Chill out Dan, we’ll get to you. But first a big thanks to Jerome who made HOF cards and Stephanie who is giving the induction speech. I mean who wants to hear from the BTSH Media when you can hear from someone who really knows them. But before we get to Stephanie…Dan was an easy choice. When the committee (which is going to grow next season) discussed worthy people, Hopper always came up. Of course there are people that will say that Dan is moving out of NY only to expedite his enshrinement, and to those people I say duh.
But with his stellar play, his great attitude as a captain, his willingness to help ref from March-the end of August few people are more deserving than Mr. Hopper.
—Written by Stephanie C—
Dan Hopper grew up skating on the frozen pond behind his suburban Pennsylvania home. From the time he put on his first Penguins jersey, he dreamed of wearing the Captain’s “C” like his idol, Mario Lemieux. Looking back on his solid BTSH career and with his unsurprising induction into the HOF, I think we can all agree that Hopper’s hockey dreams have far exceeded his childhood aspirations.
If you know Hopper as your team’s veteran captain (Go Sky Fighters!), you’re lucky! You’re familiar with his inspiring half-time pep talks that go something like “Hey guys, I know we’re up 4-1, but that really wasn’t our best half.” You may also have been a member of the (largely Czech) team that witnessed Hopper score the winning shootout goal in 2009 that led the team to the semis and eventually the championship!
(As a sidenote, the Sky Fighters are no longer a Czech team. We have one Czech player. No, the Teytelbaum brothers are Latvian. We do, however, have 5 Canadians on the team, so feel free to refer to us as the “Canadian” team going forward).
If you know Hopper as an opponent, you know he’s a Bobby Orr-style two-way defenseman and will burn you with his Mighty Ducks-inspired (one… two… three…) triple deke.
If you know Hopper as a ref, you have found he’s decisive, yet fair, and unafraid to call you out for breaking BTSH’s cardinal rule #1.
If you know Hopper as a bar patron, you know he’s always up for a High Life, to consider the Penguins’ prospects for the NHL season and to reminisce about that random game five years ago where Martin scored a hat trick and the Sky Fighters came from behind to win in overtime.
If you don’t know Hopper, you’ve lost your chance. Sadly, he’s about to abandon us all for the “mediterranean climate, sprawling metropolis, and major center of the American entertainment industry” (Wikipedia) also known as LA. I don’t know about you, but I hear it’s overrated.
Hopper is truly a pillar of the BTSH community and fully encapsulates the spirit of the league. While he can get frustrated during games, especially when he feels he’s not playing his best, he has earned league-wide respect and everyone can agree he’s a stellar individual. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of HOF status.
Dan, if you had a jersey and it had a number, it would certainly hang high above the courts at Tompkins Square Park. You will truly be missed. Congrats on this lifetime achievement!