OHL: The London Knights rookie is well travelled
By RYAN PYETTE, The London Free Press
Last Updated: October 26, 2011 8:57am
KITCHENER – Before Max Domi and Olli Maatta officially became London Knights rookie teammate this fall, they ran into each other at a hockey camp.
This was not your typical summer hockey gathering.
This one was held in Los Angeles and limited to clients of the Creative Artists Agency, whose Pat Brisson-led hockey wing includes Sidney Crosby and former Knights Pat Kane and John Tavares.
And at one point during that week in July, Domi found himself in the office of Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, whose films include range from Beverly Hills Cop to Pirates of the Caribbean.
Bruckheimer, a Detroit native, has previously been mentioned as part of a group that’s looked into the possibility of an NHL franchise in Las Vegas.
“He’s a huge hockey fan,” Domi said. “It was great to meet him. He spoke to a bunch of us and told some stories. There’s a connection (with CAA). We got to see the Pirates stuff and they showed us the CSI (hit TV show Crime Scene Investigation set).”
Domi is still just 16, but he has travelled in some impressive circles and now he’s part of the top-ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League.
At Knights games, it’s become standard to look around the rink to see who’s there with Max’s dad Tie. One day, it might Don Cherry. On Friday, Mats Sundin will drop the ceremonial puck at the John Labatt Centre.
“I guess he’s visiting some people in Toronto and my dad invited him to come out to the game,” Domi said. “I haven’t seen Mats in a long time.”
They have a history.
As a child, Domi recalled posing for pictures alongside the large Maple Leafs captain.
“We had our equipment on and I had the same colours on, same number, except I had on a Marlies sweater,” Max said.
Hammer time Windsor Spitfires forward Zack MacQueen won’t soon forget an open-ice head check he laid on Knights forward Vladislav Namestnikov Sunday afternoon in Windsor.
The OHL reviewed the video and gave the Woodstock native a 10-game suspension Tuesday, the latest in a growing line of double-digit discipline.
Namestnikov, an 18-year-old Russian and Tampa Bay first- rounder, returned to the game, scored and played in Kitchener Tuesday night.
The league cited MacQueen leaving his feet and hitting a player in a vulnerable position as reasons for the suspension length.
Namestnikov will likely be a part of the Russian roster for next month’s Super Series OHL stops in Ottawa and Sault Ste. Marie.
He already knows his Knights teammates Scott Harrington and Seth Griffith will be on Team OHL for the Ottawa game.
St. Thomas native Greg McKegg of the Erie Otters will play in the Sault while Sarnia defender Nathan Chiarlitt will suit up in Ottawa. Sting forward Brett Ritchie will play in both.
Knights GM Mark Hunter had a say in picking the OHL roster. The Canadian world junior team uses the games, in part, as evaluation to put together the players for the December tryout.
“You know they’re watching but you just want to go there, play your best and give it your best shot,” said the undrafted Griffith.
Harrington attended the Canadian team’s summer evaluation camp. Griffith represented Canada at the Ivan Hlinka tournament last spring.