For a rookie coming into the NHL, it's nerve-racking the first time you walk into a dressing room full of established veterans -- guys you've grown up emulating and future Hall of Famers. In the fall of 1999, that was the case for Mark Eaton, now the Blackhawks' Assistant General Manager, Development, but back then just a 22-year-old rookie getting his start with the Philadelphia Flyers.
"I viewed it as an intimidating situation going into that Philly locker room with some of the big names," Eaton said, alluding to stars like Eric Lindros, Mark Recchi and John LeClair.
But there was a 12-year veteran in the room who took the young Eaton under his wing: Luke Richardson, now the 40th head coach in Blackhawks franchise history.
"He was always there to just kind of show me the ropes," Eaton explained. "He had been there. He had been on long playoff runs. But he'd been a rookie, too, so I'm sure he was able to recollect back to that time and just say, 'Hey, relax, play the game, do your thing.'"