Hey–I Went to High School With That Guy!

Ever since he got drafted 13th overall in the 1997 entry draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, I’ve been keeping an eye on the career of Daniel Cleary.

See, when I was in Grade 10 at Regiopolis-Notre Dame in Kingston, Ontario there was a new student who showed up one day named Dan Cleary, a young hockey player from Newfoundland, who’d been sent to Kingston to play hockey because (no word of a lie) his parents always heard Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner talking about how Kingston is a great hockey town.

Dan and I weren’t that close (we had English and Drama classes together, the highlights of which were, respectively, Dan offering me $50 to write an essay for him–turned down, because I don’t work for less than $100–and an hilariously profane Jerry Springer Show skit in which he played some trailer park floosie–in a kilt borrowed from one of the girls in our class–and I played Ross Perot–who was all the rage at the time) but he was a nice enough guy, said hello in the halls, that kind of thing. Plus he had a great story and lofty dreams of NHL stardom, and I admired that (having some lofty dreams of my own) and looked forward to when I could say: “Hey–I went to high school with that guy!”

Turns out we both moved away for Grade 11 (me to a little town called Perth, ON and Dan to Belleville to play for their OHL team, the Bulls) but I always remembered to keep my eye out for him if he ever made it to the NHL.

Well, like I said he was drafted in 1997 and has bounced around the NHL (and the professional hockey wilderness) a bit, but has really started to come into his own since signing with the Detroit Red Wings after the lockout.

There’s an article in the Globe & Mail today about him and his performance in Game 3 of the Red Wing/Flames series.

Guess who I’m cheering for?

– S.