All the cameras were on Connor Bedard as this summer’s first overall was making his long-awaited NHL debut. People have talked about Bedard for years, and he’s undoubtedly one of the most hyped-up rookies in league history.
Bedard played his first-ever NHL game in Pittsburgh against his favorite player, Sidney Crosby, but cameras caught something special as he was on his way out for his first official pre-game warmup.
ESPN broadcasted and filmed just outside the Blackhawks’ locker room when Bedard suddenly realized something. It really looked like Bedard had forgotten to bring his stick with him, and fans found it absolutely hilarious on social media, where the video quickly made the rounds.
But as it turns out, that wasn’t the case. According to NBC Sports Chicago and writer Charlie Roumeliotis, it’s all about one of Connor Bedard’s superstitions.
Accordingly, Bedard always leaves his stick outside the locker room, always with the blade facing up, not touching the ground. But this time, someone had moved it, so he had to return to the locker room to grab another one. Postgame, Bedard confirmed it.
“No, I didn’t forget my stick,” Bedard said. “I don’t know where that’s coming from. It was in the room and I went back.”
Connor Bedard has said several times that Sidney Crosby is his favorite player, and coincidentally, Crosby himself is a man of many superstitions.
Connor Bedard can’t really tell how the thing with his stick started, but he says it’s a challenge when the Blackhawks are not playing at home.
“Just so no one touches it, I guess, and the blade’s not touching the ground,” Bedard said. “In [Regina], we had stalls. I just put it kind of in my stall to flip it up, and I think at home we’d have one too, but obviously on the road, you’ve got to find a new spot. So yeah, just wherever I’m feeling it at that time.”
Connor Bedard eventually found a stick, had a traditional rookie lap, and later had an assist in the Blackhawks’ 4-2 win over the Penguins.