When Jonathan Cheechoo was a young man, he wrote a school essay about one day playing professional hockey for the San Jose Sharks. Ironically, he also took a liking to another Bay Area professional sports team. Growing up in Moose Factory, Ontario, Cheechoo enjoyed watching the likes of Dave Stewart and Rickey Henderson wear the green and gold of the Oakland Athletics. In fact, Cheechoo can be seen sporting an A’s cap around the locker room.
On May 3, the A’s honored the NHL’s leading goal scorer by having him throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
“I got to go into to the clubhouse and meet (Nick) Swisher, (Rich) Harden, (Manager) Ken Macha, (Mark) Kotsay and so many more,” said Cheechoo. “They gave me a jersey with my name and number on it. I want to get some autographs on it.”
Cheechoo, who had a career offensive year, set new franchise records in numerous categories, including points in a single season (93), goals in a single season (56), hat tricks in a single season (five) and game-winning goals in a season (11). His 56 goals in 2005-06, combined with the 37 goals he scored in the previous two seasons (93 goals in 229 career NHL games), make Cheechoo the most prolific goal scorer in the NHL among players entering the League since 2002-03.
This month, he will be honored by the NHL and all of hockey when he is presented the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the League’s top goal scorer at the NHL Awards Ceremony in Vancouver, B.C.
In addition, Cheechoo was also named the winner of the Sharks PlayStation “Three Stars of the Game” Award, being selected as a No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 star in 23 games this season. Jonathan Cheechoo and his battery mate for the day, Nick Swisher