Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 08/16/14 at 11:09 PM ET
If you're transfixed by the Kevin Hayes sweepstakes, the Providence Journal's Mark Divver reports that former Chicago Blackhawks first-round pick and 6'4," 216-pound power forward and Boston College graduate is going about the "wining and dining process" in the usual manner:
I used to think that 22-or-23-year-old players allowing themselves to be treated like accomplished NHL players available for nothing but the price of their contract was, to say the least, a little ego-driven.
That's changed after watching what happens to every NCAA-playing prospect who takes part in the Red Wings' summer development camp on the last day thereof: the team sets up bins in which the players deposit their jerseys, their socks, their pants and pant shells, any sticks or gloves or helmets the team "lent" them, even any t-shirts, hats or shorts the team gave them to wear.
The players pay their own way up to the camp, they pay for their own accommodations, food, attending the camp, and they can't so much as keep a t-shirt or they'll lose their NCAA eligibility. After living in that environment for 4, 5 or 6 years (as soon as players "commit," they've got to act accordingly), suddenly being treated like a superstar in the making and being allowed to get stuff from the vast majority of the NHL's teams, be they baseball hats, team-themed iPads or whatever...
It's got to feel like living in the lap of luxury, so of course they're going to listen to every single team that's willing to give them their pitch as to why NHL Destination X is the best one for them.
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