When the NHL locked out the players back in 2004, New Jersey’s rising star Adam Henrique was just 14 years old and a huge hockey fan as well as a player.
Last night he returned to Albany, New York — where he was a star for the Albany Devils back in 2010-11 — but not by choice as the league’s current lockout forced him back to the minors.
If you think he’s lost perspective on what it’s like being a fan versus being a player as the labor battle rages on, you’d be wrong.
“It’s a little different being on different sides of the situation,” Henrique said. “Back then I really didn’t understand what was going on. Now, having the chance over the last couple years to learn the business side of things and, you know, as a young kid you don’t know that stuff.”
The economic X’s and O’s don’t do much for the fans to make them stay interested in the NHL, but Henrique is confident things will work out for the best.
“There’s a lot to it and right now we have a lot of the right people in the right place for us that are doing great things,” Henrique said. “Everyone is coming together and doing what they have to do to make things work and hopefully we get things settled at some point.”
On a more lighthearted note, Henrique earned a few more fans by rocking a killer mustache throughout last year’s playoffs. Will it make an early return thanks to the lockout?
“If we make the playoffs it might make a comeback,” he said with a smile.
Fans in New Jersey hope they get to see it at The Rock come April.