Cody Sol delighted to wear an ‘A’ with Komets
Veteran defenseman has more-defined leadership role
With the exception of a sore shoulder, the season has gotten off to a great start for Komets defenseman Cody Sol. He was among the last cuts at the Tucson Roadrunners training camp and he’s wearing an “A” as the Komets’ alternate captain for the first time in his four years in Fort Wayne.
“It was a good honor for me, especially with the history we have here and the legends who have played hockey in this town and worn it,” Sol said. “It’s an honor to wear an ‘A’ anywhere, but especially in this town.”
His teammates have been pretty good about Sol joining the leadership council. After all, he was already one of the most vocal players in the locker room, someone who helped hold others accountable and one of the most respected. When he said things, everyone already paid attention. Having a defined leadership role affects his play slightly, as coach Gary Graham has asked Sol to cut back on his penalty minutes so he spends more time on the ice.
“There’s more of an onus on me because I can’t have any ‘off’ days,” he said. “I have to come to the rink and be a leader and play like one.”
An added benefit is that wearing a letter gives Sol easy access to the referee because he’s one of three players on a team who is allowed to directly communicate with the referee.
“Without a letter, they’ll talk to you, but they don’t give you the time of day like they do when you are wearing a ‘C’ or an ‘A’ on your jersey,” Sol said. “Having that letter, I can go to the ref or he’ll come to me. It helps to open communication with the refs to help my cause out there.”
In a way, the letter has helped Sol build his confidence which was already strong after his performance with Tuscon. Though he hasn’t played a game in the AHL since 2013-14, he proved to himself that he could hold his own on that level. He has maintained that caliber this season with the Komets.
Sol said he spent his summer working on his quickness and acceleration. His stop speed has always been strong, but it took him a while to get going. The new quickness has especially helped Sol on his back-checking.
“Once the Sol Train the speed gets going, it’s hard to slow it down,” he said. “My top speed is there, but it takes some acceleration to get the big boots going.”
And an alternate captain always has to lead by example, especially when getting back defensively.
“When you look at our roster, we already have a veteran roster so there are multiple guys who can wear a letter. There’s always a core group here that can lead the team and it’s not just the guys wearing a letter. It’s a whole team personality. It’s the younger guys pushing the older guys and us older guys making sure everyone is accountable.”
The Komets start a two-game stay in Utah at 9:05 p.m.