BIG RAPIDS- It was a big day in Big Rapids as former Ferris State assistant coach and current Detroit Red Wings head coach, Derek Lalonde was at Ferris State University to announce the captains for the 2023-24 season. The captains are Brenden MacLaren, Jason Brancheau, Stepan Pokorny and Nick Hale. Maclaren will wear the captains patch for the Bulldogs.
The timing was perfect for Lalonde to return to where he was an assistant coach from 2002-2006, as the Red Wings finished up training camp in Traverse City on Monday morning, and for him it was a special moment.
“It was a huge honor. For me. This program meant a lot to me. It was one of my first coaching jobs. I was really green and raw and grew immensely. Being under Drew and Bob. You know, like I said, he’s really taught me how to treat people correctly, which people do here in this program, and it taught me how to win.” Said Lalonde.
The players had no idea that Lalond was going to be there today, including the elected captains.
“I honestly had no clue. A couple of guys that were stragglers said that they saw them spotted them walking in the locker room. So that kind of gave them up. But yeah, no clue.” Said Stepan Pokorny.
For the man wearing the “C” on his sweater, Brenden Maclaren, he’s ready to take on the leadership position, but knows he won’t be alone.
“It’s a tremendous honor. I mean, our leadership group is more than just us four guys that got announced today. I mean, our whole senior class and upperclassmen are all leaders, it’s more than just one person wearing a letter that leads the team.”