Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Leivermann goes with his heart

I talked to Corey Leivermann at length on Monday about his decision to transfer from Minnesota State to Gustavus during winter break. It sounds like there are no hard feelings with MSU. It just didn't work out the way he (and many others in Mankato) had hoped, and he decided to go someplace where he can "play and love hockey again" for the final year and a half of his playing career.

Read The Free Press' full story here.

Normally, a guy who doesn't play transferring doesn't make a huge splash, but with Leivermann being the first Mankato resident to play for the Mavericks, it was pretty newsworthy.

He said it was often times tough having to try to explain to people — family, friends, local fans —why he wasn't in the lineup. It's easy to forget about the extra pressure Leivermann likely had on him as a player in this town.

There certainly were times when it looked like Leivermann was going to have the storybook career (he scored a goal on his first shot in his first game), but there were more times when it was clear that he was the 13th or 14th forward on the team. He admitted that his skating probably let him down in the end, especially with MSU playing the majority of its games on a big sheet. He has a good head and good hands but just not enough of a package to crack what's become a pretty deep and skilled forward lineup. Even a switch to defense in recent weeks didn't work out for him.

Leivermann could have stuck around, continued to be a hard-working practice player and a hopeful reserve. It certainly must have been more fun to be in that position with the team winning than when it wasn't. But after talking it over with his family over Christmas break, he decided his heart wasn't into that. He wants to play, and he thinks he'll have that opportunity down the road with the Gusties.

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