It's been quite the year for Brooks Macek.
The former Tri-City Americans forward won silver in hockey with Team Germany at the Winter Games in February, won a second consecutive Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) title with Munich EHC after the Olympics, and he topped it all off Tuesday by signing a contract with the Vegas Golden Knights.
"It's been a pretty exciting year," Macek said from his off-season home in Kennewick that he shares with his wife Lauren. "Going to the Olympics was nice, and coming home with a silver medal was a cool experience. Now we are a month into summer and you find out there are NHL teams interested in you. I'm thankful Vegas is giving m a chance."
The one-year contract with Vegas is a two-way deal worth $650,000 if he makes the Golden Knights' roster. The contract will pay him $175,000 in the American Hockey League.
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"We really enjoyed our time in Europe, but it's every hockey player's dream to play in the NHL," Macek said. "I will go to camp and hopefully it goes well. I will try to make the team; if not, they have an affiliate team in Chicago. I haven't been there (Las Vegas) yet — I haven't even spoken to anyone there yet."
A 5-foot-11, 180-pound forward, Macek played for the Americans from 2008-10, putting in 2 1/2 years before being traded to the Calgary Hitmen midway through the 2010-11 season.
Macek, 26, was selected in the sixth round by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2010 NHL Draft, but he never got a shot at the NHL. He went to Europe, where he had a successful five-year career.
In 50 regular-season games this season, Macek had 44 points (26 goals, 18 assists). His 26 goals led the DEL. The native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, had 16 points (8G, 8A) in 17 playoff games.
"It's obviously a little shocking for them, but they are happy for me," Macek said of his German team. "It's bittersweet for me too. It's a great group of guys and we won back-to-back titles.
"To be back in North America playing hockey is exciting."