General manager Wendell Young likes what Adam Burish will bring to the Wolves. He can play either as a center or wing and has a Stanley Cup title to go with 378 games of NHL experience.
And like the three other 2010 Blackhawks on the roster, Young said, the reasoning for acquiring Burish had nothing to do with selling tickets.
“Zero,” Young said. “One-hundred percent zero.”
Burish made his Wolves debut in their 5-1 loss Friday night against the Lake Erie Monsters. Playing on a line with former Blackhawks teammates Colin Fraser and Ben Eager, Burish had two shots for the Wolves (19-15-4-0) and saw his debut get somewhat overshadowed by an empty-net goal with 1:26 remaining by Lake Erie goalie Reto Berra, the 11th by a netminder in league history.
“I think every goalie when you’re up two goals (when) they pull the goalie you think about that,” Berra said. “Today I had a really good feeling because they were dumping the puck the whole game, so I was like ‘Maybe it’s coming to me’ and I was like when we were two goals up I’ve got to try to shoot and at the end it was just lucky.”
Wolves coach John Anderson didn’t begrudge Berra his goal, but he wasn’t a fan of his team dumping the puck right at the goalie with a gaping empty net behind them.
Anderson also wasn’t enamored by Berra’s celebration. After scoring, Berra rushed over to the Monsters’ bench and fist-bumped his teammates, something that definitely led to Fraser shoving him as he went back to his net and probably caused the 26 minutes in penalties handed out over the final 22 seconds.
“I think it was a wonderful play by him. I just didn’t think that the way he celebrated was necessary,” Anderson said. “I think their guys would have come down. They were happy for him. (Heck) of a play. Good for him.
“To do that and jump up and down… again, it’s a wonderful thing but come on,” he added. “You’re in the other team’s building. You can’t show them up like that.”
The Wolves were in that position despite Burish’s reunion with his former linemates. And that familiarity with Eager and Fraser is something that should help him get acclimated to the Wolves after being loaned to them Wednesday by the San Jose Sharks.
Of course, that familiarity comes from their time together at the United Center, though Young made it clear Burish’s Hawks past wasn’t a factor in bringing him in.
“It’s kind of nice that people are familiar with him in Chicago and that sort of thing. We’re in the game to win hockey games,” Young said. “I’m not the marketer, I’m not the ticket-sales person. I’m the one that’s got to put a team together to win.”
Young is confident Burish will contribute to that, and Burish appreciates the chance in a city that he wanted to play in.
“I know some guys here, I know a lot of people in this organization. I know the organization’s first class,” Burish said. “To see some familiar faces in a familiar place, it’s nice for me.”