It took seven years and 348 American Hockey League games before Will O’Neill finally got his big chance in the NHL.
Never a doubt, right?
The 29-year-old O’Neill allows himself a little chuckle.
"You know, at certain times it seems like I couldn’t catch a break," says the defenseman, who made his debut with the Philadelphia Flyers in a game at St. Louis on Nov. 2. "And in different spots that I went to, that team wouldn’t get hit with any type of injury bug at all. It seems like the team that I left got hit with injuries — people got chances — and the new team that I went to hadn’t been hit with it at all."
It took injuries to several key defensemen — including veterans Andrew MacDonald and Radko Gudas — for O’Neill to get his opportunity.