More than three decades ago, Scott Sandelin was a second-round pick out of North Dakota who, like anyone else in his situation, was desperate to play in the NHL. He thought he had a future there, too, especially after 1987-88 when he played for the AHL’s Sherbrooke Canadiens under up-and-coming coach Pat Burns. The NHL never did work out. Sandelin played just 25 games in the best league in the world during a nine-year career that was cut short by injuries.
But the lessons he learned from the Hall of Fame coach never faded, even if the NHL dream did. “I appreciated his honesty – I appreciated knowing where you stood,” said Sandelin, now 54. “You wanted to play hard for him. Unfortunately, when he went to Montreal, he wasn’t making that decision. I begged, but…”
But after 19 years and thre...
About the Author
Ken Campbell, The Hockey News' senior writer, is in his second tour with the brand after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native once tried out for the Ontario League's Wolves as a 30-year-old. Needless to say, it didn't work out.