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Report: Bruins prospect must serve country before playing

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TSN.ca Staff
1/26/2010 3:25:08 PM
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Zach McKelvie is a prospect for the Boston Bruins but the Army graduate's hockey career is on hold for now.

According to ESPNBoston.com, McKelvie has been told by the U.S. Department of Defense that he must serve two years with the Army before he can pursue his NHL career.

"Overall, in short, the decision by the Army and by West Point was that it's just not in the best interest for me to pursue hockey right now," McKelvie told ESPNBoston.com.

When McKelvie committed to Army a few years back, the rule stated that if a player had a contract, they could play for two years before being evaluated for future service. But the policy has changed since then and now players must serve two years before they can play.

"It's frustrating on one side. At the same time, I can understand it," McKelvie told the website. "I have no problem serving in the military. This is what we train to do here. We train to be a part of this Army and help this country out. But at the same time ... I feel like they never should have, I guess, led me on. And at the same time, it's a pretty hard time to let someone play professionally. I totally understand that because of the situation that's going on."

Much of McKelvie's frustration comes from the fact that some athletes training for individual Olympic sports are allowed to train all year long in the World Class Athlete Program.

"That's the frustrating part," McKelvie told ESPNBoston.com. "If they said no to all those athletes, there's no way I could make an argument that 'hey, I should be able to play too.' That's how the Army is."

McKelvie, who is currently serving as an athletic intern with Army, won the fastest skater competition at last year's Frozen Four. Instead of skating with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League, the 24-year-old will be reporting for duty in Fort Benning, Georgia for special training in late March or early April.

Boston Bruins (Photo: NHL)

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(Photo: NHL)
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