Six-year-old Luca Bear Bish sat in front of Chicago Blackhawks reporters and took questions Friday morning at the United Center.
What was it like playing with Patrick Kane?
“It was fun.”
What does it mean to be with the Blackhawks?
He was as loquacious as most players these days. Took it like a pro.
Bish, diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia 3½ years ago, is in remission. The Hawks and the Make-A-Wish Foundation made his dream of becoming a Hawks player a reality.
The kid had a busy morning.
He shot pucks with Kane during morning skate: “He’s got a nice one-timer too. Right-handed,” Kane said. “He’d probably look good on the left wing, you know?”
Then Bish sat next to Kane in the locker room — with a “LUCA BEAR BISH” nameplate next to Kane’s.
“He’s wearing No. 88, so he’s stealing my number,” Kane said. “I’m going to have to get a new number.”
Afterward, Bish sat with general manager Kyle Davidson and coach Luke Richardson and signed a one-day contract with a Sharpie.
“You negotiated hard on this one,” Davidson conceded.
Bish, of San Diego, will be a special guest at Friday night’s home game against the Arizona Coyotes.
“He’s an inspiration not only to our players and the organization but everyone that hears his story,” Davidson said.
Added Richardson: “To see the guys come when I blew the whistle to introduce Luca on the bench, everybody just lights up and sees a young fan watching the guys and what they do and pays attention at a young age like this, it’s an inspirational thing for the guys.”
Kane, Bish’s favorite player, gave him some pointers during practice but took some lessons himself from the experience.
“Especially with what’s been going on in the sports world in the last week or so with (Buffalo Bills player) Damar Hamlin and thinking about him and the world in general and obviously people are a lot less fortunate than we are, so it’s nice to have Luca come out here today and join us for the skate,” Kane said. “It was a great moment.”
It also touched him as a parent.
“Obviously I have a little boy as well, and he’s 2 years old now, so he’s starting to get into things like playing hockey and sports and just running around and stuff, and that’s the best part of life for sure,” Kane said. “You never want to see any little kid struggle with anything like that, so it was nice to have him here today.”
The Hawks have had a few players out sick lately, so who knows, maybe Bish will be pressed into emergency duty.
“He’s not much of a passer, but he’s a good shooter,” Kane said.