Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 09/23/09 at 09:20 PM ET
Eric Staal sat out of practice today. Not because of some injury or illness that would have us all worried. Nothing like that at all. His wife Tanya gave birth to the couple’s first child—a boy—on Tuesday, and he spent the day with her and their newborn son.
Parker Lucas Staal won’t grow up with a makeshift hockey rink in the back yard. He won’t grow up working on a sod farm either. He will, though, have a destiny that Hurricanes prospect Brandon Sutter knows all about. A father and uncles who were all not only players, but star players in the NHL. A name to live up to. Some would call it a cross to bear. Awfully big shoes to fill.
Sons of famous athletes often attempt to follow in their fathers footsteps. In some cases (Sutter family, Howe family, baseball’s Alou family and Ken Griffey Sr/Jr, football’s Manning family, to name a few) , things go quite well with the second generation. Some, most famously Ted Williams’ son John Henry Williams, are epic failures. More often than we know, the kid has no interest in following his dad’s footsteps. I get the feeling that this one will.
This Staal kid won’t have a choice in the matter. He’s got hockey in his blood. Only time will tell if he’ll be as good as his dad or his uncles. Hopefully, at the 2027 NHL Entry Draft, we’ll hear Parker Staal’s name called in the first round. EDIT Make that the 2028 draft. Players must be 18 by September 15 of a draft year, and he arrived a week after that.
And so it begins. The second generation of Staals.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.