Jamal Mayers was much admired in the Chicago Blackhawks’ locker room the past two seasons.
The veteran forward was more of a healthy scratch during the abbreviated 2012-13 season, but his leadership and voice were nevertheless still revered and heeded, especially in the postseason. And while he didn’t get into at least one Stanley Cup game, Mayers’ importance to the Blackhawks’ latest Cup run was recognized in the best way possible.
Mayers’ name is on the Stanley Cup, which is now engraved to include the 2012-13 Blackhawks players and select staff. For Mayers, getting his name on the Cup, the one he was the third among the Blackhawks to hoist following the Game 6 victory in Boston, is special.
“It’s just a huge honor and special moment for me and my family,” Mayers said via text. “To be able to show my kids when they’re older is so special.”
Coach Joel Quenneville said, “good for Jammer. I’m happy for him. He was a big part of our team. We loved what he brought, the experience, professionalism and leadership. I’m sure he had a great summer with the Cup. It’s always a proud moment.”
Daniel Carcillo, who played 23 regular-season games and in the first round against the Minnesota Wild; and Ben Smith, who was a late replacement when Marian Hossa couldn’t play in Game 3 in Boston, are also on the Cup.
Toews had told Mayers prior to Game 6 that, if the Blackhawks won that night, he would be the third to get the Cup after Michal Handzus. A few days after that victory, Toews said he learned a lot from having players like Mayers in the room.
“Every year as a captain you learn how the team works and especially when you have veterans like Mayers around… . You police the way you handle yourself in an NHL locker room,” Toews said. “Sometimes that won’t come from the young guys; you don’t understand it unless you play with older players. As I’ve gone along as a captain you understand more of what your job is. It all matters, it all adds up. You definitely learn a lot from being around guys like that.”
Marian Hossa skated for approximately 40 minutes prior to the Blackhawks’ practice on Thursday. Quenneville is hopeful Hossa (upper body) will join practice on Friday; if not, Hossa will skate prior to practice. Quenneville added he’s “shooting for” Hossa to play in the team’s regular-season opener vs. the Washington Capitals on Oct. 1.
Andrew Shaw will play in the Blackhawks’ final preseason game on Saturday night.
Michal Handzus will not play in Saturday’s preseason game. Quenneville said he should be ready for the season opener on Oct. 1.