The “Did You Know?” series ties in the news of the day with some little-known hockey factoids and/or trivia. It’ll be fun. Trust me.
Tonight in Buffalo, three former Hobey Baker Award winners will play in the same game — Sabres netminder Ryan Miller (who won in 2001), Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold (2002) and Lightning defenseman Matt Gilroy (2009).
While this might not seem like such a momentous occasion, do keep in mind there are just nine Hobey Baker winners currently in the NHL: Miller, Leopold, Gilroy, Brendan Morrison, Mike Mottau, Matt Carle, Kevin Porter, Blake Geoffrion and Andy Miele.
Of the three playing tonight, it’s interesting to note how many future NHLers they suited up with in college. All three played for prominent programs — Miller was at Michigan State, Leopold at Minnesota and Gilroy at Boston University — so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Still, it’s cool to look back.
Miller’s teammates at Michigan State included Duncan Keith, Shawn Horcoff, John-Michael Liles, Adam Hall, Jim Slater and Mike Weaver.
Leopold’s teammates at Minnesota included Keith Ballard, Paul Martin, John Pohl and Jeff Taffe.
Gilroy’s teammates at BU included Brandon Yip, Colin Wilson and Kevin Shattenkirk.
The Hobey Baker is definitely a curious award. For every winner that goes on to NHL success — Neal Broten, Paul Kariya, Chris Drury — there are those that fail to register even the slightest blip on the NHL radar, guys like Brian Bonin, Chris Marinucci and, most recently Marty Sertich.
Which makes it all the more curious when three former winners manage to appear in the same game.