Patrick Kane joins Utah Grizzlies player in rec league game
Vinny Scarsella humbly admits to being the best player in an adult hockey league near his hometown in western New York.
That's to be expected since he wrapped up a 13-goal, 26-assist season with the Utah Grizzlies earlier this year.
A childhood friend changed that Monday.
Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane played on Scarsella's team Monday in Buffalo, the second time this month Kane has laced up his skates to play in the recreation league.
"It's tough to get ice in the summer in Buffalo with just such a busy schedule, so he's always looking to get on ice and play a lot," Scarsella said. "Whenever he gets a chance to get on the ice, he's going to play. He's got a lot of the same friends as I do, and he knows all those guys, so he likes to play in this league."
Kane is listed on the team's roster, but he misses most games. So Scarsella made sure to watch the other team's reactions as the players realized who they'd be competing against.
"They were definitely surprised to see a world-class player out on the ice," he said. "So it was kind of funny to see their facial expressions."
For the record, the Utah Grizzlies player outscored the Chicago Blackhawks player in the game against the Essex Street Pub.
"We got into the locker room and Pat goes, 'I wonder how many goals you had today,'" Scarsella said. "I was like, 'Yeah, I'm not even sure.' We look on the score sheet and I had seven and he had five. So I definitely gave him a little bit of rubbing, but it's all in good fun."
Kane did have five assists to Scarsella's two, and some of that can be attributed to the defense the other team used.
"They sent like two or three on him at a time, especially in the corner," Scarsella said. "But he's got such good hands and he's such a good player that he could wiggle out of that any time he wanted really. A couple times he made guys look like fools out there, but he was having fun."
Scarsella doesn't anticipate Kane will show up for the team's next game, which is Wednesday. But he thinks Kane will pull on a Piranhas jersey a few more times before the summer is over.
"I'm sure he'll come back and play, especially the playoffs and in the championship," Scarsella said.