An Admiration for Mark Scheifele
By Patrick Hoffman
I am willing to bet that when professional athletes go home, many fans wonder what they do and what they think about.
If you're a hockey fan, especially a Winnipeg Jets fan, than you know exactly what superstar forward Mark Scheifele does when he's home and what he thinks about.
Scheifele is all hockey, all of the time. Based on what I have read about him, he has been this way his whole life.
I first started to admire Scheifele after a reading an article he did for The Players' Tribune. In the article, he wrote about the five toughest players he has ever faced and while that aspect of the piece was certainly intriguing, I was more interested in what he said to open up his piece:
"There are a lot of guys in the league who will tell you, 'I like to leave it all at the rink. I don't watch much hockey when I get home. Yeah ... That's definitely not me."
"I'm what you might call a full-on hockey nerd. I can watch hockey all day. Like, when we're headed to the airport after a game, I'll put out my phone right on the bus and just start streaming late games."
I read those lines and all of a sudden, I was hooked on Scheifele. As someone who has followed, played, and covered hockey for a lot of his life, I came to appreciate just how much he loves my favorite sport.
I then became interested in learning more about Scheifele's love for the sport and came across this article by Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet.ca. Dixon leads into his article by saying that Scheifele is "pro hockey's biggest fan".
It was this paragraph that showed me just how genuine Scheifele is when he says he loves the sport:
"The chances are pretty good that, when his duties are fulfilled, Scheifele will retire to his Osborne Village condo and eventually watch an assortment of NHL action with Copp. Even if the equipment stays in the bag, there really is no such thing as a day without the game for the stud centre."
I am the same way. Yes, I have a full-time job (unrelated industry) and a wife and two kids at home, but whenever the kids and wife go to bed, I am all about watching hockey on TV, writing articles for this site, and looking up hockey information on my phone.
In my quest to continue to see just how much Scheifele is obsessed with hockey, I found this piece in the Winnipeg Free Press by Jeff Hamilton. In the piece, Todd Hoffman, one of Scheifele's former minor hockey coaches, told Hamilton how Scheifele uses his passion for the sport to be one of the best players in the game.
"And he did it by being the first guy to arrive at the rink and last one to leave. He was always looking for extra ice, always doing the little bit extra off the ice," says Hoffman. "That's why he is where he is today. He's just that type of guy that wants to be the best and he'll do whatever it takes to get there."
When it comes to loving hockey and wanting to be involved with the game in some way, shape or form, everyone should watch and listen to Scheifele. He loves the sport with everything that he is and because of it, he's one of the best players in the NHL today.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.