October 1, 2016
By WNYLaborToday.com Editor-Publisher Tom Campbell
Western, NY – A little more than 2,500 miles separate the Niagara County, New York Town of Ransomville where International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 463 is headquartered and the City of Los Angeles, but that’s where Thomas McCollum is right now – trying to make the roster of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Los Angeles Kings.
In a telephone interview with WNYLaborToday.com from the West Coast, McCollum – the son of Local 463 Business Manager Paul McCollum, is applying some of the Union Work Ethic he learned while growing up to continue his professional hockey career out on the West Coast.
“I’m ‘very excited.’ It’s a ‘great’ opportunity,” the 26-year-old McCollum (Pictured above while playing goal for the NHL Detroit Red Wings) told Your On-Line Labor Newspaper just prior to the start of the Kings’ training camp. “Absolutely, it’s a ‘one-hundred percent’ Union Work Ethic.’ That’s the ‘reason’ I’ve made it this far. It’s a ‘great’ work ethic (I learned) from my father and mother, who’s a Member of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) at Tops Supermarket back home. I got it from the two of them – ‘if you’re going to do anything, do it at full force.’ It did ‘rub off’ on me.”
Local 463 Business Manager McCollum is “proud as hell” of his son, whom he’s gotten to see play professionally in goal during his days in the American Hockey League (AHL) – making numerous trips to Grand Rapids, Michigan where the team played and to other AHL cities when the team was on the road – and, when he was called up to play for the parent Detroit Red Wings.
In fact, McCollum and his wife, Shelley, were sitting in Joe Louis Arena back on January 18th when Thomas made his first NHL appearance of the season in relief of starting goalie Petr Mrázek, who allowed three goals on the first six shots in the first period to – ironically – the Buffalo Sabres – his father’s favorite team. To read more click on the following link