Wednesday, February 27, 2008

DU Alum Goes From The Supermarket To The NHL

(above) DU Alum Connor James is congratulated by teammates after scoring his first NHL goal

Video of Connor's First NHL Goal

From: Pittsburgh Post Gazette
by Dave Molinari

DU Alum Connor James scored his first NHL goal last night for the Pittsburgh Penguins after being called up from the AHL earlier in the day. His goal made it 4-1 Pittsburgh, with 3:02 left in the game.

The Penguins had summoned forwards Connor James and Nathan Smith from their minor-league team in Wilkes-Barre so they could field a 20-man lineup, but those two did not arrive until the middle of the second period.

Mind you, it was worth the trip for James, who scored his first career NHL goal just hours after getting his promotion to the NHL over a supermarket intercom.

Turns out his cell phone had broken earlier in the day and James, just back in northeast Pennsylvania after a brief stint with the Penguins, was grocery shopping when the team got word he was being recalled.

He was checking out steaks when Baby Penguins coach Todd Richards contacted the store and had James paged on the public-address system so he could tell him that he had 20 minutes to get ready for a trip to Long Island.

"It was kind of weird," James said.

Yeah, just a bit.

James and Smith were driven to the game by Baby Penguins executive Jeff Barrett but, because of heavy traffic and foul weather, didn't reach the arena until the first intermission, and did not make it onto the ice until the game was half over.

The Penguins defeated the New York Islanders, 4-2.

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