Grand Rapids, MI- Tom McCollum has seen all the ups and downs a netminder could imagine in his Griffin's career. He was a first round pick (30th overall) by the Detroit Red Wings back in 2008. He's played in just three NHL games, far fewer than he thought he would when he was drafted.
But McCollum has never complained, only competed. It's that attitude that's allowed him to succeed so long in the American Hockey League and now he stands alone atop the Griffins record books: McCollum has won more games than any other goalie in franchise history.
"It's a tremendous honor, especially when you think of all the great goalies who have played for this organization," said McCollum. I mean guys like Jimmy Howard, Joey MacDonald...it's definitely a great feeling."
Last Friday, in Cleveland, the 28-year old goaltender made 26 saves to earn his 110th win as a Griffin, breaking MacDonald's record of 109. The Griffins beat the Monsters 4-2, giving McCollum his seventh win of the season.
While his path to the NHL might not have gone as he thought it would as a fresh-faced 19-year old rookie, McCollum now recognizes how fortunate he's been in his career. He won a Calder Cup with the Griffins in 2013, then played with the Stockton Heat and Charlotte Checkers last season before returning to the Grand Rapids in a trade last July.
"Grand Rapids feels like home to me. I got here when I was 19 and learned a lot about myself and life. I learned how to be a true professional on and off the ice and it's been a great honor and I've really enjoyed my time here."