Going in numerical order down the roster for these spotlights is turning out to be a pretty good decision. 'Cause not only is it a logical way to go, but it allowed me to start off with two weeks of talking about adopted Long Islanders. And I, personally, think that's pretty stellar. :) So without further ado...
+ Ken played junior hockey growing up in Michigan, and was so good that he was drafted by the New York Islanders in 1976. But decided to play hockey at Bowling Green for several years instead, helping to turn the hockey program into a national powerhouse. He didn't even think about turning pro until 1979, when the Islanders offered him a $35,000 contract, because he drove a junker of a car and was tired of having no money. (I feel you, bro.)
+ Despite the interest of the Islanders, Ken decided to play on the Olympic team, in no small part due to the fact that Herb Brooks jumped through all sorts of hoops to get him, including guaranteeing him that as long as he didn't lay an egg in tryouts, he'd make the team. But the best was the no-beard rule Herb had; he changed the rule for the Olympic team to allow pre-existing beards, solely for Ken. Nobody else on the team had a beard, so none of them were allowed to grow one... but Ken Morrow could keep his! (And it annoys me so, so much that Miracle's Ken Morrow is beardless. Grrrr.) The best part, though, is that Ken says he didn't even know that he was the exception to the rule, and would've shaved if Herb had wanted him to. :) Herb literally went out of his way to avoid alienating Ken; he was one of the first major NHL prospects to officially commit to the Olympic team, which led to an avalanche of teammates following suit. Seriously, this team might not've come together had it not been for Ken Morrow.
+ Ken was known for being a constant, reliable, solid presence on the ice, always in position and always doing exactly what was needed of him. He was quite possibly the strongest guy on the team, but he would never get into fights. Off the ice, he was very much the same way; soft-spoken, steady, never getting riled up, with a huge attention to detail and very particular about his routine -- a total gentle giant. Basically, Ken was the guy Herb put on the ice to restore order when things were getting out of hand.
+ After a pretty epic Olympic tournament (where he scored one goal and two assists), Ken signed with the Islanders and was on the ice for his first NHL game a week after winning Olympic gold. That season, he became the first hockey player ever to win an Olympic gold medal and the Stanley Cup in the same year... and he and the Islanders then went on to win three more in consecutive seasons. Casual. To top it all off, Ken scored the final goal, an empty netter, to clinch his fourth and final Stanley Cup. What. a. life.
+ Ken played with the Islanders until he retired due to injury in 1989... and then became their Director of Pro Scouting in 1993, which is where he still his today. (You know you're a big deal when you spend your entire career of 34-plus years with a single franchise.)
And now, I'm going to embed a perfectly respectable interview (with my spirit animal reporter again! He found Ken at his hotel in 1991! Dude is a PRO!), but if you wanted to watch this '80s fluff piece... well, I certainly wouldn't blame you. ;)