By Kris Smith
Scarsella was signed to the Stars from their Elite League rivals, Manchester Storm in the summer of 2016 and after impressing many people around the league in his EIHL debut season, he followed it up with another standout year in Tayside.
Vinny was the Stars’ highest point scorer that year and he started off by explaining what he has been doing since he retired at the end of the 2016-2017 season.
He began: “I am currently working for a financial firm as the head of their research department (we currently oversee around 900 million in assets under management).
“This basically means I am in charge of the portfolios we create, and I decide on changes we make in the portfolios.
“I still play some hockey and coach my old high school team as well.”
The forward from Lackawanna, New York then talked about some of his memories from his time in Dundee.
“My best memories with the Stars has to be just being in the room with the guys and being able to play a sport which I love every day in front of the greatest fans in the Elite League”, said Scarsella.
He continued: “I am not sure if many people really understood what a tight group we had on and off the ice.
“It is pretty rare to have everyone get a long and believe in each other like we did.
“We went into every game knowing we had a chance to win, even against Cardiff in the playoffs, there was a belief in the room that we could win it all.
“If a couple bounces went our way, who knows what could have happened!”
The right winger went on to explain more about why making it to the Final Four Weekend in Nottingham was his favourite moment in a Stars jersey.
He added: “It has to be when we made it to the playoffs in Nottingham.
“It was an incredible moment and I know it meant a lot to the Stars fans as well.
“We went through a lot of ups and downs throughout the season and to see the Stars fans cheering in Braehead was a great moment.
“When we did play Cardiff, it was pretty cool to hear the whole arena (besides Cardiff fans) cheering for us.
“I do remember very clearly after Hartsy (Kevin Hart) scored the first goal and Switzy (Brett Switzer) the second, how loud it was!”
Scarsella had played in both North America and mainland Europe before coming to the Elite League and when asked if he enjoyed his experience in the EIHL, he replied: “Absolutely, it was the most fun I had playing professionally!
“I was treated very well in both Manchester and Dundee and the fan bases are amazing.
“Even when I watch highlights of the games now, you can tell the league has gotten even better from when I was playing.”
Unfortunately, no one can play this game forever and players have to consider their long term future but hockey can help prepare people for life after the sport.
Speaking about how hockey helped to prepare him for going into the working world, when he retired from the sport, Vinny said: “Being that it is a team sport and you are around different personalities every year, you learn how to adapt to different people and those different personalities.
“At work, obviously the turnover is a lot less than in hockey, but hockey taught me how to be a team player and to always work hard no matter what setting I am in.”
Finally, Scarsella shared a message for all the Stars fans back in Dundee and he said: “I really cannot thank everyone enough for the year I was in Dundee.
“Your support for the team was amazing (even when we were going through our rough patches) and you made me feel right at home as soon as I arrived.
“I know it meant a ton to all the guys on the team to know we would have your support on the road or at home.
“The playoff game against Braehead was unbelievable and you made it feel like we were playing at home both days with how loud you were!
Next up in this week’s series of ‘Look Back’ articles on the 16th Dundee Stars season you can read the ‘Where Are They Now’ interview of another former Stars player from the 2016-2017 season and that will be available tomorrow at 12pm!
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]