“Talk about a city of 2.6 million coming together for one common similarity,” said Wings defenseman Eric Moser.
The Chicago Blackhawks won their 3rd Stanley Cup Championship in the last six years and were dubbed a ‘dynasty’ by the NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. The connection between the NAHL and the NHL playoff finale was very close, but so was the connection between the Aberdeen Wings and the area of Chicago.
“Anywhere you go in Chicago, it’s all red jerseys with people celebrating,” said Chicago native and Wings’ Eric Moser.
“It’s one of the coolest things in the world to see the cup come to Chicago three times in the last 6 years,” said Wings defenseman Brendan Riordan from Downers Grove, IL. “10 years ago the home games weren’t even on TV, and now 2 million plus will go to Chicago for the parade to celebrate with the team.”
Now in mid-June, hockey’s biggest trophy has been awarded, but for the Aberdeen Wings the new season has just begun. The 2015 NAHL Draft just wrapped up last week, with the Wings selecting eight forwards to boost offense. The Chicago-based players may have a little extra energy and excitement heading into the 2015-2016 season.
“More importantly,” added Riordan. “It has made me excited to get back to Aberdeen.”
Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad was an NAHL Rookie of the Year back in the 2008-2009 season. Goaltender Scott Darling saw parts of two seasons in the NAHL with the North Iowa Outlaws before spending four years in the minor leagues and independent professional leagues. Darling was given a shot to become a backup and ultimately would have to step in after the Blackhawks benched starter Corey Crawford in the first round of the playoffs. Patrick Kane also played in the NAHL from 2004-2006.
The Tampa Bay Lightning also had representation in the NAHL. Starting goaltender Ben Bishop played for the Texas Tornados and was a first-team All Rookie-Team. Defenseman Andrej Sustr played for the Kenai River Brown Bears and defenseman Matt Carle played in the NAHL from 2000-2002. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper also got his start in the league being named a 2x NAHL Coach of the Year with Texarkana/St. Louis Bandits.
The Wings will report for Main Camp scheduled for July 17-19. Follow for more updates and information on Facebook, Twitter , or AberdeenWings.com.