Hats Off To Young Stingrays

By Holly Gunning
Hockey’s Future

The Calgary Flames had the hard hat, and this year, the South Carolina Stingrays have the giant foam cowboy hat. It’s an amusing sight, but the point of the tradition is serious — to reward hard work within the team.

The rules are the same for the 20-gallon red cowboy hat as the Flames original. Following each win, the player who currently holds the hat presents it to the player he deems worthy. A new tradition for the Stingrays this year, it was instituted by some of the leaders on the team.

“It’s not just the most valuable player, but it’s the guy who does the most for the team, or is most committed on the ice,” Stingrays head coach Cail MacLean explained. “It’s a great honor. That to me is worth much more than a first star.

“It’s a good way for the guys to show appreciation to their teammates and it’s also a fun exercise.”

Most of the Capitals five prospects with the Stingrays have had a turn to inscribe their number on the bill of the hat already this season.

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