So 14-year-old Kalan Plew had his soda commercial moment at the Winter Classic, as Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Red Wings made eye contact with him and then handed him his hockey stick as he left Wrigley Field, following the Wings' win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Plew was intercepted by "a man dressed like a security guard" at the front gate, who claimed Plew couldn't have the stick if his parents weren't around and then confiscated it. Plew said he was told he could pick it up at the customer relations office.
He and his father, Marc, made their way to that office. Surprise, surprise: no Zetterberg stick. After getting nowhere with the Red Wings and stadium personnel, Marc Plew e-mailed the Tribune's "What's Your Problem?" troubleshooting column:
On Friday, the Problem Solver called officials at both Wrigley Field and the Red Wings. Monday morning, Red Wings spokesman John Hahn said the team will try to fill the void. "Sometime this week we'll get another stick from Henrik and send it to him," Hahn said.
Hahn said his office spoke with Zetterberg, who said he remembers giving his stick to a young fan. "Henrik gave a kid a stick, and somehow it got taken away from him," Hahn said. "It's unfortunate, and we'll make it right."
The Tribune tried to find out how this went down, with no luck:
Just what happened remains unclear. Cubs spokesman Carl Rice said the stadium has a policy that requires fans to check large items like bats and hockey sticks, which are not allowed in the seats. In such cases, the fan is supposed to be taken to customer relations, where he or she fills out a form and is given a ticket to retrieve the item after the game.
Rice said the policy would not have applied in Plew's case because the game was over, and the teenager was outside the stadium when the hockey stick was taken. Rice said he does not believe a Cubs or NHL employee took Plew's stick.
To whoever stole this kid's stick: You deserve 20 minutes alone in a room with Bob Probert, Joey Kocur and Darren McCarty. You're like those slices of crap that elbow little kids out of the way to grab a loose puck in the lower bowl during a game, times a billion. We hope that stick falls off of your wall and shatters your flat screen before knocking over a lit candle, you dope.
Kudos to the Red Wings for attempting to wipe the tarnish from this kid's shining memory of hockey at Wrigley.