Every Monday I sit on the red line on my way down to work and listen to the Hockeenight Puckcast. If you're not already a regular listener, I highly recommend it. Seriously, go to iTunes right now and subscribe to it. I'll wait.
Alright welcome back. So this week I was listening when something extra special happened. The guys were calling dibs on which Coyotes player they would hate on during the upcoming playoff series. If Coyotes fans didn't hate Blackhawks fans going into this series, they will by the time it is over. Right after he claimed Radim Vrbata, Andrew Cieslak designated me as the Official Adrian Aucoin Hater™. Perfect.
My hate for Adrian Aucoin is no secret. Hell, its been in my Twitter bio for a long time. But only a few people know the full extent of this passionate loathing. To fully grasp this, you'll need a short history lesson in my Blackhawks fanhood.
I grew up as a Hawks fan since birth. My dad was a Hawks fan. I remember one winter my dad and uncles built a pontoon boat in my garage. I spent plenty of nights out there watching Hawks games while they worked on the boat. They named the boat The Blackhawk and it still sits in the water, covered in indian head decals. This wasn't just some casual fanhood.
I turned 16 two days before the end of the lockout. I went to the first game post-lockout with my family. I'll never forget that abysmal 5-3 loss to the Ducks. The Hawks got goals from Curtis Brown, Mark Bell, and Rene Bourque. Teemu, Joffrey Lupul, and both Niedermayers scored for the Mighty Ducks. For some reason I walked out of the UC that night with one thought in my mind, "THAT. WAS. AWESOME."
Enter Adrian Aucoin. Aucoin was signed as one of the big free agent acquisitions by Dale Tallon along with reigning Cup champ Nikolai Khabibulin and center Martin LaPointe. If you don't wince reading that sentence, I am calling your fanhood into question. I loved that awful team. I drove out to a couple more games that season to hang out with 3,000 of my closest friends for the low price of $5 and perpetual disappointment. The Hawks finished 14th in the West that year. I should've been institutionalized for having any faith in them.
The next summer I was pumped for the new season to start. I went with my friend Bob to the Blackhawks Training Camp on a Saturday morning in September. We showed up about half an hour late but got some seats about 5 rows off the ice. There were only three sections open that day. Think about that the next time you see a sold out United Center during a Training Camp Festival.
We hung out that afternoon watching the Hawks do drills. We heckled a few guys, most notably this new Bi-FOO-glee-IN guy. As the crowd thinned out throughout the day, we moved closer to the glass. Eventually the last group came out and we moved all the way up to the first row. I was giddy.
As that final group of the day ran through their drills, a Reed Simpson punch wouldn't have been able to get that smile off my face. We stayed all the way until the end of the practice as watched as the guys started to clear off the ice.
Then I saw him start to skate over. Adrian Aucoin was skating right toward me with a puck on his stick. He pulled up right in front of us. He flipped a puck up, aiming it over the glass. It was the coolest moment of my entire life. Until the puck hit the glass and tumbled back down onto the ice. Adrian Aucoin looked down, looked back up at me, shrugged, and skated away.
Now, there are two possibilities here. Scenario A: Adrian Aucoin really wanted to flip that puck to me, but is too incompetent of a hockey player to clear a puck over the glass. Instead of trying again, he gave up like the loser he is. Scenario B: Adrian Aucoin is an awful human being who wanted to toy with the emotions of a 16 year old kid who loved the Hawks more than anything in the world.
I don't see Bob very often these days. Its been a few years at least. But I can guarantee the last conversation we had started with "Hey remember how big of a dick Adrian Aucoin was?"
Captain Healthy Scratch went on to score 16 points and post a -22 in 59 games played for the Blackhawks that season. He was absolutely abysmal. He was the worst capatain in Blackhawks history. Of course he left the Hawks for Calgary where he had a couple of decent seasons before resurrecting his career in Phoenix. But he just had to make sure he made my life miserable before he went on to do that.
I can't begin to explain how badly I want the Hawks to demolish the Coyotes. It would make me feel like my 16 year old self has been avenged. If anyone would like to donate some tickets near the Coyotes bench, I'd love to express my displeasure with Adrian Aucoin in person.