Madden a veteran voice for 'Hawks

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:58 PM ET

The younger Chicago Blackhawks players refer to their antics both on and off the ice as personality.

You’d think some of it would rub the 37-year-old John Madden the wrong way.

Not a chance.

“It’s funny, when you’re playing hockey and around the guys, you don’t think about your age. You’re doing the same things they’re doing, the same workout, so I’ve never once felt old,” Madden said. “OK, I did when Patrick Kane turned 21 and they brought out a birthday cake with ‘21’ on it, but for the most part, the way this hockey team has worked, we’ve felt on the same page.

“Coming from a different culture in New Jersey. I forgot about all the pranks. They sure know how to have fun around the dressing room with each other. It’s good to see the young guys with so much energy.”

What age takes away in energy, it makes up with experience, and that’s what the two-time Stanley Cup winner will be counted on to provide for the Blackhawks, who face the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference final.

It’s a major reason he signed a one-year, US$2.75 million contract last summer.

“It was apparent from the teams interested in me that Chicago was the best fit,” Madden said.

“I talked to them, they told me what they were looking for and I fit the bill.”

Madden collected 10 goals and 23 points in the regular season, and has netted one goal in 12 playoff games, but the veteran centre was a voice of reason when his team prepared for its clinching game against Vancouver.

It’s that kind of experience teams need in crunch time.

“I watched them last year in the playoffs and knew they had a chance to win a Cup, and that’s what I want,” Madden said. “Hopefully, I can help out here.”

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca


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