Cleveland Monsters’ fans will see a familiar face when the Ontario Reign hit the ice this weekend.
T.J. Hensick was a member of the Lake Erie Monsters and Colorado Avalanche organization from 2007-2010. While he may not have been what the Avalanche wanted, Hensick was everything the Monsters needed.
Hensick was an offensive threat who played up his strengths and constantly worked on his flaws. Hard work and dedication led to many great moments throughout the three seasons he spent with the Monsters.
After having a less than stellar start in the NHL, the Avalanche sent Hensick down to the Monsters. Some players might allow this to give them a complex or put them in a funk. However, Hensick made the situation an opportunity to become a better player.
After being sent down, he notched a point in 20 of the next 24 games. Due to multiple standout performances, Hensick was named to the 2008 AHL All-Star Game where he would lead PlanetUSA in scoring with two goals and two assists.
Hensick was the first Monster in franchise history to be named to the AHL All-Star Game.
During the 2008-09 season, Hensick’s time was split between the Avalanche and the Monsters. This didn't stop him from averaging a point per game for the Monsters though.
There is no doubt the 2009-10 season was Hensick’s best.
In his final season with the Monsters, Hensick set the franchise record for most assists in a season (50) and most points in a season (70, shares the record with Ben Walter).
The AHL named Hensick Player of the Month after tallying four goals and 19 assists over 13 games in December 2009. Shortly after earning this award, he was named to the 2010 AHL All-Star Game.
By the end of the season, 22 multi-point games were under Hensick’s belt.
As you can see, Hensick had quite the illustrious career with the Monsters organization.