Tuesday, October 29, 2013
A Belleville Kid, and His Mom, in South Florida.
A Belleville Kid and His Mom, in South Florida
A week ago, the Chicago Black Hawks lost in overtime to the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was the second of two games they played in a mini-tour of Florida. They had played the Panthers on Tuesday , a game which they won in a shootout. As a result, they took three of four points in the Sunshine state.
Darlene Shaw is likely moderately happy with the result. She was part of an entourage of ladies who attended the game in Fort Lauderdale. “We want to leave Florida with four points, ” she told me from the box set aside for the Black Hawk mothers. There is an annual excursion that the team provides, to the fathers and the mothers, on an annual basis. “I am thrilled to be here. Everything is first class. We flew in here from Chicago, and we fly out to Tampa after the game.”
Darlene is justifiably proud of her son Andrew. He was a key ingredient in the Hawks drive last year to win the Stanley Cup. Some pundits wrote off Shaw during his junior hockey days. He is relatively small, in current National Hockey league standards. But he more than made up for his size with his heart, and his tenacity. He is a feisty player, the kind who drives opponents crazy. As is often the case in hockey, when the opposition retaliates, they are penalized, giving the disturber a two minute power play.
Remarkably, only two of the players’ wives did not make the trip. Without checking off each and every Mom, the list would include women from many countries: several provinces in Canada, eight of the United States, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and the Czech Republic. Many other mothers were also invited, including those of the broadcasters, managers, and a host of others connected with the team. Stan Bowman is the Vice President and General Manager of the Hawks, and, naturally, his mother made the trip. She also brought along his father, Scotty, a man who knows a thing or two about the game. Scotty is a senior advisor with the hockey operations of the Club.
Scotty was sporting an enormous Stanley Club ring which will likely take its place beside several others on his dresser. He won the Stanley Cup eight times as a coach, and a few more in a managerial capacity. He was born in Montreal, and player his Junior hockey there, with the Montreal Jr. Canadiens. His first coaching stint was with the Hull-Ottawa Junior Habs in 1956, and he coached there the following year when they skated against the McFarlands at the Memorial Arena in Belleville. He moved up to the NHL in 1967 with the St. Louis Blues.
Darlene Shaw got to know the other moms on the team during last year’s playoff run. “We all started going to the games on a regular basis during the last two series of the playoffs. Nick Leddy is Andrew’s roommate in Chicago, and his mother has become a good friend of mine.” The players ate with their mothers on this trip, and accompanied them on a cruise out of Tampa. She indicated that there was occasionally a language barrier with the European mothers, but nothing serious. Winning helps in those situations.
The Hawks ended the second period ahead 2-0 on a late goal by Bryan Bickell, assisted by Niklas Hjalmarsson and Andrew Shaw. The Panthers climbed back into the game with goals by Kulikov and Tomas Fleischmann, but lost in a shootout. Shaw is pictures in the USA Today chasing Kingston’s Erik Gudbranson around the net during the game.
Exciting times for a small town boy and his Mom!