Sometimes I find myself critical of a few NHL players and have to remind myself that they’re just kids. 

“The education of those players is going to be very low,” said Jeremy Roenick, “I would say that most of them have high school educations, not college educations, and not to put athletes down, but they are not the brightest bulbs in the box.”

I find the following piece quite insightful.  

The father of former GM Dale Tallon had died, and the coaches and players decided to bus from Toronto to Gravenhurst, Ontario where Mr. Tallon lay in state:  


“It was getting late when the buses departed for the 110-mile drive back to Toronto and the charter home, and the players were hungry,” wrote Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily Herald

“It’s cottage country up there and it was around 9 at night and there was really nothing open,” Hawks center Dave Bolland said.

Nothing but a McDonald’s and a Harvey’s, a Canadian hamburger chain. The players’ bus went to McDonald’s, at Patrick Kane’s urging, while the coaches’ bus hit the Harvey’s. The players, still dressed in their travel suits, piled into McDonald’s to eat.

There weren’t a lot of people in the restaurant and the players said they barely were recognized as they ordered.

“I’d say there were about 10 people there, maybe,” Sharp said. “I don’t know if they were surprised and knew we were an NHL team, or if they were just surprised a bus load of guys came in in their suits.”

What did happen was the players acted like kids when they saw a display of hockey cards that McDonald’s was giving with the purchase of meals.

“It was cool when you walked in, there were all these hockey cards on the wall because it was a giveaway and if you bought a Happy Meal you got a set of cards,” Sharp said. “So right away everyone was looking to see if they were in this set of cards. But it was just Kane and (Jonathan) Toews and maybe (Nikolai) Khabibulin. I think it was just the three of them.”

The players filled the restaurant, eating their burgers and fries as people in the store finally began to sense this was the Chicago Blackhawks eating in their little town.

“It was pretty funny because most guys don’t eat McDonald’s,” Bolland said. “The last time I had McDonald’s was, I think, last summer.”

“Not to sound like I’m a health nut or anything, but I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s in years,” Sharp said. “It was funny to see guys like Dunc (Keith) and Ben Eager, guys that really, really take care of themselves and watch what they eat, sitting there eating chicken nuggets and Big Macs.”


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