It’s Wednesday, meaning some Blackhawk Up readers are about halfway through their work week. So I’m going to provide a blast to the past each Hump Day to give you all a little extra oomph and help you get to the weekend. The Chicago Blackhawks have done a lot of funny or endearing video spots since the organization emerged from its dark days. Those spots will be the topic of these flashback posts.
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As Blackhawks fans are well aware, most hockey players can’t stick around the Windy City for their entire career. Salary cap concerns following three Stanley Cup wins in the past six seasons have led to a number of beloved (and some less beloved) players moving on to other organizations.
Thanks to the Blackhawks’ digital media team, however, we don’t have to forget guys like Andrew Ladd and Kris Versteeg. In our eighth week of these flashbacks (check out previous flashbacks below), we’re treated to a morning in the life of these two now-former Blackhawks.
Interestingly enough, the publication date of this video on YouTube is October 2010, a point by which both guys were with different organizations. I’m led to believe this was filmed sometime during the 2009-10 regular season, for what that’s worth.
Ladd and Versteeg awkwardly introduced themselves and their plan: To show us “the trek” required when the Blackhawks have to practice at Johnny’s IceHouse West. Versteeg got to carry all the gear as Ladd’s “little helper,” and the two departed for Johnny’s fully outfitted in practice gear (minus skates).
As soon as they walk out of the United Center to go to their truck, Ladd observed that it’s “not even snowing.” Of course, it was snowing, and Versteeg immediately began shouting about being cold. You can hear the wind in the background, so it was probably a pleasant December day. Or it might’ve been September. Or March. Tough call.
On the short ride to Johnny’s, Versteeg confided in the truck crew that he wants his name in a rap song.
Good luck with that, Steeger.
So then we’re treated to a Blackhawks practice, during which Jonathan Toews fired a puck in the direction of the camera and the players competed in a “last person to score a shootout goal picks up everyone’s gloves” event. Who do you think lost that? One of the defenseman? The unluckiest breakaway guy ever, Patrick Sharp?
RIGGED! (Screenshot from YouTube)
Nope. That’d be Patrick Kane, the guy who gives goaltenders nightmares about what he can do on a shootout. How did he lose the shootout contest?!
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Ladd helpfully noted that this was “the first job Kaner’s had in his 21 years,” which is probably true. The production crew helpfully noted Kane scored a game-winning shootout goal the night before this practice, too.
Next up on the trek, a 151-foot trip next door to the Palace Grill. Scotty Bowman just happened to be dining there at the time Ladd and Versteeg walked in, and he seemed completely unfazed by their arrival. The same couldn’t be said for the group of young kids also nearby, who quietly observed the two enjoying a nice, healthy breakf…
Breakfast of future champions. (Screenshot from YouTube)
That right there is a Heartstopper with bacon. I guess when you play a professional sport for a living, your diet can be a little different. Ladd and Versteeg both offered food to the kids in attendance, then got them all milkshakes instead.
Then, it was time for the greatest moment of the video. Versteeg looked down at a kid wearing a Toews jersey and asked him if he knew Toews “hates dogs, children and old people.” Ladd let out a chuckle before the kid asked why Versteeg was talking smack about the captain. Too bad Toews wasn’t there to defend himself.
Versteeg and Ladd then proceeded to hop over the diner table and “spread some Christmas/holiday cheer” by delivering orders to people in the building. They then offered to buy lunch for everyone in attendance, which seems a little odd considering they were serving breakfast. But it’s the thought that counts.
We can’t forget about the enduring image from this video:
Versteeg is growing up so fast. (Screenshot from YouTube)
Versteeg giving himself a milkshake mustache. What a guy.
Ladd then carried Versteeg back to their vehicle, and thus ended the trek. And what a trek it was.
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