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October 21, 1982 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-21

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The Michigan Daily -Thursdgy,October 21, 1982
Blum inds pros full of u

--__ _. g



When Edmonton Oilers' coach Glen
Sather called John Blum into his office
last Thursday, the rookie defenseman
and former Michigan icer did not ex-
pect to be sent down to the Oilers' farm
club at Moncton, New Brunswick. Yet,
despite a strong start with Edmonton,
that is exactly what happened to Blum'
and the next day he found himself in
Maine, wearing the uniform of the
Moncton Alpines of the American
Hockey League.
"I felt I was doing fairly well,"
reasoned the former Wolverine star,
who graduated in 1981. "I went in there
and Sather said, 'You're going down to
play for Moncton. Not because you
played bad but because the team needs
a change, and you can play 35-40,
minutes (a game) there.'

THE 23-YEAR-old native of Detroit
has been adapting to life as a
professional since he made the sports
headlines in April, 1981 by signing a
four-year, $550,000 contract with Ed-
monton-at that time the largest con-

attack as evidenced by his nine goals
and 41 assists during the 1979-80
Wolverine campaign and an additional
nine tallies and 43 assists in his senior
year, when he was voted co-MVP of the
Blum showed steady improvement
throughout his collegiate career and,
although he was never drafted, was
hotly pursued as a free agent following
his final season. Although he is an
American, Blum had no qualms about
signing with a Canadian-based team.
"It was my own choice to sign with
Edmonton," said Blum, "As long as I
got to play it didn't matter where."
The Oilers assigned Blum to the
Wichita Wind of the Central Hockey
League and the 6-3, 205-pound defen-
seman found himself in a strange
position. "For the first time in my life, I

s and d
just had to worry about playing hockey
and earning a living. But the whole play
is different from when you're in college.
At Michigan, the coaches had to show a
lot more discipline and there was a lot
of teaching involved. All those skills are
taken for granted in the pros."
YET BLUM adjusted extremely well,
scoring eight goals and 33 assists with
Wichita and came to camp this summer
ready to earn a spot n one of the NHL's
finest squads. He played a regular shift
during the exhibition season and, when
the regular season opened, Blum was a
member of the defending Smythe
Division champions and a teammte of
"the best hockey player in the world."
"Wayne Gretzky does things in prac-
tice and games that makes you just stop
and watch him," noted Blum.
One of the six games Blum got to play

was against the three-time NHL chain-
ps, the New York Islanders. "I had tp
tell myself that I'm not gong to be in
awe of these guys I've been watching on
TV for years. But it was really a rush'
playing the Islanders."
Blum has spent the last six weeks-
living out of a suitcase and must be,
prepared to return to the Oilers at any
time. He expects to be called up in the
near future, but in the meantime he'll
be earning his money in Moncton, living
the glamorous life of a professional
9-0 p. fo
N. Huron, ." YpNt 4504

tract ever offered to a college hockey
player. Blum earned that pact by being
Michigan's steadiest defenseman
during his four yearIs with the icers.
Known for his defensive consistency,
tBlum was also able to contribute to the

back in minors

Hopson ineligible;

Junior Dean Hopson, a 6-7
the Michigan basketbal

bench cager
academically ineligible and will not be
forward on with the team when the season opens
1 team, is November 22 with an exhibition game
against Windsor.
Hopson is not eligible to play in the
fall semester due to poor grades last
April, but if he raises his grades he will
be eligible to resume play in January
for the winter term. Coach Bill
Frieder, though, has not made a
decision on whether he will allow the
junior forward to return to the team.
Hopson, meanwhile, has not been
working out with. the team. "He's not
going to practice," said Frieder,
"because the number one priority is
getting his grades up.. We will re-
assess the situation in January."
Last season, Hopson averaged 4.8
points and 3.4 rebounds while ap-
pearing in all 27 Wolverine contests.An
Albion native, the slender frontcourt
man attended Ann Arbor Huron High
school where he averaged 23 points and
third team All-American by Parade
uary magazine.


1t hejC. nncror


4'~ .4
* 4,;

... may return in Jan


Fabulous Food &
3150 S. Boardwalk (near Briarwood)

" 668-1545

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