Thursday, January 7, 2010

Steve Konowalchuk

Steve Konowalchuk was one of those rare elite role players that was impossible for any hockey fan not to admire.

Konowalchuk was equal parts of heart and intelligence. He was a courageous digger and mucker, working hard for every goal and every win, using every ounce energy on every shift. Yet his understanding of the game made him a brilliant player in his own right. He was a defensive genius, a regular on the PK especially when 2 men down.

He was an impact player, knowing when to change the pace of a game with an energy shift or a big hit. Simply put, he was a coach's dream - great character, great work ethic and a complete team player. His offensive game was anything but fancy and his totals never grand, but there was not a coach in the league who would not take Steve Konowalchuk exactly as he was.

Best known as a long time Washington Capital, Konowalchuk finished his career with the Colorado Avalanche. His career ended in a bitter form of irony. This heart and soul player was forced off the ice by doctors after a rare heart disorder named QT syndrome was discovered.

The Salt Lake City-born Konowalchuk totaled 171 goals and 225 assists in 790 NHL games. He also played for the U.S.A in two World Cups and two World Championships.

2 comments: said...

I remember when the Capitals used to wear that jersey. I have the same one.

Graham Clayton said...

After retiring as a player, Konowalchuk remained with the Avalanche working in the player development department in 2007-08 then as an assistant to Joe Sacco for two seasons from 2009-11. In the summer of 2011, he was named the head coach of the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League, a position he holds to the present day.

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