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Eberly a Leader for RPI

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, October 3, 2002

TROY - Rensselaer senior defenseman Danny Eberly was destined to be the Engineers' captain this season.

Two years ago as a sophomore, he was an assistant captain. It is rare that a sophomore is given such responsibility. And although Steve Munn and Matt Murley served as co-captains last season, Eberly was still recognized as one of the team's leaders.

"He's the type of person that is vocal in the room," RPI coach Dan Fridgen said Wednesday at the team's media day at Houston Field House. "He leads by example. The players feel very comfortable with him. He's easy to talk to, regardless if they have an academic problem or an athletic problem."

Eberly said he is honored to be named captain. It is the fourth straight year that an RPI defenseman has been a captain or co-captain. Brian Pothier was captain in 1999-00, and Munn wore the "C" the last two years.

"Great guys have come before me," Eberly said. "I'll do my best to wear the 'C.' I'm excited about it. I just try and go out there, work hard and lead by example on and off the ice and keep the boys on track."

Eberly had no problem not being an assistant captain last season.

"We had Matt Murley and Steve Munn, and they were two great leaders," Eberly said. "It was the right move to do."

Fridgen believes it's just coincidence that a defenseman has served as RPI captain for four straight years.

"If you look at the course of leadership and where leadership comes from, most teams have either got an 'A' or a 'C' on a defenseman," Fridgen said. "Defensemen are going the full length of the ice. They get to see everything."

The 6-foot, 195-pound Eberly, an eighth-round pick by the New York Rangers in the 2000 NHL draft, had a career-high 17 points last season (three goals, 14 assists). Two of his three goals came on the power play.

The Canton, Mass., native never served as a captain when he played at Catholic Memorial High School, but he has been a respected player from the day he first put on the RPI uniform.

"I think they saw probably fairly early that he's got potential to be a leader," said senior forward Carson Butterwick, who will be an assistant captain. "They just decided to structure it a little bit different last year. It's great that [during] sophomore year, he had a little bit of a chance to see the leadership role. I think he'll do a good job for us this year."

Junior defenseman Scott Basiuk, who will be the Engineers' other assistant captain, agrees with Butterwick.

"He's one of the best players on the team," Basiuk said. "He's the fastest guy on the team. He's one of the best people on the team. Everyone gets along with him. He knows what he's doing on the ice. He's a guy I've liked since day one. The day I got here, he was great.

"He's respected by everybody. That's why he is our leader."