Our series on the eight new Blackhawks continues today with Tommy Wingels, who signed a one-year deal in the off-season so he could play for the team he grew up rooting for as a kid.
Wingels is a no-nonsense player who knows exactly what the team has stood for since John McDonough took over 10 years ago.
"If you want to join a team that has the best chance of winning the Stanley Cup, this is the place to do it," Wingels said on the first day of training camp. "The guys in this locker room believe it. The guys in this organization believe it. The coaches believe it. And anything but a championship is a failure.
"As a player, that's the only reason to play this game. That's why I play this game."
The 29-year-old Wingels, a Wilmette native, spent most of his career playing with San Jose and has 54 goals in 383 games.
The ins and outs of Tommy Wingels
Started playing when he was: 4 years old
How he got started: "I started figure skating at Centennial Ice Arena in Willmette, and there was hockey in the other arena. I came home one day and said, 'I want to try that.' "
Favorite hockey memory: Making the Stanley Cup Final with San Jose in 2016. "Yeah, we lost, but it was an incredible experience. It's what every player plays for. To have the whole world watching your series is pretty fun, so hopefully we can do that again."
Favorite movie: Caddyshack
Favorite food: Sushi
Favorite music: "Whatever's on the radio works for me."
Team you grew up rooting for: Blackhawks
Favorite player growing up: Steve Yzerman. "He was a competitive guy, a great leader. Just a fun guy to watch."
How big of a fan were you of the Hawks growing up? "You have to be. Growing up, you go through the ranks of your local organizations playing hockey, and moving on throughout the levels, but the one thing in the city of Chicago was Blackhawks hockey.
"And most kids now -- now more than ever -- think they're going to play in the NHL, and everyone wants to play with the Chicago Blackhawks. … When you have the opportunity to play for the team you grew up dreaming about and all your friends and family back home watch on a daily basis, it's just an opportunity that's too good to be true."
On watching the Hawks win the Stanley Cup in 2010: "I was in my apartment downtown and they won. I was with San Jose at the time, so there's different emotions going through your head because you want your team and your organization to win. But you could hear the noise in the streets and the people celebrating in the city. It wasn't just here at the UC.
"It was people in their rooms watching, people in the bars spilling into the streets. That kind of set the tone. I think when you saw the Cubs win (in 2016), they followed the path of what the Blackhawks and the fans had done celebrating in the streets. It was fun to see."
-- John Dietz