Admirals' LaBate pushes for NHL position

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Admirals have turned into a pipeline to the NHL. Not only for the young up and coming prospects they're expected to develop, but for veterans looking for one last chance. 

Joseph LaBate is at home on the ice. For the last decade, from the University of Wisconsin to now, eight seasons in professional hockey, the Admirals forward has been a consistent, reliable force.

"I play a hard 200-foot game. I use my speed all over the ice and I have good size," LaBate said.

He's a solid player, the guy you want on your team. But he's struggled to find a permanent spot in the NHL and time is running out.

At 28 years old, coach Karl Taylor says most of your game is developed. But you can always learn and work harder. Thankfully, that's not a problem for LaBate.

"That's just how I was raised, to be honest," LaBate said. "Every time I finished a game, my parents asked me did I have fun and did I work my hardest. That's been instilled in me."

"He's a guy that has a lot of experience, but he's also a man on a mission," said Taylor. He really enjoys it here I think, from what I can tell, but he's on a mission to get out of here. He's not going to let anybody stop him."

The Ads have had a lot of success lately turning AHL contracts into another shot in the NHL.

It happened for Colin Blackwell, Rocco Grimaldi and Freddy Gaudreau.

Four and a half years after his last NHL game with the Canucks, LaBate chose Milwaukee this off-season to follow in their footsteps. 

"I've seen the track record of turning some guys on AHL deals into NHL contracts. It was a really good fit," said LaBate.

Can't ask for a much better start -- he scored in the Admirals season opener. Up next, they'll host the Chicago Wolves Friday, Oct. 22.

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