Last season was supposed to be when Anthony Bitetto was going to break through.
But the only things the Island Park, N.Y., native managed to break were a hand, and possibly his skull, the latter injury after a vicious fight with Chicago Blackhawks forward Jordin Tootoo last October.
Bitetto wound up missing 33 games in all, and that pretty much put a damper on his hopes of earning a regular roster spot on the Nashville Predators.
But when you’ve had to grind it out in the minors for a half-dozen years, you’re not about to take no for an answer.
The fact that as a healthy scratch he sat out the Preds’ dream ride to the Stanley Cup Final only made the 27-year-old Northeastern University graduate even more determined.