Predators' Secret Weapon vs. Blackhawks? Harry Zolnierczyk

Predators' Secret Weapon vs. Blackhawks? Harry Zolnierczyk

By Joe Rexrode

The professional hockey player, never drafted or coveted, nearing 30 years old, bouncing back and forth between the minor leagues and the NHL, is going to ask himself the question.

How much longer am I going to do this?

The difference with Harry Zolnierczyk is that his alternative has much more appeal. He’s not the biggest, fastest, strongest, most skilled or best anything on the Predators roster, but he’d probably be voted Most Likely to Succeed Outside the Game.

Shoot, he might be making more money than he is right now if he’d taken his economics degree from Brown and followed his college friends to Wall Street or Silicon Valley. But they’ve never experienced the exact feeling that washed over him after he landed on the United Center ice with a shift-change head start … gathered the puck, accelerated with it, popped it past Corey Crawford … then greeted his onrushing teammates with a four-letter word of the jubilant, screaming variety.

“There’s no other place in the world I think you can get that rush, that excitement, that feeling of just pure joy,” Zolnierczyk said. “At least for myself. I find it in hockey and in being part of a team.”