Not that I would have expected anything better from folks in the western part of the state whose lives are mostly defined by bridges and a hockey team that nearly abandoned them a few years back, but this was a bit surprising.
When Paul Holmgren and his PS3 controller took the stage in Pittsburgh to announce the Flyers' first-round draft pick, Scott Laughton – who basically projects to be Mike Richards (more on that in a second) – Yinz booed the Flyers GM. Hard.
Homer, who seemed more irritated than he was amused, had a quip ready to go:
“Well, I was gonna thank the city of Pittsburgh for their for welcome…”
Well played, Paul.
While the boos directed at Holmgren – a long-time member of the Flyers organization who, last year, ripped Jaromir Jagr from the hearts of Pittsburghians – were funny, you’d expect that even the most hardened Western PA steel worker would golf-clap an 18-year-old on his big day.
Laughton, who was born in 1994 (1994!), had no such luck.
He was booed throughout his entire walk to the podium, while on the podium, and when he held up his Flyers jersey. And here the national media would have you believe that these sorts of boos only exist in Philadelphia.
While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about Laughton.
Here’s a quote from an NHL Network analyst right after the Flyers made their pick:
“You know who his favorite player is? Mike Richards. And you know who he plays like? He plays like Mike Richards, as well.”
Well! That’s great. Always wanted a guy like Richards. Glad to see that the Flyers traded for Brayden Schenn – Richie 2.0 – last year and drafted the third iteration of the Stanley Cup champion this year.
We'll just call Schenn and Laughton Maybe. As in, maybe one of them will turn into Mike Richards. Maybe they'll realize their potential. Maybe they'll have that type of success. Laughton would love that:
“I’ve been looking up to Mike Richards for a while now. He’s a guy that I love to watch play. And I really like watching Shane Doan, too. Those two guys are huge for me, and I like to model myself after them. They’re just really good players, who were always there for their team in the playoffs and everything like that. They’re heart and soul type of guys, so I really like to play like those guys.”
Maybe he’ll eventually become one of those guys. Maybe.