By Kris Smith
It has been five years since Bari left the Stars but the Scottish forward loved his time in Tayside and when he joined the club, he brought with him 10 years of experience in British hockey.
McKenzie had previously iced with some of the UK’s top clubs including, Basingstoke Bison, Milton Keynes Lightning, Coventry Blaze, Belfast Giants and Edinburgh Capitals, all before signing with the Stars.
Although, speaking about where his career went after leaving Dundee, Bari began: “Obviously I made the switch over to Braehead after my second season.
“That did not go down too well with the Stars fans, which was totally understandable and I still get a friendly reminder from time to time.
“At the time, the chance of playing in the Champions League was too good of an opportunity to turn down, as I didn’t know if I would ever get the chance to play in the competition again.
“I had three enjoyable seasons playing with the Clan, and yes I do get reminded that the Stars beat us in the playoffs haha.
“The Clan made coaching changes after my third season and I was informed my two year contract was getting terminated, but luckily for me Hutchy was in contact with me and I had agreed to go to Fife the next day.
“Since then I have spent two seasons with Fife and it is funny, when you are playing for either Dundee or the Clan, no one really liked Fife (fan wise) but honestly I have really enjoyed my time in Fife.
“With all three Scottish clubs, there is a lot of great people involved within the organisations and fanbases!”
The Dumfries-born forward loved his time in the City of Discovery and he said: “Dundee was great, I honestly loved my time there.
“The Ward’s were absolutely fantastic with me, both families welcomed me with open arms and they are so passionate about their club and they work tireless hours to run it successfully.
“I have so many fond memories in Dundee, my first season ran so smooth and what a team we had.
“It was really unfortunate that we did not make it to the final four weekend, with Bakala in net we knew we could beat anyone on the day.
“My second season obviously didn’t go as well as the first, missing out on the playoffs was a massive disappointment as the club at the time wanted to push on after the success in the previous season.
“There was a lot of roster changes and it just didn’t work which was so unfortunate as we did have a good team and a great bunch of guys.”
McKenzie also shared his favourite moment in a Stars jersey but it was obvious what his choice would be.
“I think hands down we knew we would be winning the conference in my first season”, he said.
Bari continued: “From start to finish, that season was fun and we had a great group of guys.
“We came through players leaving and a lot of injuries but we always got the job done.
“I think looking back we should of tried to keep more of a core of imports but for one reason or another I believe it was only James Isaacs that returned.”
As the only player to play for all four Scottish Elite League clubs, the now 33-year-old compared his experiences from across the country.
Starting off by discussing that achievement, Bari commented: “It is certainly something I will be able to look back on in 30 years and be proud of.
“I know it sounds crazy but I would not change anything, I loved playing for all four Scottish clubs.
“All clubs were different in the way they were run etc, but like I said before, it is about good people in hockey clubs and all four Scottish teams certainly have that.”
Adding what he misses most about Dundee and the DIA, Bari continued: “You are going to laugh at this but for sure I miss the food after training and games in Dundee.
“It was great heading up after a game to get met by Debbie serving mac‘n’cheese, also soup and baked potatoes after training were an amazing and great wee perk.
“Dundee as a city was amazing, although as an away player you do not see the city but there was so much to do and plenty of great pubs haha.”
Also, McKenzie recalled one his favourite stories from his time in Dundee and he said: “One brilliant story from my second year was that we were heading back from down south and the bus broke down.
“We were stuck in the middle of nowhere, so we walked up through these fields to get beer and ended up staying in a service station hotel that night.”
Also, the Scot talked more about how it felt to lift the Gardiner Conference Trophy for the first time, as he later got his hands on it again with Braehead Clan in 2017.
Bari explained: “It certainly was a special team we had that season.
“Even with key players leaving and suffering injuries we found ways to battle through and win the conference.
“I believe we won it in February, which was an amazing accomplishment.
“As a team we had a lot of fun that season, guys like Bags (Bill Bagron) and (Mike) Wirll being the ring leaders haha.
“Like I have said, not making the playoff weekend put a damper on the season as we knew we were good enough to cause an upset but no one can take away what we accomplished in the regular season.
“Actually, I still have some pictures from in the locker room and the bar on my phone from the night we won the conference and it is those memories that you have to cherish!”
Finally, Bari shared a short message for all the Stars fans back in Dundee and he said: “I would like to say keep up the great work supporting the club.
“You were all amazing to me when I was a stars player which I won’t forget even though you give it to me tight now.
“Hopefully you all are staying safe and I’ll see you all when the season starts to get chirped before the anthem and keep banging your little drum Lawrie.”
Bari also shared some of his own pictures from that season and you can see them below.
That concludes our series of ‘Look Back’ articles on the 13th Dundee Stars season but there is plenty more still to come, as next week we take you back to the 2014-2015 season.
If you want to be a part of the historic 20th Dundee Stars season then you can buy your season tickets by contacting [email protected]