"It's a pretty big game. You play all your life for a chance to play in games like that, so if there's any way you can go, you play. My coach was worried about me. I told him, 'Don't worry. I'm fine.' And I really was. In hockey, it's just pride. You're supposed to be big, strong and tough anyway, and at this time of year, there's so much pride playing for the Cup. You've been hearing about it since you were 2 years old.''Ryan Malone then went on to make more national news for his exemplary play during the 2010 Olympics putting up 5 points in 6 games in USA's route to the Gold Medal game. However, last night I learned another thing about Ryan Malone and his dedication to the sport and to his team.
Last night, watching the Blackhawks/ Lightning preseason game, I had my eye on Lightning player #12. Assuming this to be Ryan Malone, I got excited early on anytime he got close to the puck. However, I soon realized that #12 was Lightning addition Simon Gagne. My wife and I both perplexed as to why Malone was not wearing jersey #12, began to investigate immediately. I found this article over at Pro Hockey Talk that discusses the jersey number change. Essentially, the article talks about how Ryan Malone gave up the #12 and instead took #6 as a gesture to welcome Gagne to his new team and expected nothing in return. Malone had this to say:
"I said we're happy to have him on the team. He's done some great things with that number and it was time for a change for myself, I thought, so it was no problem at all. I just said with open arms, 'Come join the team.' "Gagne's response to such a generous offer:
"It showed the class of the guy. I heard a lot of great things about him, but by giving No. 12 away that just showed the person he is. I'll try to buy him dinner on the road this year or something like that. It's a number I've been wearing since I was a kid, so it means a lot to me."
"I called him back and asked him what he wanted for it and he said nothing. I never met the guy. I never met anyone here. It showed the welcome."Ryan Malone truly is a class act and is a great example of the high quality and high character players that have come through St. Cloud State. Go Huskies!