Phillip Danault battles with Joe Piskula on Opening Night
Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs
By Chris Block
On November 20th, Phillip Danault got the call he’d been working toward for a decade.
That night, while the Blackhawks were in Calgary skating against the Flames, Danault received a call from Rockford IceHogs GM and Blackhawks’ director of minor league affiliates, Mark Bernard.
The news was good. Danault got word he was being called up to the NHL. He immediately began packing his bags and was to be on the first flight out of O’Hare airport to Edmonton the next morning. Danault arrived in northern Alberta just in time to join his new teammates for the final seconds of that Friday morning’s practice.
Danault, 21, made his NHL debut the very next night, on November 22nd in Edmonton. He centered the Hawks’ fourth line and even got in a few power play shifts after the game got out of hand at Rexall Place. Danault didn’t make it onto the scoresheet, though the Hawks won 7-1.