Chicago Blackhawks

Walk us through your night with the team after winning the Stanley Cup.

What people see is the celebration in the locker room which is probably the coolest part. Everyone is partying, smoking cigars and spraying the coaches with champagne. Finally you shower, put your suit on and get on the plane. What you don’t see is that the plane ride is a big party too. As soon as we landed in Chicago there were fire trucks and cop cars along the entire runway, they were shooting water on the plane. It was pretty cool. There were probably 500 people going nuts by our bus on the tarmac where we pulled up to. Then we took the bus to Harry Caray’s.

When did you finally make it to the bar?

When we went to Harry Caray’s it was probably 6 a.m. and there were still thousands of people outside. We brought the cup through and let everyone see it. We were there for a half hour and then we came here to The Scout. It was closed but they made an exception. People knew we were coming here so there were helicopters in the air.

At what moment did it all sink in?

The team had chartered all of our families out to Boston. Everyone lifts the cup and you take the pictures and all of the team’s families are down by the zamboni entrance. I was standing there all pumped up waiting for my family to come out when I saw my mom come running up to me crying. That was the only time I teared up. That was probably the best part of it all.

Did you stick around Chicago this summer?

I stayed. I knew I was still going to be living here this summer. A lot of guys stuck around a week and a half or two weeks after we won to celebrate. I golfed a lot this summer and went boating on Lake Michigan. I went home for a week but other than that there wasn’t a crazy amount of time to just sit around. I’m close enough to home that I had a lot of friends come in town to visit so that was cool.

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Who did you look up to in the NHL when you were growing up?

Definitely guys like Brett Hull and Brendan Shanahan, those are my two favorites. I look up to a lot of Blues players so it’s kind of funny that I ended up playing here.

Now that you’re playing alongside the pros you’ve watched for years, are the players how you thought they would be?

No. I think growing up or even in college before you go pro you have these notions about what NHL guys are like. Then you finally get to play with them and you’re thinking, “These are actually normal, goofy guys.” It’s crazy to think about what I thought an NHL guy would be like when I was 15 or 16. We mess around with each other a lot and pull pranks on each other.

Best prank that’s been pulled?

I still owe Crawford. One day I came back from practice and he had cut my socks. I was like, “What the hell is this about?” I find out he had put a bunch of honey in the bottom of my shoes so when I put my feet in my shoes I felt the honey. I still have to get him back for that one!

Is there anyone on the team who can’t handle being pranked?

[Patrick] Sharp doesn’t like being pranked. He likes dishing it but he doesn’t like taking it.

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Biggest flirt?

I don’t know. There are plenty of flirts! But there are also married guys.

You probably don’t need much of a pick-up line when you arrive with the cup.

[Laughs] That is actually kinda true. The Cup is the biggest flirt.

What would you be doing if hockey didn’t work out?

Realistically? If I didn’t make it to the NHL I don’t know. I left college after two years. I signed with the Hawks after my sophomore year so I probably would go back to school. I always wanted to be an architect.

Any meaning behind your tattoos?

It’s all family stuff. This is Saint Michael, the protector of the people. This lion is for my dad, he is a Leo. This one is my mom’s birth flower and then I have one for my sister and my two grandmas and grandpas.

Who do you turn to for advice?

My mom for sure. I’m a momma’s boy in that sense.

Do you cook?

I do, a lot. I was a cook for two years back home actually. That was my favorite job, besides the one I have now.

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Are you a grill guy?

I like to grill. I don’t have a grill here though. I live on the 75th floor.

Last song you downloaded?

“Wrecking Ball” [by Miley Cyrus]! No, but that would be a funny answer. I actually can’t remember.

Favorite TV show?

I’m into “Breaking Bad” right now. I’m on the second season trying to catch up. My favorite is “Californication”.

Single?

I am.

Biggest turn off?

Bad breath.

If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?

I guess a hockey guy would be too cliché? I think Mark Messier would be a good one for hockey. I heard he likes to party a little bit. Who would be a sick rockstar? Tommy Lee would be cool.

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