Blackhawks

How horse racing helped Eddie O become the announcer he is today

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How horse racing helped Eddie O become the announcer he is today

By Sarah Langs

NHL on NBC and Blackhawks analyst Eddie Olczyk is a hockey guy, but he’s been turning into a two-sport athlete.

After doing the Breeder’s Cup for NBC last year and being a part of NBC’s horse racing coverage moving forward, Olczyk appears to be expanding his reach. But, as it turns out, horse racing was actually where he got his start.

During the 1994 NHL lockout, Olczyk got the opportunity to do racing analysis in-house at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

“I did four days a week for three months,” he said on Kap & Haugh. “That’s how I got my introduction to television...I had never done TV before, until I got that chance to work at the racetrack at the Meadowlands.”

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Though he took a break from his nascent analysis career to head back on the ice once the lockout ended, Olczyk got a chance to promote hockey yet again during some NBC hockey broadcasts.

Olczyk also discussed the differences between day-of preparation for a hockey broadcast and a horse racing broadcast.

Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Kris Versteeg recently retired and now the Blackhawks are honoring him with the team’s “One More Shift.”

Versteeg began the season with the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, but retired in November after playing six games for the IceHogs this season.

The 33-year-old wrote an emotional letter to the Blackhawks organization after requesting his contract with Rockford be terminated.

Versteeg will be honored before Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. He will join the team on the ice for the national anthem and highlights of his career will be featured in the United Center.

Versteeg won two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, in 2010 and 2015. He is part of the Blackhawks celebrating the 10-year anniversary of that 2010 Cup win. Brian Campbell was given the same treatment on Nov. 21.

The first 10,000 fans into the UC can get replicas of the 2010 ring.

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Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane visit recovering Chicagoland hockey player for the holidays

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USA Today

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane visit recovering Chicagoland hockey player for the holidays

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane recently surprised recovering hockey player Payton Bruns in the hospital, spreading some cheer across Chicagoland this holiday season. The players spent time with Bruns and his family talking hockey and his recovery.

“I had no clue that they were coming,” Bruns told the camera.

Bruns cited Kane as one of his favorite players, making this moment even sweeter.

You can watch the heartwarming video here.

Bruns, a senior at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, broke two of his vertebrae sliding into the boards while chasing down a loose puck this past September. He was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery and has since been recovering and doing physical therapy at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago.  

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