Here’s a story you wouldn’t believe that came from Chicago Blackhawks team ambassador Denis Savard. This story was told during the Blackhawks Convention last weekend.
During Savard’s only full 82-game season as Blackhawks head coach, his team went 40-34-8, a 17-point improvement over the previous season, and his team was highlighted by Calder Trophy finalist Jonathan Toews, and eventual Calder Trophy winner Patrick Kane. At the time of this matchup, February 14, 2008, both the Hawks and their opponent that night, the Nashville Predators, were battling for a playoff spot. Here’s the story in his own words:
“A defenseman in his own zone goes around Kaner, ends up getting a goal, they score. We still won the game 6-1. I come back to the bench, I tell Kaner, I said, ‘Hey.’ He says, ‘What?’ I said, ‘You must have been looking at those two blondes while the guy went by you.’ So after the game, I walk out, trainers are telling me, ‘Everybody is on the bus Savvy, ready to go,’ ‘Okay, good’, Kaner’s still talking to those same two little blondes after the game. I go, ‘Hey!’ and I yell at him because that’s a rule, rules are rules, you’ve gotta respect them, which he does, but he had a good game, figured it’s okay, y’know…We get home; he doesn’t say nothing ’cause he knows I’m mad somewhat. The next day in my office (knock on table), ‘Good morning.’ He says, ‘Good morning. Savvy,’ he says, ‘Y’know last night after the game…you know who the two girls were?’ I say, ‘I have no idea.’ He says, ‘One of ’em was Taylor Swift.’ So I got no idea who she is either, by the way, even when he said Taylor Swift. I get home, I ask my wife, I said, ‘Hey honey, who’s Taylor Swift?'”
Yes, it was the Taylor Swift.
Pre-1989, pre-Red, pre-Speak Now, pre-Fearless.
At the time, some of us had barely even heard of the 19-year-old Nashville-based singer/songwriter with curly blonde locks. At the time, her biggest hit was “Teardrops on My Guitar”. As for the 6-1 win over Nashville? Kane had two assists, Toews had two goals, and the starting goalie for the Hawks that night, Patrick Lalime, stopped 24 of 25 Predator shots. Now here are a couple of facts from that game you might not know. The defenseman Savard was talking about? That’s Marek Zidlicky, who assisted on the lone Predators goal that night scored by Jason Arnott. And who as the backup to Lalime that night? Because of an injury to Nikolai Khabibulin, the Hawks recalled their third-string goaltender from Rockford: Corey Crawford. And on a weekend where Kane and teammate Andrew Shaw were two of the 60,000+ that attended one of Taylor’s concerts at Soldier Field, sometimes paths — no matter how worlds apart they are — would somehow eventually cross again.