Apologies for the fake post earlier. I had good intentions of writing the post yesterday, but another Minnesota event took priority.
And though I would love to devote words and sentences to the NHL Draft, I just don’t have the time. I didn’t even watch the Draft live on Friday (DVR’d it) and I don’t get the NHL Network so I couldn’t watch Rounds 2-7 on Saturday.
But what I did see, and what I did read, made me happy.
To be a Minnesotan. To be a hockey fan.
I’m happy for young kids realizing their dreams. I’m happy for families who have sacrified for their sons.
I’m hopeful for those young kids to play to their potential – on and off the ice. I’m hopeful for the game of hockey – at all levels.
This past weekend saw loads of talent in St. Paul. Seats filled with suit-clad young men who just yesterday were playing shinny hockey with their friends, pretending to be the next hockey hot-shot.
Today their names are floating around the blogosphere, press rooms, and Twitter in a flurry of excitement.
They are prospects who have much to prove. They are hockey players who have much to learn. They are men who have much weight to gain and skills to hone.
The second their name was called – the real work began.
And we’ll wait.
To see where they actually end up. If they play college – for one year or four. If they play juniors. If they fizzle out or shine like the sun. If they make their NHL dreams a reality this season.
And when they are dominating the NHL ice, we’ll look back to this weekend and remember their child-like grins and giddy excitement and nerves as they hugged their mom and dad, shook hands with managers and coaches, pulled on a fresh jersey and baseball hat, and said, “cheese,” or “fromage,” or “jussto,” or “ost” for the cameras and fans who will keep a close eye on their development and performace in the years to come.
Word of advice to wet-behind-the-ears draftees, if and when you get to the NHL, remember you’re being watched by young boys (and girls) in your hometown, your grandma’s hometown, the town next door, and towns around the world. Even if you find yourself on the bottom of the totem pole, working every day to prove your place on the roster, you’re still a role model for kids aspiring to be the next “you.”
So. Play like you mean it. Work like you love it. Live like someone cares.
I ask. You answer.
- In your opinion, which 2011 draftee has the greatest potential to be the next “it” player in the NHL?
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — overrated or soon-to-be-superstar?
- Which pick surprised you the most?
- Any disappointments?
- Are the WILD finally getting it “right”?
- Winnipeg Jets — like or dislike the name?