It was an interview we caught a little earlier this Summer at Stand Up for the Cure in Muskegon, but as the beginnings of the Fall season start and there's a familiar chill in the air, people start thinking a little more about hockey.
Our long standing tradition continues this year in Muskegon as the Lumberjacks of the USHL get ready for their 2018-19 campaign in a newly renovated LC Walker Arena. It will be a new experience for the fans with the new lay out of the facility, menu options, Rad Dad's Taco's inside the place and a lot of new fun amenities that have been added to enhance the experience. It's also a pretty good mix of returning players and new faces who are on their way to bright futures in the NCAA ranks or maybe on their way to the NHL to live out their hockey dreams on the grandest of stages. Currently, there are 25 former Muskegon Lumberjacks who have been drafted by NHL teams and the list keeps growing.
We've been known for some pretty amazing local hockey players. Former pros who have stuck around town, younger players who have gone on to bigger things....some former coaches who are now top brass for their NHL teams, but none stand out more at the moment than Justin Abdelkader of the Detroit Red Wings. Justin played in the USHL for Cedar Rapids, went on to Michigan State, The Grand Rapids Griffins and then got the call to be a Red Wing. What Michigan hockey kid doesn't dream of that? He's given us all something to be very proud of and represents himself and his community well all over the world.
Justin was home for a while this Summer and made a surprise guest appearance to help raise a few bucks against breast cancer at Stand Up for the Cure and since Andy O was the emcee, we grabbed some footage of the chat and learned a little about the off season, his career and how the USHL help shape him to be the player he is today. Take a listen.
Our thanks to Justin for taking a few minutes to talk hockey in his "off season" and of course, our thanks too to Justin for coming home to support such an important cause. He's a great young man and as hockey season approaches...remember the work and dedication it takes to get the the level he did and how we've got that same drive and determination happening right here at the LC Walker Arena from October-April. The future of the NHL is happening right here and now in Muskegon! Be there for it! You can learn more about the Lumberjacks by visiting their website below.