It was a tale of two halves for Gerry Mayhew this season.
Long established as an elite producer at this level, he couldn’t quite find his scoring touch - posting 12 points (4g, 8a) in his first 33 frustratingly snakebit games.
“In the beginning I was hitting posts and the confidence was down a little bit,” said Mayhew.
The dip in numbers didn’t put a damper on the veteran forward’s drive, though.
“When you work hard, you start getting rewarded for that work and you become confident,” said head coach Geordie Kinnear earlier in the season. “Confidence is a wonderful thing.”
Bad luck could only hold the former AHL MVP down for so long though, and when he found his groove the results were staggering.
Once I got my confidence up they started going in,” said Mayhew. “I’ve been in this league for years now, so I know to not give up - it’ll come. That’s what I did and I was very happy that it did.”
Mayhew would go on to rack up 32 points (20g, 12a) over 36 games to close out the campaign and re-establish himself as one of the league’s most lethal offensive weapons - in fact, only one player in the AHL scored more goals than him from Jan. 11 to the end of the season.
The resilience that Mayhew showed not only propelled him out of a slump and into a stellar final stat line, it provided the younger ranks on the Checkers with an example of what that kind of perseverance can bring.
“The young guys in their first year, they’re kind of just learning,” said Mayhew. “We took them under our wing to show them what’s going on. When things are bad don’t get too down, when things are good don’t get too high. Stuff like that.”
Mayhew’s second-half surge was a key piece of Charlotte’s push to the playoffs, and while that run was ended prematurely, he’s ready to run it back.
“It’s probably one of the best groups I’ve been on,” said Mayhew. “From the vets to the rookies to the middlemen, it was unbelievable. Great season, it was a tough finish. I think we could have beat Hershey but it was a tough battle. Hopefully next year I’m back and we can do it again.”