BY RANDY SCHULTZ —
“I’m a survivor.”
That is how Marty Reasoner described himself as a hockey player. At 41 Reasoner is now five years removed after playing his last season in the National Hockey League.
Reasoner played 14 seaons (1998-2013) in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, Atlanta Thrashers, Florida Panthers and New York Islanders. Reasoner learned over that period of time how to reinvent himself over and over again. Although he came into his final season with less than 100 career regular season goals, the Honeoye Falls, NY native always found other ways to make him valuable to the teams he has played for.
Reasoner remembered his days growing up in Honeoye Falls, just outside the Rochester, NY area.
“I was between four and five years of age when I began playing hockey,” remembered Reasoner. “I worked my way up through the Rochester Youth Program.
“Back when I played there was only one organization to play for and that was Rochester Youth Hockey. And it was either house or travel.
“Today there are a lot of different organizations to play for and several different places to play. When I played you either played in SIR in Rochester or the Lake Shore Rink.
“I’m glad to see that there are a lot more kids involved with the game today in the area I grew up and played in. To me it’s great for the game.”
Following his years in Rochester Youth Hockey, Reasoner played high school hockey at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, followed by two more years of high school at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts.
From there it was on to Boston College, where he was named Rookie of the Year in his freshman year. That led to Reasoner being drafted in the first round, the 14th player taken overall, by the St. Louis Blues.
“We had thought about taking the junior route at the time because a couple of other guys from the Rochester area had gone that route like Rory Fitzpatrick and Jason Bonsignore,” said Reasoner. “But we decided that going to prep school was probably the best avenue to take.”
Heading that route was just the beginning. It wasn’t until Reasoner made the U.S. Team in 1996 to play in the World Juniors that the young center gave the NHL some serious thought.
“I had no idea of how I stacked up against other talented hockey players from around the world until I got to the World Juniors,” commented Reasoner. ” Once I got on that National stage, competing against guys from around the United States, that’s when I realized that I might be able to make a career out of professional hockey.”
Reasoner played twice in the World Juniors and has represented the US three times in the World Championships.
“It’s been exciting and a great deal of fun,” remarked Reasoner. “We lost to Canada in the finals of the ’97 World Juniors.
“Playing in the World Championships was a bit different in the fact that you get to meet a lot of guys from around the world who also play pro hockey at some level.
“All in all they have all been great experiences.”
Reasoner, today a Managing Partner, Originations, with ACRES Capital, a company that provides capital solutions for commercial real estate located in Westbury, NY, will be the first person to tell you that he experienced two different lives during his professional hockey career.
“In the early part of my career, including high school, college and the minor leagues, I played more of an offensive game,” stated Reasoner, who was named an All-American with BC in 1998 when he led them to the NCAA Finals. “It wasn’t until I got to Edmonton with the Oilers and wasn’t getting the opportunity to score goals, that coach Craig MacTavish saw me as a player that would kill penalties and play on a checking line against some of the better scoring lines in the NHL.
“That move really changed my career and allowed me to play more years. It was either doing that or find some other line of work.
“To me you can’t find anything better than hockey.”
(Photo from ACRES Capital)