Prospect Ramblings: Vegas Strong: More than hockey (Oct 11 2017)

by Joel Henderson on October 11, 2017

#VegasStrong

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Going through hashtags of Vegas Strong from Tuesday evening, simply learning about what took place Tuesday evening in the NHL's new franchise. 

In case you missed it, here are a number of things designed to show that in the face of turmoil, trauma, and tragedy, that the NHL stands together above "my team vs your team" to show that there are way more important things in life. Sports has a way of blinding us to our favorite player's terrible corsi or our agitator's scuminess because we want to be for something and against something else. It's acceptable in sports to an extent. It's not acceptable in life.  

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  1. Vegas lifted the advertisements on the boards to show "Vegas Strong" (as shown above)

  2. Arizona Coyotes tweeted at Vegas honoring the city. 

  3. Vegas released a 2:07 video giving honor to first responders, those who gave blood after, and showing the passion of the city to pull together.  

  4. Vegas walked out on a carpet some of the men and women that serve the community in order to show who are the "real heroes" are. 

  5. Vegas is auctioning off their practice jerseys. 

  6. "The game will come and the game will be played." - Gerard Gallant speaking about how the game is important but the whole night has more emotions attached to it.  

  7. "Strength is valet parkers who become medic, mothers who become emergency responders." - Vegas video 

  8. The Blue Man Group made a sweet video supporting the efforts as did others from the community.  

  9. The anthem for the evening was led by a Route 91 Harvest Festival team member. (The music festival of the shooting) 

  10. A portion of the ticket prices were donated to Las Vegas Victims' Fund. You can donate here too if you like.  LINK

The first home game played by the Vegas Golden Knights will always be attached to this. There are so many things in this world which are out of our control and it's wonderful to have stuff like fantasy hockey which play a small part in creating comradery, conversation, and joy for the game that we love.  

At the end of the day, we pause and realize the things in our families, communities, nation and world that mean more.  

I wish I could have been there Vegas. Instead, I'll send a text to someone I love letting them know I love them.  

In the spirit of honoring prospects and those who are the "next to come", let's take a look at 3 players who maybe you love already or maybe you've never heard of.  

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Garrett McFadden  - D

Currently skating with the Guelph Storm, Garrett had 37 points in 58 contests last season. The former first-round OHL selection wears the "C" for the Storm for the second year in a row and was the OHL recipient for 2016-17 of the Humanitarian of the Year Award. He honors the tragic suicide of a close friend by creating, "McFadden's Movement" which raises local awareness of the stigma towards mental health.  

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Samuel Laberge - LW

This two-time winner of the QMJHL Humanitarian award had 45 points in 40 games for Rimouski in 2016-17. He has been known for being a leader in the locker room and taking charge with team efforts within the community. He has also been recognized for partnering with Eastern Cancer Association of Quebec in order to raise funds for the "Shaved Heads" challenge. He is currently playing for the Texas Stars in the AHL and has one assist in two games.  

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Tyler Wong - RW

Fitting with tonight's event, I get to shed light on the 2016-17 Humanitarian of the Year for both the WHL and the CHL. While Captaining the Lethbridge Hurricanes last year, he was able to gather a whopping 109 points in 69 games, including 51 goals. This had led to an WHL training camp with Vegas and now playing for the Chicago Wolves in a continued search for an NHL contractWanna know why else those goals are important? It led to $5 being given to the KidSport Lethbridge and Taber for every goal he scored. While that number only means $255 dollars, he was able to rally the support of teammates, alumni, and the community to raise over $13,000 for the cause in 2016-17.  

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I noticed also that players such as Robert Thomas, Zachary Senyshyn and Michael DiPietro were nominated by their own teams from the OHL. Anders Bjork was nominated by the University of Notre Dame. I'm certainly no expert on these causes of these initiatives as I had to dig into these particular three for the first time for my ramblings this week.  

This point is this....

Hockey is a beautiful game. 

I'm glad we are raising good men and women to play it. These are the leaders in the community now and for the future.  

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"Vegas showed what it was made of...and we don't mean our hockey team." 

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Joel Henderson - AE DobberProspects, Covering the Calgary Flames

Follow me @dathockeydoe