The thought and effort were both most definitely there. The execution, however, not so much.
And as a result, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat found themselves in the middle of one of the saddest unveilings to ever be recorded before an autograph session in a German mall on Saturday.
The unveiling was worth the trip alone pic.twitter.com/a6cLM7pkrq— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) September 28, 2019
The entire sequence begs the obvious question: Who thought this was a good idea? It’s understandable that the NHL is trying to grow its audience outside of North America and opportunities for fans like this have the potential to do so. However, did organizers really expect a reaction different than this one?
The staff’s struggle to bring down the tarp and the reactions of the two Chicago Blackhawk youngsters to the situation only add fuel to this fire of failure. For that reason, it’s been a video I’ve enjoyed watching a handful of times.
The Chicago Blackhawks have been in Europe recently as a part of the 2019 NHL Global Series and 2019 NHL Global Series Challenge. As the team prepares to hit the ice to clash with Berlin Eisbaren for an exhibition game on Sunday and open their regular season against the Philadelphia Flyers in Prague, Czech Republic on Oct. 4, some of the team’s stars have been making appearances at a variety of locations as part of the 2019 NHL Global Fan Tour.
While they got off to a slow start at the Mall of Berlin, Strome and DeBrincat did end up drawing a decent crowd after everyone recovered from their collective cringing.
DeBrincat and Strome sign autographs and take pictures at the Mall of Berlin. pic.twitter.com/yKvsZOcWMd— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) September 28, 2019
As well as being quite the dynamic duo with markers in hand and a pile of memorabilia in front of them, Strome and DeBrincat were also sensational together on the ice last season. The two played three seasons together with the OHL’s Erie Otters and the chemistry that they established during that time only continued to blossom once Strome was traded to Blackhawks in November of 2018.
After beginning the 2018-19 campaign with three goals and six points in 20 games with the Arizona Coyotes, the 22-year-old scored 17 goals and collected 51 points in 58 games with Chicago. DeBrincat, meanwhile, also saw his offensive production reach another level once Strome began wearing the same jersey as him. In the 58 games he played after Strome was acquired, he was a point-per-game player with 31 goals and 27 assists.
They’ll be leaned on to provide secondary scoring on the team’s second line if the Blackhawks hope to stay competitive in a very strong Central division this season.
More NHL coverage on Yahoo Sports