'Mad Dog' and 'Beauty?' Hawks have more names for you

May, 18, 2010

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Hockey players love their nicknames, and the Blackhawks' dressing room is no different. Forward Andrew Ladd was kind enough Tuesday morning to give us a detailed account of the Chicago monikers.

"OK, let's start with [Patrick] Kane here beside me, we call him the 'Doctor,'" Ladd said, adding that it was in honor of Kane's offensive wizardry.

"John Madden, he's 'Mad Dog.' We call Patrick Sharp, 'Shooter.' We call Dave Bolland the 'Rat' or 'Greyhound,'" Ladd said before Bolland interrupted from across the room.

"Let's stick with 'Greyhound,'" Bolland said.

"Jonathan Toews is 'Captain Serious,'" continued Ladd. "Brent Seabrook is 'Seabiscuit.' Brian Campbell is 'Soup' or 'Rusty.' He calls Duncan Keith 'Jigsaw.' Who else ... Oh, [Niklas] Hjalmarsson, we call him 'Jelly.' I'm not sure where that came from. I'm just 'Laddy.' Troy Brouwer is just 'Brow.' [Colin] Fraser is just 'Fraz.' [Ben] Eager is just 'Eags.'"

At this point, Ladd wondered who he didn't cover. We suggested Antti Niemi.

"Oh yeah, he's 'Nemo,'" said Ladd. "[Cristobal] Huet is 'Huey.'"

And Dustin Byfuglien?

"'Buff' or 'Big Poppa,'" chuckled Ladd.

Marian Hossa is "Hoss," Tomas Kopecky is "Kopy" and Adam Burish is "Burkett".


"Yeah, I don't know why," laughed Ladd. "I think Duncs came up with that."

And finally, the one that takes the cake is Kris Versteeg.

"He's 'Beauty,'" said Ladd. "I think that's self-proclaimed. He calls himself that."

"Yeah, man ... 'Beauty,'" Versteeg yelled across the room.

"So there you go, we've got a few," said Ladd.

Ottawa Sharks

The Ottawa connection runs deep in the Sharks' organization, starting at the top with the GM, former Ottawa 67s junior star Doug Wilson.

Then, you've got current Sharks defensemen Dan Boyle and Kent Huskins, who hail from the Ottawa area, and Sharks forwards Logan Couture and Jamie McGinn, who are former Ottawa 67s, as is Derek Joslin, who spent most of the season with the Sharks' AHL affiliate in Worcester.

"It's pretty wild," Couture said Tuesday.

Couture and McGinn played together with the 67s, then the AHL Sharks and now the NHL Sharks.

"It's pretty amazing," said McGinn. "We were linemates and roommates for a little bit in Ottawa. It's kind of neat. It all started with Derek Joslin in Ottawa, who was first drafted by San Jose. We were all sitting around one day saying, 'Wouldn't it be cool if we could all get drafted by the same team?' Then, I went to San Jose next. Logan, we weren't sure because we knew he'd be a high pick. San Jose traded up to draft him. So it's been something special to be able to share all this with people you know."

Couture and McGinn sit near each other in the Sharks' dressing room.

"We've known each other since I was 16, that's five years now," said Couture. "We've had similar routes to get to the NHL, so it's been pretty cool."

McGinn said it has helped with the transition to pro hockey.

"It's great coming to training camp with people you know," said McGinn. "It makes it easier. We're going through the steps with each other. When we're in Worcester, we help each other in trying to get back up to this level."

McGinn and Couture are currently staying in an extended stay hotel-type of place along with Jason Demers, Dwight Helminen and third goalie Henrik Karlsson.

"We hang out and have cookouts by the pool," said McGinn. "There's a big barbecue there. It's nice."

Who cooks?

"Demers cooks a ton, I cook a little bit, Helminen cooks too, everyone chips in," said Couture.

Eager Ben

Rugged Blackhawks fourth-liner Ben Eager found it tough when he was scratched for four games earlier in the playoffs, but he's played well since returning for Game 2 against Vancouver in the second round and hasn't missed a game since.

"I was definitely disappointed not being in the lineup," Eager said Tuesday. "But you now, it's not the time of the year to have an off game because the lineup is going to get changed. And it did. So it took a while to get back, but I did against Vancouver. I feel like I'm a playoff-type player and it's nice to be back in.

"I've tried to always be a complete player. In junior, I scored some goals and kind of did a bit of everything. But you get in the minors and usually the quickest way to get to the NHL is dropping the gloves. I took that route, and maybe a bit too much. Because when you do make the NHL, you're expected to do it all the time.

"I don't want to say you get pigeonholed as a fighter, but I feel like I can play and I've tried to show that here the last couple of years, and it's nice to play in the playoffs because then people start to realize that."

Pierre LeBrun

ESPN Senior Writer



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