Before and after the Stanley Cup, CBC has a tradition of going through each player on both teams (only reiterating the winning team at the conclusion of the series) and having them name who they are, where they’re from and who their hockey idol was as a child.
I was devasted to hear that game 1 hero, goon-in-the-making, Chicago Blackhawk forward Andrew Shaw named the venerable Wendel Clark as his idol. That particularly bummed me out because frankly I dislike Shaw and his questionable style of play—I dislike him A LOT, yet we share the same childhood hockey idol.
Clark was the only Toronto Maple Leaf I liked growing up. Being a young hockey fan living in Detroit (maybe some insight to my distaste for Shaw) I was lucky enough to get CBET, Windsor’s CBC affiliate, so every Saturday I could watch Hockey Night In Canada. Despite Wendel being a nemesis of my Red Wings in the 1993 Norris Division Final—the first hockey I can coherently remember watching—I loved how damn tough he seemed. This dude stood up to my heroes— up to Yzerman, Fedorov, Lidstrom, Konstintinov and Coffey—fearlessly and would grind them down. His aggression and timeliness commanded my attention even at the age of six.
So of course, Shaw couldn’t like Maple Leaf Wendel, right?! No way that’s possible.
I wonder if he liked Fisherman Wendel, Nordique Wendel, Red Wing Wendel, Lightning Bolt Wendel or maybe even (appropriately) Blackhawk Wendel? But no, he certainly couldn’t have been enthralled by the legendary Maple Leaf Wendel. I can’t have that in common with him.
….Or maybe I should stop being such a slap and admit Shaw definitely shares some of those agressive traits with one of the greates mustaches ever to play the game.