Persistence pays off for Esposito

Fourth time’s a charm, I guess.
You can’t help but feel good for NHL prospect Angelo Esposito, who finally cracked Canada’s world junior squad in his fourth attempt to do so.
No one would have blamed Esposito had he given it a pass this year, given the once highly-touted prospect had been shafted by Hockey Canada three-straight years. But Esposito didn’t want to give up, and that tenacity just might help him crack the Atlanta Thrashers’ roster down the road.
At one time, he was expected to be a top-five pick in the 2007 NHL entry draft, but his stock dropped to 20th overall before he was finally plucked by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Then they gave up on him, sending him to Atlanta in a deal for Marian Hossa at last year’s trade deadline.
He’s faced a lot of media scrutiny for a 19-year-old, more than anyone his age should be subjected to, but he seems to be handling it well—and looks to be enjoying the sport he grew up playing in Montreal.
Hopefully he does his country proud and proves the doubters wrong.
• • •
Speaking of the world juniors, this time of year brings with it a lot of televised sports options. Planting both cheeks firmly on the couch will make it difficult to ever get off, but who wants to go outside in this sort of weather anyway?
The New Year’s resolutions come after Jan. 1, so you’re in the clear on that front, as well.
Of course, watching our junior-aged Canucks embarrass the rest of the world has become a Christmas tradition. And with the championship being held in Ottawa this year, you’ll have all the more reason to watch it because the games will be on at a regular hour.
The outdoor NHL game was a huge success this past Jan. 1 in Buffalo, and expectations will be just as high for this season’s tilt at Wrigley Field between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. A rivalry that has a little more meaning than in years past now that the ’Hawks are winning games—and the allure of Wrigley Field will draw viewers in itself.
But we also have the final two weeks of the NFL regular season to keep us glued to the boob tube. No doubt the league’s hype machine will convince even the most casual viewer to tune into some seemingly big match-ups down the stretch.
There’s nothing like Christmas cookies and lack of activity to give you some added insulation for the long winter ahead. We don’t want to freeze to death now, do we?

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