by Jim Cerny, Hat Tricks Insider

Dave MacIsaac has played a big role in three different phases of professional hockey in Danbury, so it’s not a surprise that he is part of the inaugural class being inducted into the Danbury Hockey Ring of Honor on Saturday.

MacIsaac was a defenseman for the Danbury Trashers for two seasons and their captain in 2005-06. He coached the Danbury Mad Hatters to a 30-18-2 record in 2008-09; and currently has the Hat Tricks (25-11-3) second in the FPHL in his first season as coach.

“It would have been impossible not to include Dave in there,” Hat Tricks president Herm Sorcher said. “I just see him as a Mount Rushmore guy in Danbury hockey. Fans here may not know who scored the most goals at Danbury Arena, but they can tell you ‘Mac’ was the captain of the Trashers, one of the most iconic minor league teams ever. They can tell you he’s a great guy and what he’s meant to the community.

“I think when we were thinking what we could do to embrace the past and honor these guys, he is just a classic example on and off the ice of why we wanted to do this.”

MacIsaac will be inducted along with Trashers owner Jim Galante and his son A.J. who was the Trashers general manager; former Danbury Whalers, Titans and Hat Tricks goalie Nick Niedert; and Matt Caranci, a forward who played six seasons in Danbury for the Whalers and Titans.

“It’s a huge honor and I’m excited about it,” MacIsaac said. “It was 18 years ago that Jimmy and A.J. brought me in and I’ve come back a couple times since. Something keeps drawing me back and I’m happy it does.”

MacIsaac played nine games and accumulated 66 penalty minutes during the Trashers first season and then scored a career-high 15 goals and 40 points in 53 games for them in 2005-06.

Being inducted with the Galantes makes this honor even more special for MacIsaac.

“Those guys are the reason why there’s professional hockey in Danbury in the first place,” he said. “Without them, none of the other teams would have happened here. So, it’s a tremendous honor to go in with them.”

Of course, MacIsaac will be punching the clock Saturday, leading the Hat Tricks in the second of a three-game weekend set against the Columbus Blue Dragons beginning at 7 p.m. at Danbury Arena.

The coach said he’s unsure how much he’ll be able to absorb during the first intermission ceremony because his focus will be on the game but plans to reflect afterward.

Hat Tricks captain Jonny Ruiz said he hopes the team rewards MacIsaac with a victory on his special night.

“To have him being honored in this city, in front of this crowd, and him being our coach, it makes the night even more special for us players,” Ruiz said. “I’m excited for him; and I hope it gives the boys a little more edge to play the style Dave used to play, tough and with grit. I know the boys will rally for this game, for sure.

“Obviously, this is a cool thing for him, but we’re working. Our job is not done until we finish with a win for us and for him.”