The Avengers are ready to surprise kids at the Children’s Hospital! pic.twitter.com/CvJHuffPk4
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) October 22, 2015
When the Flames made their annual Halloween children’s hospital visit, Dougie Hamilton suggested they go as the Avengers. So he, Sam Bennett, Micheal Ferland, and Josh Jooris suited up, and made that visit extra special.
Because it’s Saturday, the Flames aren’t playing today, and it’s an appropriate level of nerdiness considering we’re dealing with comic book characters, let’s go into just why these four were most suitable for the Avengers they dressed as. I mean, sure, you’d think that since Jooris has dark hair and Hamilton blond, they would have been Iron Man and Thor, respectively, instead, but the way things worked out still makes sense!
Josh Jooris as Thor
Marvel’s Thor starts off in a position of humility. Not to say that Jooris needs to be humbled, but Thor’s story doesn’t kick off with him being a kickass god; it kicks off with him proving his worth.
That’s pretty much how Jooris’ NHL career started. He was an overlooked signing at first, a junior who had decent, but not particularly impressive, college stats. He followed that up with a decent, but not particularly impressive, rookie year in the AHL (all the while Union, the college he left a year early, won the Frozen Four at the same time).
Coming into his second professional season, though, Jooris shattered expectations throughout pre-season. He didn’t do enough to make the team outright (although really, he should have been on it from the get-go), but he was the first injury recall, and he officially made the NHL out of that.
To recap: both Jooris and Thor had to prove themselves worthy, and through hard work and perseverance, they did just that.
Micheal Ferland as Hulk
Okay, this one’s obvious. Hulk likes to smash. As it so happens, Ferland also likes to smash.
Ferland’s coming out party was in the playoffs, where he introduced an extremely physical, if occasionally reckless, side of himself. He threw the Canucks off of their games, directing all their anger towards him, and fed off of it. Sure, there were times he had to learn – he allowed Derek Dorsett to goad him into a fight at the beginning – but that’s pretty much what the Hulk has had to do, too. After all, you can’t solve all your problems just by smashing, just as there’s more to hockey than hitting people really, really hard.
As Hulk has matured, though, he’s become much more well-rounded, with many more aspects to his character(s). Hopefully Ferland follows a similar path, so he’s not just known for being a wrecking ball, but being a wrecking ball that can score on you, too.
Sam Bennett as Captain America
Bennett, like Steve Rogers, is a plucky kid full of determination. They even have similar origin stories, what with Rogers being a scrawny, physically weak guy pre-super serum, and Bennett not being able to do a pull up at the NHL scouting combine. (This is totally the same thing.) This resulted in people underestimating the both of them, with people being unable to look past Rogers’ physical exterior to see his heart, and Bennett not being selected until fourth overall. (Again, totally the same thing.)
Both have rewarded those who believed in them, though (or at least, Bennett’s on the right track to doing just that). Cap became one of the greatest heroes in the Marvel universe, while Bennett established himself in the playoffs, and is looking to be one of the greatest Flames down the line.
Probably the only Flame who would have been a better fit is Johnny Gaudreau, what with the overcoming size narratives and all (except unlike Steve, Johnny probably isn’t getting much bigger). Also, he’s American, so. But taking everything into consideration, Bennett is still a pretty good fit.
Dougie Hamilton as Iron Man
Tony Stark’s greatest asset is his intelligence. The fact that Hamilton was the one to come up with the idea of dressing up as the Avengers already proves he’s very, very smart, so check that off.
Stark received accolades back when he was young, respected for his intelligence from an early age and attending MIT as a 15-year-old; Hamilton was pegged as a top draft pick from when he was young, and ended up going ninth overall.
Furthermore, both of their origin stories see them in unpleasant circumstances. Stark was nearly mortally wounded and forced to make weapons for a warlord in a cave, while Hamilton spent the first three years of his career in a Boston Bruins organization that had made a habit out of demonizing and throwing away its elite young talent. (Again, it’s basically the same thing.)
Both escaped their situations, though, and Stark went on to become a hero – albeit one who has made his fair share of mistakes along the way. Hamilton is looking to become a key part of the Flames’ future, but the start to his career in red has been rocky at best. He’ll probably rise above his missteps, though, just like Iron Man has, time and time again.