Curtis Doell: Clawing his way to be a Panther

By Rich Herles

When asked who has had the most influence in his career so far, Curtis replied, “I think that the biggest help that I have gotten is from my Junior Coach. I wasn’t expected to play my first year in juniors and everybody was asking him why he kept me here. He gave me a chance to play and he said just wait, he’ll prosper and be effective. He kept playing me and giving me that opportunity. He always helped by giving me extra things after practice. His name is Kevin Dickie and he is now coaching out in the Maritimes at Arcadia University. He’s probably been the biggest reason for my career going as far as it has actually. Coach Dickie helped me along the way to be a better person on and off the ice.”

Coach Dickie’s impression of Curtis: “I’ve coached some great kids over the last 13 years, but none greater than Curtis in terms of a pleasure to be around and an athlete. If there is one guy who’s got to where he is, both because he deserves it, and because he has scraped and clawed and worked so hard to be the player that he is, it is Curtis. He exemplifies a lot of the positive characteristics that you look for in a player. He’s a great kid and I’m real happy for him.”

“I think that Curtis has played really well,” is how teammate Dan Boyle sees the young defenseman. “He’s had that whole year under his belt in Kentucky and last year was good for him. He’s gone through a lot of adversity with injuries. He’s a real strong, physical player that does a real good job defensively and he’s got a great work ethic. So he should be really happy with his game.”

Louisville Head Coach Joe Patterson addressed the concussion issue, “Prior to the injury, he played more of a tough guy role. He’s not a very big guy, but he can fight. I think that now that he has suffered a couple of injuries, he’s going to have to stay away from the physical play a little more. It’s hard to change, but he just has to be smart about fighting.”

Doell replied, “It’s the policy with the Florida Panthers prospects that once they have had so many concussions that they put a visor on, wear the mouth piece, and wear the concussion resistant helmet which I’m all for because I want to continue my career. I don’t want my career to end after 2 or 3 years. I am hoping to get another contract when this ones done and continue playing until I’m 30 or 35. I just want to make my career last as long as possible, but I’m not going to change the way that I play, because if I do I’m more likely to get hurt. If I try to play a different style I’m not going to be as effective and as competitive as I want to be. So I’m going to keep doing what I do and take the odd lump here and there, but I have to avoid the big huge hits from some guys in the league. Other than that to keep playing the same way.”

After talking to everybody about Curtis Doell and watching him play it is quite obvious that one of the reasons that the Louisville Panthers inaugural season has been so successful is players like Curtis that have had to claw their way up through the ranks and bring a good work ethic and a little grit to their play.

Bio: Curtis Doell Position: Defense Shoots: Right
Height: 5′ 11″ Weight: 209 lbs.
Born: October 3, 1976 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada
Acquired: Signed as a free agent on June 10th, 1998