clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Back with old teammates, Ben Eager hoping to impact Wolves

New Wolves forward Ben Eager has been reunited with two former Blackhawks teammates. | Ross Dettman/Chicago Wolves

Players such as Ben Eager, Colin Fraser and Brent Sopel forever will be linked in Chicago hockey history. They weren’t the stars of the 2009-10 Blackhawks, but they were pieces of a team that won the Hawks’ first Stanley Cup title in 49 years.

Now, more than 41/2 years after playing together on that championship team, Eager, Fraser and Sopel are teammates again on the Wolves, who lost 5-1 to the Iowa Wild on Saturday at Allstate Arena.

Matt Climie made 27 saves and Mathieu Brodeur scored the lone goal for the Wolves (14-11-3-0), who trailed 2-0 after the first

period and 4-1 after the second against a team that

entered the game last in the American Hockey League with 18 points.

Fraser and Sopel have been on the Wolves all season, and Eager was added to the roster Thursday after being released this month by CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League. Though they’ve taken different paths since the Stanley Cup title, the former teammates have kept in touch and always will be tied together by that achievement.

And now that they’ve been reunited, it’s a chance for former Hawks linemates Fraser and Eager to play together again.

‘‘It’s nice,’’ Fraser said. ‘‘We still tell stories about it, right? That’s going back quite a while now, but it’s good to be reunited with him. Hopefully we can find our magic again.’’

Eager echoed that.

‘‘I think anytime you win a championship, you always have a bond with the guys on that team that you’ll never forget,’’ he said. ‘‘Whenever you see them, it’s like the old times. It’s definitely nice to have them here, and I’m excited to get started.’’

The Wolves are happy to have Eager, too. They had lost four of their last five games without him and had scored only five times in those defeats. Plus, the lineup was lacking toughness and size.

That’s what Eager adds, and coach John Anderson said he hopes Eager can contribute more than the occasional goal, too.

‘‘We need a little bit of size and a little bit of toughness,’’ Anderson said. ‘‘I think we’ve got good speed, but you can’t have all of the same [type of players]. He adds a little bit of depth in our toughness chart.’’

Eager said he sees his role the same way. Beyond that, though, he has other things in mind for his time with the Wolves.

‘‘I think I can help this team make a push to get as high as we can and then make a nice run in the playoffs,’’ he said.