Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 12/12/09 at 04:23 PM ET
Hockey players are known for playing through injuries that other athletes wouldn’t. Is it toughness? Stupidity? Steadfastness? Sisu? I don’t know. But what Tim Gleason did last night was simply badassed. After taking a puck to the kisser and suffering a nasty cut, he came back all stitched up and scored an even nastier shorthanded goal:
Even if you’re not a Canes fan, Gleason’s exhibit last night was something to marvel.
I’ve always liked Tim Gleason. Ever since the Canes acquired him, anyway. There’s a lot to like about his defensive play. There’s a lot to like about his brutal honesty and frankness in interviews. There’s a lot to like about the many facets of his team play. He’s proven himself to be a leader, and while Eric Staal was out of the lineup, he was very quietly and very deservedly given one of the As.
I think the makeup of this Hurricanes team will be different next season. I’m thinking that Rod Brind’Amour will opt out of the final year of his contract, and there’s a chance that the aging but still brilliant Ray Whitney won’t be re-signed. The C will go to Eric Staal and one of the As should absolutely go to Tim Gleason. Not just because of what happened Friday night in Washington, but because that isn’t an isolated incident. He played heroically in the playoffs last spring. He gives his all and then some. When he doesn’t perform well, he doesn’t make excuses or point fingers. He’s always a consummate team player and a fan favorite.
I’m sure that Ron Wilson already has Gleason on a short list for Team USA. We’ll find out the Olympic roster on Jan 1, and I’d bet that Tim will be there. They’re looking not just for standout players, but standout teammates. Tim Gleason is just that.
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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.