Mon Sep 13 03:12pm EDT
An athlete using any perceived slight, real or imagined, as a motivator is as old as the hills. The London Knights' Jared Knight is a unique case.
The Boston Bruins drafted Knight with a high second-round pick (32nd overall) in June, after he was not among the 100-plus prospects invited to the NHL scouting combine (which inspired him to take matters into his own hands. Knight's also miffed he wasn't invited to Team USA's world junior summer evaluation camp.
"It was somewhat surprising that USA Hockey didn't invite Knight (Battle Creek, Mich.) to its summer evaluation camp, used as preparation for the World Junior Championship. But Knight, who once planned to play for the National Team Development Program, then the University of Michigan, believes his decision to play major junior was part of the politics involved. Knight still could be selected for the 2011 world juniors in Buffalo pending his performance this season. 'They're kind of holding a grudge at me. That's the way they are,' Knight said of USA Hockey. 'If I do get sent back to London, I've just got to light it up. They can do what they want. I’m going to do what I want. I want to play for them. That's definitely my goal if I do get sent home. If not, whatever.' " (Boston Globe)
For the record, 13 of the 44 players who attended the early August camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., will play in the Canadian Hockey League this season, so saying where Knight chose to play is a pretty big straw man argument. (That includes a couple who jumped late in the summer, including Knight's London teammate, Montreal Canadiens first-round pick Jarred Tinordi, and Brandon Saad, who joined the Saginaw Spirit.)
Knight has a couple months to make USA Hockey change its mind. If he's good enough, he wouldn't be begrudged for speaking his mind.
(Photo by Terry Wilson, OHL Images)
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Sports Canada. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.