Cam Fowler’s going to the All Star Game. He can’t even drink legally yet, but he’s our go-to guy. A Ducks’ Cinderella Story of perseverance, fortitude and … well … I hate to say it, but absolute and utter cuteness.
If you haven’t seen a photo of Cam Fowler, then you don’t know what the meaning of the word “cute” is.
At the tender age of just 19 years, Cam’s become the Anaheim version of Sidney Crosby – just not as whiney.
I normally don’t like it when writers talk about themselves (the story should be about the subject), but I still feel privileged to having seen two incredibly cool moments in Cam’s indoctrination.
At the Draft, none other than Scott Niedermayer handed Cam his first Ducks jersey and Cam said he didn’t remember much after that.
At Training Camp, I got to see Cam try some new moves of crashing D and copying Scotty’s smooth as silk passing.
I was in heaven. I haven’t been this happy to see a new player since Jiggy.
Oh, and did I forget to mention Cam’s as cute as a button?
If you were to pitch the Cam Fowler story to a Hollywood studio, you’d be laughed out of the room for being sappy, overly romantic, an extreme wishful thinker and a drama queen. But as the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction.
Let’s start at the Draft, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA where Cam agreed to be mic-ed up since everyone expected him to be selected within the first five. At first, his applause and congrats to his fellow draftees were heartfelt and enthusiastic, but as we hit rounds 7, 8 and 9 with every other team snapping up forwards, Cam’s resolve appeared to begin to waver. But he put on a brave face, soldiered through and made nary a complaint (well, none that were caught on camera anyway).
The idea of the Ducks getting the opportunity to nab “Scotty, Jr.” had seemed an absurd pipe dream, but at position #12, amid raucous booing, we snagged an all-important piece of the puzzle.
Now, does Cam get sent to the Jrs? Nope, they throw him directly into the mix where he shines and makes every other team regret not having selected him. Watch his passing, his attention to detail, the maturity and calmness.
Then he winds up being billeted by none other than the Niedermayers (the kids want Fowler third jerseys, never mind Pop) and now Cam’s going to the All Star Game.
Now all he needs is an Olympic medal and hoist the Stanley Cup and we’ll have a movie of the week, no problem.
It took a couple months to get a response, but our wildly popular offensive-defenseman was gracious enough to answer a few interview questions:
DUCKSDAILY: Rumour has it you weren’t too keen on the number “54” and when you requested a lower number you were told you’d have to earn it. What’s the story behind that and does “54” mean anything specific to the team?
CAM FOWLER: As you know, players are normally given “training camp” numbers when they first come to an NHL team and 54 was given to me. After I played around 9 regular season games, Bob Murray asked me if I wanted to change my number and I requested 4. It’s the number I’ve worn ever since my youth hockey days and I’m glad to have it now.
DD: Bobby Ryan also wore “54” for a spell before being awarded “9”. Did you ask him for any advice about how to get to a single digit?
CF: Bobby actually joked around with me that it took him a full season to get rid of his 54. I don’t think it has any specific meaning to the team it just happened that Bobby wore it also.
DD: You were so happy when Emerson Etem was selected at the draft. Are you a little bummed he isn’t playing with you yet?
CF: I was very excited to see Emerson get selected by the Ducks. He represented the US very well in the World Juniors and I believe you’ll see him in a Ducks uniform soon.
DD: Scott Niedermayer said that you were going to be his first ‘project’ in his new role with the team. What’s the best advice he’s given you so far?
CF: Just being able to live with Scott has been a great experience in its own. He doesn’t say much but his main message was just to stay consistent and not get too down on myself if I have a bad game.
DD: Agents, players and others in the know say that a rookie’s make it or break it point comes between game 25 and game 29. You’ve held up incredibly well. How do you feel now?
CF: I think I gain more and more confidence with each game I play. The first ten or fifteen games were definitely more of a learning experience. I think now I’m feeling more comfortable with my game and contributing to my team the best I can.
DD: Following the Shane Doan hit, you were down for a frighteningly long time. Were you a little stunned?
CF: After the Shane Doan hit I think I was just a little dazed after crashing into the boards. I couldn’t see my face so I wasn’t really sure what part was bleeding and my head was just pounding so I think that’s why it took me a little while to get to my feet.
DD: When Duncan Keith lost seven teeth, his teammates joked that when he resumed play, they couldn’t understand what he was saying. Did you get any “get used to it kid!” comments?
CF: I don’t think anyone really gave me any jokes like that. My teammates were just concerned about my well-being and that made me feel like I was a part of the team and they wanted to make sure I was okay.
Topics: Aaron Voros, AHL, Anaheim, Andreas Lilja, Andy Sutton, Bobby Ryan, Cam Fowler, Corey Perry, Crunch, Curtis McElhinney, Dan Sexton, Danny Syvret, Ducks, George Parros, Hockey, Ice, Jason Blake, Joffrey Lupul, Jonas Hiller, Kyle Chipchura, Lubomir Visnovsky, Matt Beleskey, NHL, Nick Bonino, Niedermayer, Paul Mara, Randy Carlyle, Ryan Carter, Ryan Getzlaf, Saku Koivu, Sheldon Brookbank, Sports, Syracuse, Teemu Selanne, Todd Marchant, Toni Lydman