At first, the cancellation of the AHL season didn’t seem as certain.
“I don’t think anyone expected it early on,” Binghamton Devils defenseman and UVM product Mike Paliotta said. “Ultimately it gets to a point where there are much more important things. I think you have to take a step back and look at it as a human and not just a professional athelete.”
Leading up to the news on Monday, Paliotta had been using the time to enjoy spending time with his family in his Connecticut hometown, and cherished being able to celebrate Mother’s Day and his birthday in April.
“I don’t think I had been home on my birthday since I was 14 years old,” Paliotta said.
He also stressed the importance of staying busy, finding new interests and spending time with family as ways to deal with being thrown out of a usual routine.
This season, Paliotta’s Binghamton Devils were on a torrid pace, having won 10 of their last 11 games and sitting fourth in the division before the season was put on hold.
Paliotta’s contract with the Devils was up at the end of this season, and he had missed time with an injury leading up to the delay (and now cancellation) of the AHL season. He has played in over 200 AHL games, including playoffs, and was a member of a Calder Cup-winning Lake Erie Monsters team in 2015-16.
At Vermont, Paliotta captained the Catamounts men’s ice hockey team as a senior, also winning the Hockey East Best Defensive Defenseman award along with being named an NCAA Second-Team All-American.