This is one of those times when I wish that I had some journalistic expertise so that I could write a proper article, because this person really deserves it.
Of course I'm referring to Glen Wesley.
If you wanted to paint a picture of a prototype athlete as well as a person, you couldn't go wrong with Glen's portrait. He's a player who would do anything within his power to help his team. He's a person who will do anything within his power to help his community.
I can remember game after game when Glen would sacrifice his body to try to block shots. Sometimes he would hobble or limp back to the bench, only to come back out on his next shift and do it all over again. One time I remember he blocked a shot, and pulled himself up limping, only to throw himself in front of another shot just a few seconds later.
He suffered from plenty of injuries over the course of his career, and has the battle scars to show for it. And while Glen wasn't always the fastest skater or hardest shooter on the team, he made up for any deficiencies with heart. No one could claim that they tried harder than Glen Wesley.
After toiling away in the NHL for 18 years with the dream of holding the Stanley Cup always in his thoughts, what did Glen do during his day with the Cup after he finally did achieve his life long dream? Did he party with it until all hours of the night? Did he take it to his family retreat and celebrate privately?
Nope, Glen chose to share his delight with strangers by taking the Cup to Camp Lejeune and allowing wounded Marines the chance to see it. He also took it to his church and shared it with his worship community. That's the type of person Glen Wesley is.
There are a few outstanding articles out about Glen, and I will link to a couple of them. Hurricanes PR guy, Mike Sundheim does an excellent job with this posting. Luke DeCock offers some input with this detailed article.
There is an outstanding photo collage put out by the News and Observer here.
850 The Buzz posted links to a recording of the press conference as well as an interview with the defenseman by Joe Ovies.
99.9 The Fan also posted a link to the press conference, an interview with Mark Thomas, as well as commentary by John Forslund.
Glen Wesley is a character guy and his presence on the ice will be missed. But fortunately, his presence off the ice won't be because the Canes were savvy enough to create a new position and hire him to fill it. I can't think of a better person to be the new DDD, Director of Defensemen Development.
I admit that I criticize Peter Karmanos and Jim Rutherford from time to time, but they run a first class operation for the players. It's obvious, because most players prefer not to leave once they get here. They certainly did the right thing in this case for Glen, and I commend them for it.
That will be one touching moment, when number 2 is lifted to the rafters. I can't wait.