FORT WORTH, Texas – Daniel Spivak was a little surprised to be interviewed since the Fort Worth Brahmas defenseman has been on injured reserve since February 9th. Once he found out the scope of the interview, he chuckled. He’s done this before.
Aside from being a young defenseman in his first full professional season, Spivak is one of the best Israeli hockey players out there and a long-time member of Team Israel.
Spivak was born in Netanya, Israel and grew up in Thornhill, Ontario. He’s been with the Israeli National Team program since 2005 when he competed in his first IIHF Men’s World Championship at age 16. He has represented Israel in every year since but he makes it clear that he always puts his club obligations first.
“That’s how I’ve always been,” Spivak said “If my team has done well, I’m with them. It’s my first priority. I signed with the Brahmas first, this is my first priority.”
Spivak routinely experiences quite the dichotomy. As a rookie professional he is still developing and learning but with Israel he is a proven veteran. He views his role with the Brahmas as being just another piece to the puzzle. He is here to do his role and make everyone else’s jobs easier. However, his national team duties are far more demanding. He routinely plays an incredibly high number of minutes and instead of making everyone else’s jobs easier, he is doing those jobs.
“I remember we were in Estonia and there was one game I played something like 55 minutes. I came off in the middle of the third period and I was just exhausted,” he recalled.
Spivak tries to help his Israeli teammates but he really wants to help the national team so the sport can gain more exposure, popularity, and so that he can hopefully inspire the next generation of Israeli players.
Unfortunately for Israel and the Brahmas, Spivak has missed over a month of time now with a shoulder injury. He got hurt on a game in Denver back on February 9th when he tried to delay the puck a bit and turned into the boards. A Denver Cutthroats player then pinned Spivak to the glass and then came the injury. He says the shoulder feels good but he’ll likely need surgery that would put him out of commission for several months.
Despite being out on the injured reserve, the Central Hockey League recognized Spivak’s contributions during the season by naming him to the league’s 2012-13 All Rookie Team. The 6′ 0″, 206-pound defenseman had his best offensive month in December, with two goals, four assists and +7 rating. Overall, Spivak has three goals and 10 assists in 46 games this season and is a +9 (highest among all d-men on the Brahmas’ roster).
As far as the future goes, it is obvious that Spivak still has that competitive spirit in him and wants to be on the ice but he’s definitely thinking long-term and the implications for his career before making a final decision.
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