Youth won't believe how much fun Hawks have

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

Visitors to Chicago can get a glimpse of how much fun the Blackhawks defencemen have just by staying in their hotel rooms.

Playing on an endless loop of one of the Sutton Place's channels is a hilarious James Wisniewski performing the jobs required at a hotel.

Wearing full gear (sans skates), the Hawks blueliner checks in a guest and grabs the bags out of her vehicle, hooking the luggage with his stick.

In his housecleaning duties, the rugged defence fluffs the pillows with the stick and then drops his mitts to find his teeth on a serving tray.

The segment ends with Wisniewski taking a guest to a Hawks game.

The team is once again cool in Chicago thanks, in part, to the promising group of youngsters the team has put together.

"It's sometimes embarrassing to see that again," said Wisniewski, whose Hawks played the Calgary Flames last night.

"It was all in good fun. I like to joke around a lot so that stuff came easy to me.

"I pretty much came up with everything, too. They said some things and asked me to add in whatever I wanted."

As Wisniewski conducts this interview, fellow blueliner Brent Seabrook is pulling on his nose and pinching his ears. That was payback for the endless stream of tape balls Wisniewski tossed at Seabrook as the former Lethbridge Hurricane conducted a TV interview.

To start this season, Wisniewski missed the first 28 games with a knee injury and has given the Hawks a boost since his return, but not all just on the ice.

"I thought the recent slide we've been on was because Nush came back," said Seabrook, trying to keep up with the humour.

"Actually, he added a spark to us."

With Wisniewski (24), Seabrook (23), Cam Barker (22) and Duncan Keith (25), the Hawks boast a emerging group of defenders to go along with young stars at forward.

It also helps the team added 29-year-old free agent Brian Campbell this off-season to solidify the group.

Keith, who's in his fourth season, could be one of the most underrated players in the league with a plus-26 rating and 29 points heading into last night.

With 20-year-old stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane up front, the Hawks could be a force for a long time, and Keith is happy to be part of the group.

"It's a neat feeling," said Keith, who grew up in Winnipeg.

"Most of us have played together for a long time now, not just the defenceman but the other young guys. To grow up together all at the same time has been a lot of fun. There are a lot of good memories."

Although the Hawks have growing to do, Wisniewski isn't going to use that as excuse.

They want to make the playoffs badly this season.

"Even though we are young, we have some experience," Wisniewski said. "We're starting to get into our third and fourth years together in the NHL so it's time to produce."


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