Thursday, January 15, 2009

No acclaim, just the right thing

You may have already read Rick Morrissey's Dec. 14th column from the Chicago Tribune. It's made the rounds on the internet, so I'm a little late to the party...

If you've not read it, it's a wonderful story of solidarity and compassion.

Here's a link to the column, but the story is about Dale Tallon (pictured here), GM of the Chicago Blackhawks, who was attending his father's funeral when he "looked up and noticed a few members of the Hawks' front office wandering into the funeral home."

That's odd, he thought. This is Gravenhurst, Ontario. They're supposed to be in Chicago. Then he saw some Hawks players walking through the door — Adam Burish, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Cristobal Huet. On and on it went, fresh-faced kids and battle-scarred veterans. Coach Joel Quenneville and his staff. The trainers. John McDonough, the team president, too.

"I told my mother, 'Mom, the team's here. The whole team's here,' " Tallon said. "She said, 'You've got to be kidding.' She became 6 feet tall all of a sudden. She went from one emotion to another, a complete 180. She went from distraught to all of a sudden having a little fire in her eye."

As Morrissey describes in the column, "On Nov. 22, the Blackhawks beat the Maple Leafs 5-4 on Dave Bolland's goal in overtime. Rather than take a chartered flight back to Chicago, the team decided to stay in Toronto, practice the next day and then make the 110-mile trip north to Gravenhurst for the wake. That's how it came to be that two busloads of Hawks personnel walked through the doors of a funeral home in the middle of Ontario on a cold night. No acclaim. No hubbub. Just a nice thing, the right thing."