INDEPENDENCE, MO – The Missouri Mavericks announced the return of Andrew Courtney on Wednesday, ending much speculation regarding the future of the organization’s all-time leading goal scorer. Courtney returns to the only professional organization that he has played for, after originally joining the club towards the end of the 2010-11 season.
The decision on Courtney’s future with the Mavericks was the first true test for rookie bench boss John-Scott Dickson. Many thought that Courtney’s playing days were all but done after the Mavericks bowed out of the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs in the Conference Semifinals. Courtney, however, expressed his interest to return to the Mavericks to The Sin Bin’s Adam Twenter shortly after the season.
The only question was whether or not the Mavericks would be interested in bringing him back. Dickson, having played alongside Courtney during his tenure as a player for the Mavericks, would have to put personal feelings aside in order to make the tough decision as to whether Courtney fit into this team’s plan for another season.
After breaking the franchise record for single season goals in 2014-15 with 36, a record he set the season prior, Courtney’s numbers dipped in 2015-16. He still managed to net 21 goals, giving him 20+ goals in five of his six full seasons in a Mavs sweater. Courtney never seemed to gel with Richard Matvichuk‘s offensive system, but now looks to rejuvenate his career with the only team he has ever known.
Also announced on Wednesday was that Courtney would be named the team captain for the upcoming season, a decision that should fully show the organization’s desire to have Courtney back for another year. Many thought that Courtney would follow his former teammate Sebastien Thinel as captain of the Mavericks, but after Matvichuk acquired Trevor Ludwig prior to the season, a strong leader that won two championships with Matvichuk in Allen, Courtney would be relegated to alternate captain duties yet again.
He now gets the opportunity to don the “C” on the sweater that he’s pulled on 358 times (including playoffs), more than anyone else, and honor he has certainly earned in his six-plus seasons in Independence.