Mayers helps Blackhawks fans relive Stanley Cup run
For the Blackhawks fans who showed up Sunday at the Fox Lake Theatre for a screening of the film "17 Seconds," their Stanley Cup runneth over.
Not only did they get to relive the excitement of the championship season, with heartwarming and amusing scenes such as Patrick Sharp serving ice cream from the Cup at a family picnic, but they also had a chance to visit with one of the players, former Blackhawk and 17-year NHL veteran Jamal Mayers.
Mayers, who retired last year, is now an analyst with the NHL Network, spoke with veteran sports broadcaster Chet Coppock following the documentary, talking a little bit about his transition from the bench to the broadcast booth.
"It's tough. I mean, I played pro hockey for 17 years," said Mayers, who lives in St. Louis but travels to Toronto for his broadcast duties.
He said the idea of coaching is attractive, but also noted the time that would take him away from his family.
"Coaching is more responsibility," he said. "You're there at the rink on a game day at 7:30-8 (in the morning), and you don't leave until 11 (p.m.) possibly. It's not something I want to do now."
The screening was the third of four the Blackhawks and Daily Herald partnered to present in the suburbs in January and February. The last screening is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22 at York Theatre, 150 N. York St., Elmhurst.
Grayslake resident Seann O'Gara said he enjoyed the movie.
"It's like celebrating the championship all over again," he said.
His wife, Regina, said, "It took you through so much of the celebration and behind the scenes that it just made you just feel a part of it."
Gail Brooks, of Bull Valley, attended with her 12-year-old grandson, Logan Cudlip, who said it was "awesome" to get an autograph from Mayers.
"He has a huge Blackhawks collection," Brooks said. "I wasn't a big sports fan, but he got me into hockey."
Mike McKenna of Johnsburg said he took his 13-year-old twins, son Johnny and daughter Gabe, to the movie to get them more involved in the Blackhawks.
He recalled his dad taking him to see the Blackhawks play in the 1973 Stanley Cup Finals against the Montreal Canadiens.
"My dad had great mezzanine seats. He brought my brother and I and our mom, instead of bringing his buddies. We didn't know anything about hockey, and a huge game like that, it was pretty cool," he said. "So that's when I caught the fever."
Coppock said "17 Seconds" offers unprecedented access to the fan and captures the entire story of the Blackhawks championship run. Its title refers to the 17 seconds in which the Blackhawks scored two goals to claim the Cup in Game 6 of last year's finals.
"For a hockey aficionado, whether you root for the Blackhawks or root for the Phoenix Coyotes, it's a banana split with a cherry on top," Coppock said.