Its no surprise to anyone that I collect Luke Glendening jerseys, but what many may not know or understand is WHY do I collect his jerseys. In this new series we will start writing at GameWorn.us, we will feature the stories behind WHY collectors that collect specific players choose to collect in that manner. I will start with my story.
I’ve been in Toledo all my life. I have always loved hockey but never played until I was 26. In Toledo, we had the Storm, then hockey went away for a while before it came back as the Toledo Walleye. I didn’t start collecting hockey jerseys until the summer of 2011, which was just in time to get my feet wet for the 2012-13 season when I would be able to witness the first player that severely peaked my interest.
Its easy to want to collect the big name players, Yzerman, Lidstrom, Shanahan, etc. Every once in a while you get to see something different. Something unique.
Luke Glendening began playing in Toledo in 2012-13. He scored 14 goals with 7 assists in the 27 games he played with the team, so he was definitely making an impact. Most games, he was easily identifiable as the hardest working player on the ice. His backstory revealed even more.
With only walk-on offers for football, Glendening attended Hotchkiss for a year. With a Michigan scout in the stands to see a teammate, Glendening scored 2 goals in the finals of a tournament, but it was his grinding style of play that stood out and got him the potential for a preferred walk-on position at Michigan.
With Pacioretty signing a professional contract and leaving Michigan, Glendening had a spot. The next four years Glendening battled from a walk-on position to a solidified role on the team, up to assistant captain and captain before signing a 1-year contract with the Grand Rapids Griffins after going undrafted.
His hard work and determination allowed him to climb the ranks into the AHL, win a Calder Cup and make his way to the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings where he has solidified his position, recently signing a 4-year contract extension.
Luke Glendening is the type of player my son can look to as a role model. Living proof that the stories we tell our kids that hard work and perseverance can pay off. When it comes time to teach my son life lessons and to never give up, these are the stories I will be telling him with great pieces of that history to observe.
Why the manikin? Its great to show the kids that come over all the gear that the players on our favorite team wear!