CHICAGO – The morning before a preseason game isn’t exactly the time you seek some inspiration that will last for a bit of time.
Most times only a handful of the regulars are taking the ice that night, and the workout itself is just a way to stay loose during the month-long training camp.
Thursday was an exception at the United Center. “Eddie O” was the reason.
“Great seeing him, we think about him everyday,” said Joel Quenneville of Blackhawks’ color commentator Eddie Olczyk. “I like his enthusiasm today. He was happy to be here as well.”
The Blackhawks were just as happy to see him as Olczyk begins his treatment for Colon Cancer, which he was diagnosed with earlier this summer. Broadcast partner Pat Foley revealed during the broadcast of the Blackhawks’ first preseason game at Columbus that the color commentator has started a sixth-month chemotherapy treatment program for the disease.
Quenneville and some of the members of the team met with Olczyk before the workout. As the team held their morning skate, he greeted some of the front office staff including CEO John McDonough and general manager Stan Bowman. After practice, he was back in the locker room to meet with more of the players as they get ready for their second preseason game of the year against the Red Wings tonight at the United Center.
“To see him show up for the first preseason game at home is going to pump some guys up,” said forward Patrick Sharp of Olczyk. “He knows he’s got a ton of support behind him in his battle.”
Certainly Quenneville seconds that as the commentator gets ready for a long battle with Colon Cancer that will last the majority of the 2017-2018 season.
“He was excited. We were talking hockey and other things as well and knowing the battle he’s got, it was nice to see him smiling and being in this environment,” said Quenneville after a most uplifting preseason morning skate.