Mike Little made a big first impression when he first showed up at tryouts for the Springfield Pics. Before the drills had even started, coach Rob Bonneau couldn’t help but notice the 5-foot-9, 185-pound defenseman from Enfield, Conn.
“He actually just showed up. He had long hair. He had two different colored socks. He actually got noticed that way,” Bonneau recalled.
Whether intentional or not, Little’s personal style drew the initial eye. Soon, his actual play would draw attention, too. “He went from not even on the radar to ‘who is this guy,’ Bonneau said. “At that point … we didn’t really let him walk out of the building.”
In the lineup, Little no longer needed goofy socks to be noticed. He quickly became one of the Pics’ most valuable players. His two-way play was a driving force for the team over his two seasons. When asked if he had ever considered bumping Little up to forward — a move that wouldn’t be absurd, given his stature — Bonneau said it never crossed his mind.