Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Peoples Choice ..... A Look At UND Fighting Sioux Player, T.J. Oshie

Publisher's Note:

I felt compelled to feature this story tonight when North America is looking at the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux Men's hockey team.

Head Coach Dave Hakstol was suspended by UND this week and word spread quickly throughout college hockey. Back in early January, my eldest son, T.J. Oshie, was also suspended by UND Athletic Department for one game versus St. Cloud State University.

My rationale tonight is to give you the other side of T.J. Oshie, the side spoken so eloquently by the Pittsburgh Penguins scout, Chuck "Ole Gringo" Grillo. This article, along with scores of others, never seem to surface when the time is right. I cannot speak on this issue due to the case still being open, yet hope the people understand once the issue is settled.

UND, in my mind, is the finest college institution both academically and athletically in the nation. The Fighting Sioux Hockey program is a "true family" to say the least. Legends like Gordon "Ginny" Christian, John Noah and others come back each weekend to the Ralph Engelstad Arena and cheer on the Fighting Sioux as passionately as when they played for them.

Dave Hakstol is the mentor, coach, motivator and leader to the Fighting Sioux hockey team. His dedication to his athletes, his family, his friends and the University of North Dakota is second to none.

My son, my family, and thousands of others stand united behind the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux Hockey Family and Head Coach Dave Hakstol.

Courtesy of Grand Forks Herald

By: Brad Schlossman
Herald Staff Writer

Chuck Grillo has spent 27 years searching for special hockey players.

He's seen guys develop into Mr. Hockey winners, Hobey Baker Memorial Award winners and NHL All-Stars during his long tenure as a Minnesota-based scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Then came his encounter with T.J. Oshie.

"You can watch a lot of hockey and not see someone like him," Grillo said. "I've seen a lot of players, seen a lot of people and met a lot of people. I don't know if I've met any other T.J. Oshies.

"Kids like him don't come along very often. T.J. is unique, and I think the people in Grand Forks can see that."

Indeed, Oshie has a fan following at UND.

It was present long before this summer, when Oshie told St. Louis Blues president John Davidson, general manager Larry Pleau and Hall of Famer Al MacInnes that he wasn't going to sign their near-$1 million offer because he wanted to return to UND.

From nearly his first game with the Sioux, Oshie created a buzz amongst those watching. The Sioux have been filled with superstars and first-round draft picks throughout the years, but Oshie seems to attract a different level of attention.


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