From Vipers to Hawks, they're still together

 

Foursome from Lower Mainland has had incredible connect from super novice to the big show

 
 
 
 
Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook challenges Canucks Daniel Sedin during October game in Chicago.
 

Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook challenges Canucks Daniel Sedin during October game in Chicago.

Photograph by: Bill Smith, Getty Images, Vancouver Sun

They were Vipers then, they are Blackhawks now.

Lower Mainland products Brent Seabrook, Andrew Ladd, Colin Fraser and Troy Brouwer played for different community associations but were teammates in spring and summer hockey when association boundaries no longer mattered.

Imagine their surprise when they wound up together again in Chicago. Seabrook, from South Delta, and Brouwer, from North Delta, were drafted by the 'Hawks while Ladd, from Maple Ridge, and Fraser, from Surrey were acquired in trades. They were all born in 1985.

"Yeah, it's really weird," Brouwer said Friday after the Blackhawks practised at GM Place. "We still talk about it now. We always played on the Vipers team. Me and Seabs played on it for quite a few years and Fraser and Ladd came in and out.

"Now we're all playing together again. It's a pretty good story."

To Fraser, it's an amazing one. He'll centre Chicago's fourth line tonight against the Canucks.

"We started playing for the Vipers in novice or atom and did it until we were 15," Fraser said. "It was the funnest hockey because it was the only time we could really play together being from different town.

"It's amazing to all be in the NHL but it's even more amazing to all be in the NHL on the same team. It's been a lot of fun for us because the friendships we already had just carried right on through."

According to Seabrook, they first played together as Vipers at age nine in the super novice division.

"It was cool. It was fun. Those were the good days," Seabrook said. "We'd be on different teams for half the year and we'd play hard against each other and then we'd be on the Vipers."

"There are lot of good memories," said Ladd. "They were the top players in their communities so I've know them since we were 9-10 years old.

"It's a funny thing how it's worked out."

Ladd, originally drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes, joined the 'Hawks late last season in a trade deadline deal for Tuomo Ruutu. He has not been through any of the misery in Chicago and has only seen a young team grow and become one of the best in the Western Conference.

"Since I've been in Chicago, the fans have been great," Ladd said.

"We're young, we're energetic and everybody loves coming to the rink. I have some new-found confidence in Chicago."

The GM Place box office will benefit tonight from the Blackhawks' Viper connection as Ladd is on the hook for 20 tickets. Seabrook is in for 10, Fraser seven and Brouwer four.

"My family is pretty small," Brouwer said. "It's just my mom, dad, sister and grandma."

ICE CHIPS: The Blackhawks have one injury, former Canuck Brent Sopel, who is out following elbow surgery . . . Cristobal Huet is slated to start in goal for Chicago as coach Joel Quenneville continues to rotate his netminders.

epap@vancouversun.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook challenges Canucks Daniel Sedin during October game in Chicago.
 

Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook challenges Canucks Daniel Sedin during October game in Chicago.

Photograph by: Bill Smith, Getty Images, Vancouver Sun

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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