can. I mean, there's so much sports going on. There's so much activity outside the rink, and it's just a fantastic atmosphere to be in. There's a comfort zone in some aspect. Yow know people. You have a good support system. We're a long ways from our original families and friends from home, and when you have a connection here with a lot of great people, it really helps your mind," Ford said.
For Ford, Milwaukee stands out from all the other places he's played as a pro.
Ford is one of those athletes who gets it. He may long for a chance to play at the next level, but he's not going to miss out on what he can experience in his present spot.
Ford and the Admirals play their first game of the season on Friday, October 11th at Abbotsford, British Columbia.