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  • Writer's pictureSharon Michalove

A Draft Isn't Just For Beer: Brothers As NHL Teammates

Kirby and Colton Dach celebrate Colton being chosen by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2021 .draft

Dr. Cressida Taylor may have a D.Phil in History from Oxford University and be a successful author of historical fiction, but she's also a huge hockey fan. In my forthcoming novel, At First Sight, she even attends a Blackhawks game at the United Center.

I’m sure the combination of hot hockey players and on-ice action will focus attention away from me. My Stan Mikita jersey and a hat change my look. No curls are visible. My Hawks sweater makes my body shapeless. Micki painted my face with some black, red, and white stripes on each cheek, with 50 on my left cheek and 10 on the right, above each red stripe.

I relax, sip a bottle of water, drool over Patrick Sharp. Who doesn’t? Fangirl Corey Crawford. Yay Crow. I have a weakness for goalies. We’re down near the glass, a surprise since I usually sit near the top of the third tier. We watch warm ups and join in the craziness during the singing of the National Anthem. I can’t see the action unfolding as well but the players are almost close enough to touch. Patrick Kane flips a puck over the glass and it lands in my lap. Oh my God...

“He’s my favorite.” Micki’s grabby hands reach for the puck.

“Too bad. It’s mine.” My fingers cover the coveted piece of rubber.

At First Sight © Sharon Michalove, 2021

While ice hockey is played in Britain, the sport is somewhat under the radar and Max Grant knew nothing about it before he moved to Chicago. Cress hopes to bring him into the fold, while he tries to introduce her to "his" sport, rugby.

With the 2021 NHL draft just finished, one of the ever-present themes is family. We see the families celebrate as the draftees are chosen. Some are brothers, sons, cousins, grandsons of current and former players. Some families are hockey dynasties. For others it's first-time event. But a big story this week was about brothers on the same team. Throughout NHL history, brothers have played at the same time, for the same team but not together, and in some cases, like the recently retired Sedin brothers, Daniel and Henrik, of the Vancouver Canucks, have played together.

Some of the most famous same team brother combinations include Mark and Marty Howe, who played with their father, Gordie, on the Hartford Whalers, albeit before the team moved from the WHA to the NHL. Eric and Jordan Staal played together on the Carolina Hurricanes and all four brothers have had NHL careers at the same time. Peter, Anton, and Marian Stasny played together with the Quebec Nordiques.

More famous are Bobby and Dennis Hull of the Chicago Blackhawks. Phil and Tony Esposito also played for the Hawks, but not at the same time, although they were both on Team Canada during the 1972 Summit Series. But probably the most famous brother duo were Maurice (the Rocket) and Henri (the Pocket Rocket) Richard, who played for the Montreal Canadians. Maurice won eight Stanley Cups and Henri a record eleven.

Brothers as teammates were definitely a theme this year.

Hughes brothers--Quinn, Luke, and Jack

First up, the number four draft pick, Luke Hughes. He has two brothers playing in the NHL, Quinn and Jack. Quinn plays for the Canucks and Jack for the New Jersey Devils. Luke and his family were overjoyed when he was also chosen by the Devils. He even got to pull on a jersey--the one belonging to his brother, Jack.

Seth and. Caleb Jones

In the trades leading up to this year's draft, the Chicago Blackhawks traded for Seth and Caleb Jones, bringing one set of brothers onto the team. Then in the draft, the Blackhawks chose Colton Dach, younger brother of rising franchise star, Kirby.

If Cress wrote hockey romance rather than historical, she might write a novel about two hockey playing brothers on the same team. For now, she will just have to enjoy the stories that may come out of the next NHL season.

Watch for the cover reveal of At First Sight on August 11.

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