Matt Hendricks would label himself as “just your average Joe in the league,” so he wasn’t expecting an invitation to the USO Holiday Tour. When he was asked, he accepted the invitation even though he wasn’t sure how much of a difference he could make.
“But being there, being able to meet our servicemen and women and hear their stories, they showed so much appreciation and thanks to me,” Hendricks said, according to the Washington Post. “It made me think, ‘Man this is crazy. These troops are thanking me when I just want to thank them.’”
Hendricks’ father is a former Marine and he’s done charity work with the military. Still, meeting troops overseas was a different and “extremely humbling” experience for him.
“When you actually get there and you set foot on that soil, you see how they’re living, what the conditions are and what they’re doing day-by-day, the stresses and the hardships those levels of appreciation somehow go higher,” Hendricks said.
Hendricks was joined by Kellie Pickler, Ilza Shlesinger, and Washington Nationals pitchers Craig Stammen and Ross Detwiler. The latter of which bailed on his honeymoon to participate in the tour.
Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.
Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.
Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.
Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)
While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)
Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)
With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)
The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (NHL.com)