Comets Tales: Billins Embraces Mentorship Role
by Don LaibleNov 3, 2016
When it comes to first year Comets players this season, Comets' defenseman Chad Billins has the experience others lean towards.
Leadership doesn't show up in box scores, but in hockey, coaches and teammates know the value of who to go to for direction. Billins has already made his contributions felt both on and off the ice. Stops in Russia, and Sweden, as well as winning a Calder Cup championship (2012-13) to go a long with a dash of NHL experience, Billins has the built-in leadership coaches look for.
Providing direction thus far this season has been challenging at times for Billins.
"It all comes down to execution," the one-time AHL all-star said, speaking after a Comets' loss at home to Providence. "Little details matter. Watching videos, and then going out on the ice and doing it."
Billins' lead by example presence, much like current Comets' captain Carter Bancks, and Alex Biega before him, doesn't go unnoticed by fans and coaching staff. Wearing a "A" on his jersey continues to be earned.
"You learn from your mistakes. You put them behind you," said Billins. " You turn the page on the good and bad times."
Time spent in the NHL is a huge attention-getter when mentoring others and wanting to get pointers across to teammates. Logging 10 games with the Calgary Flames remains Billins' career highlight.
"Once you get a taste of it you want to work harder - to get back there,” told the 2013 AHL All Star.
That contagious attitude is what Billins hopes to spread with his teammates throughout this season. In the Comets' first two wins Billins had a hand in both Comets' wins.
In Utica's first win of the season, over Syracuse, Billins collected three points (1-2-3). While playing the Hartford Wolf Pack on the road, during the seventh game of this season, Billins chipped in an assist on Curtis Valk's goal.
At 5'10" and 175-pounds, the Comets' blueliner continues to work harder and smarter, when up against larger opponents often. Labeling himself a "late bloomer" to hockey, the Marysville, MI native continues to find ways to give the Comets an advantage.