January 7th, 2004
Alex MacDonell was recently signed by the Kitchener Rangers. Standing at 6'5" 225lbs, he joins some big company on the Rangers' blueline which is already occupied by Boris Valabik and Deveraux Heshmatpour a pair of 6'6" rookies, as well as frequent fighter: Thomas Harrison. Alex MacDonell was playing with the Georgetown Raiders (Tier II) until the Rangers acquired his rights due to the loss of 5th year defender: Marcus Smith. MacDonell spent his first OHL season patroling the blueline for the Brampton Battalion, as a rookie he dressed in 6 postseason games over two rounds recording a +1 and 4 penalty minutes.
MacDonell's experience will be called upon
to soak up some of the ice time left behind by the departure of veteran
Marcus Smith. MacDonell will also contribute positively to the Rangers'
team toughness. MacDonell has also spent time with the North Bay
Centennials, and Saginaw Spirit.
The last time Marcus Smith departed from the Rangers' lineup for a sustained amount of time, the Rangers nearly departed from the postseason. The team struggled mightly without Smith who has been one of the biggest unsung heros on the team since his arrival nearly 4 years ago. The Colarado born defender, originally carved out a reputation as a slick offensive defenseman. Unfortunately he came to Kitchener looking soft on the man as well as the puck, something that would radically change with the arrival of Rangers' current head coach: Peter DeBoer. Marcus Smith throughout the Rangers' championship season established a reputation as one of the single best two-way defenders in the OHL. An absolute cannon for a shot on the powerplay, punishing checker and one of the toughest juniors to be one-on-one.
Unceremoniously Marcus Smith's OHL career came
to a halt. A tough blow for a Rangers team in dire need of a veteran
leader. Smith has always been a silent leader who has led by example,
this season he sported the alternate captain 'A' on his jersey. Not
one to start a brawl, but Smith did bring some very admirable qualities
to the table, he never backed down from anyone while in Kitchener.
The Rangers won't be the same without you Marcus, best of luck in your
Photography by: Stephen Gardiner