Picking A New Favorite

As you may or may not know...I'm guessing probably not...my favorite Chicago Blackhawk, Tuomo Ruutu, has been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. I was crushed. Today was my first post-Tuomo Blackhawks game. (I was invited to the March 12 Chicago v. Carolina game, but I refused to go because it would mean seeing Tuomo as a Hurricane.) I have recovered enough from the loss to begin thinking about replacing him with a new favorite Blackhawk.

So today I gave it some thought. I watched a few different guys and thought about what I would require in a new favorite. I actually picked Tuomo based strictly on the facts that a) he's cute and b) his name is really fun to say. One of my first games, they showed him on the jumbo-tron translating some hockey terms into Finnish and I was instantly smitten. I tried to "get over it" and find someone I like strictly on hockey, but could never shake it off. I was (and am) determined that this time, I would go based on merit!

But what does that mean? I decided that I was going to go with one of the "old-timers." I wanted somebody around my age or older. Problem. Hockey is a young man's game. Chicago only has, like, five guys in their 30's. Two of them are goalies. Khabibulin's ok, but he just doesn't set off my "favorite" button. Lalime hardly ever plays when I'm there - so he's out.

Mike tried to turn me on to Lang. My interest was piqued...then he said that he'd played for the Red Wings. He's not passing his left-overs off on me. Bah!

That pretty much left Yanic Perreault, who was the only older player we could think of. I hadn't ever really heard of him, but he was pretty much the front runner.

But then, I saw this...

...and am intrigued. Wisniewski is a player that I've heard of. Today, in fact, he scored the goal that tied up the game with 56 seconds to go - sending it into overtime. (Sorry about the ad first - Stupid NHL.com.)

Everybody knows that the fighting is the best part of hockey...so I asked Mikey who the "enforcer" is. He kinda shrugged and said that Adam Burish does his share of fighting. I dismissed him off-hand because (while he's cute), he's only 25. Imagine my dismay to find out that James Wisniewski is only 24! Geez - if I was going for a baby, I'd have picked Patrick Kane - who is so a-damn-dorable that he's hard to resist!

And then, when the fighting video was finished, it brought up a link to this...

...and I'm afraid I may be smitten again.

I'm torn. On one hand, he's got a solid hockey base for being my new favorite. On top of that, he's a Polak from the suburbs of Detroit...and I do love Detroit Polaks (I married one, didn't I?) And, he's kind of a Baldwin - in a hockey player sort of way. Hockey is not rife with pretty boys like baseball - so it's always a bonus when they're cute.

On the other, he's 24. Twenty. Four. And only just! I really wanted to go with experience this time. But I can't help myself. I'm trying him on for "new favorite player" size.

I wonder if it'll take.

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